ACDI/VOCA’s history is deeply rooted in volunteer assistance. In 1997, Agricultural Cooperative Development International (ACDI) merged with Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA) to form ACDI/VOCA. Together, we have mobilized over 12,000 volunteers to more than 130 developing countries. We have built a reputation of quality and professionalism by offering highly skilled volunteer assistance to farmers, NGOs, cooperative associations, businesses, and universities.
We achieve measurable economic impact through the transfer of knowledge and expertise of highly skilled volunteers. Our professional volunteers have at least 10 years’ experience and provide high-level technical assistance to local partners in agribusiness, community development, financial services, and business management, to name just a few sectors. We encourage female participation and ensure social inclusion in all phases of volunteer programming. Our volunteers share knowledge and experience while gaining new friendships, learning about different cultures, and experiencing their field of expertise in a new and different way.
Our student volunteer program, Service Learning Corps, offers international experience to graduate and doctoral students while bringing the latest research and innovations to local beneficiaries. We work with a network of more than 40 universities, including Johns Hopkins, University of California, Davis, Texas A&M, Purdue, Penn State, Tufts, Duke, University of Minnesota, and Harvard among others, to identify promising student talent. Through volunteering, students gain hands-on experience in finance, marketing, agriculture, communications, and behavior change, while earning course credits and applying lessons learned in their studies.
We have worked with the private sector to design and manage corporate volunteer programs. From 2008 to 2016, ACDI/VOCA implemented the Mars Ambassador Program, a global initiative that connected Mars employees with organizations around the world that supported their business ventures. ACDI/VOCA fielded nearly 500 Mars employees for direct, on-the-ground assignments to more than 80 countries, taking them from cocoa farms in Ghana to rice fields in Cambodia.
Corporate volunteer programs develop proven leaders for tomorrow, engage staff with corporate social responsibility goals, and help to innovate products and services. If you are a business looking to develop your team while improving lives in the world’s most impoverished communities, please contact Olya Catto.
“As an advocate of volunteerism and a returned Peace Corps volunteer, I jumped at the chance [to volunteer]. Not only was volunteering with ACDI/VOCA’s Service Learning Corps another chance to offer my service to the global community, but it was also the perfect opportunity to apply my experience and education in analysis, design, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (ADMEL) before completing my last year at Tufts.”–Michael Casey, Tufts University student and Service Learning volunteer with our Feed the Future Rice and Diversified Crops Activity, Bangladesh