Founded in 2006, Voluntario Global was born with a mission to collaboratively address everyday challenges through education, health, and employment initiatives. Our team of volunteers operates in diverse locations, providing support in areas such as school assistance and community kitchens. As our efforts expanded, we welcomed volunteers from around the world, collectively establishing a self-management system.
In the neighborhoods we serve, a significant issue emerged – young individuals (aged 18 to 25) were being excluded from higher education due to financial constraints. This challenge inspired the inception of 'The Laundry' (2006-2008). Here, young people found not only flexible employment enabling them to pursue their studies but also a dedicated space equipped with computers and kitchens for their academic endeavors. During this historical-political period marked by Kirchnerism, cooperativism-work, and the creation of public universities, education became a tangible and achievable goal with a clear political objective.
The birth of Comunidad MILPA (2012-2014) aimed to provide ongoing training for local youth in vegetable gardening and horticulture, emphasizing agroecological principles. Simultaneously, they learned about cooperative work culture, fostering an associative, supportive, and equitable approach.
For us, cooperatives are the outcome of activism, and activism is rooted in always envisioning where we are headed (activism of the urgency - IN MOVEMENT). Over the years, Voluntario Global has evolved into a NETWORK of organizations, currently comprising 13 entities. We convene in spaces of reflection, facilitated by Comunidad MILPA, where we collectively strengthen our individual initiatives. These gatherings cultivate bonds of understanding, solidarity, and respect, all geared towards a social, cultural, and political transformation dedicated to social justice and community-based cooperative approaches."
This approach translate into intercultural learning, a critical philosophy of volunteer engagement, so rather than simply "giving" and "expecting something in return," our volunteer programs promote deeper pedagogical and existential questions that are relevant to a much wider range of situations where people cross significant differences of power and culture. Therefore, in addition to an intention to collaborate across cultures, we seek to generate a critical awareness that accompanies volunteers as they confront the difficulties that all cross-cultural exchange presents.
Voluntario Global is a non-profit organization (NGO) registered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, under number 0000 515.
We recognize that genuine exchange generates greater understanding between peoples and we promote the creation of social ties through the maintenance of a network of local and international organizations.
Through these networks and our joint actions, we seek to promote education based on community and democratic values in order to generate critical thinking and achieve political participation that can transform social reality. We speak of social, economic and ecological transformations with sustainable development, equity and justice by identifying and denouncing a system that reproduces poverty, violence and marginalization.
Valeria and Armin founded Voluntario Global in 2006 when they saw a window of opportunity for a mediating institution that would allow for a mutual exchange between the local communities of Buenos Aires and foreigners eager for a deeper insight into them. Initially we assisted in just one school support project, yet gradually other organizations contacted us and were added to our Network. Today we work with 16 different projects in Buenos Aires, and have founded two Cooperatives of our own: Su Lavanderia (2008) and Pacheco Community Center (2014).