“Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” – Malala Yousafzai
At Volunteer Programs Forever, we believe that education need not be linear. Rather than one-size fits all, we understand that each culture must take their own distinct steps towards success, in line with the local traditions and way of life that make communities uniquely their own. We believe that education does not always have to take place in a classroom, as learning trades, problem solving skills and developing personal passions all contribute to the overall wealth and wellbeing of communities. Education in all forms, we believe is the greatest form of empowerment and opportunity.
Before introducing any new methods of education to a community – its strengths, areas of improvement, and especially the heart of the people themselves must first be understood. What are the core values that hold the community together? What holds community members and their businesses back from reaching their fullest potential? Most importantly, what will be the driving force for local youth to become future change makers? Without this initial understanding, any introduction of western education or opportunities will make only a short-term impact.
The vision of VP Forever looks far past short-term results. As education is a continuous cycle, there are no ultimate “ins or outs” with our programs. Our mission is anything but temporary, as we strive to use educational opportunities to empower local communities for generations to come. We believe in the importance of personal connection, to discover how each individual can reach their fullest potential through different and even unconventional methods of learning. We do not force progress, but instead adapt to environments in an effort to preserve the aspects of cultural heritage and heart that make communities beautiful. Through creating full-circle communities of learning, it is our hope that the local people, especially youth, who benefit from our programs will continue to facilitate change and inspire others long after working with us.
VP Forever creates programs that empower all parties involved, not just those being directly assisted. It is important that all who contribute to our mission grow together, including local staff, interns and business partners. It is our hope that local businesses we partner with to fulfill program needs will be improved and self-sufficient for further growth. By encouraging methods of education and providing opportunities that blend with and respect established tradition, we believe that empowering community youth, their families and their businesses, creates a domino effect that will extend our mission to future generations.