The Office of Volunteers for Prosperity (VfP) at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the nonprofit Operation HOPE Inc. (HOPE) have agreed to promote international volunteer service by American professionals in developing countries, according to a September 30 USAID press release.

HOPE created HOPE Global Initiatives, a program designed to apply the U.S. experience to promoting and supporting economic prosperity to people in the developing world, with an emphasis on developing countries on the African continent.  The role recently expanded to serve underserved communities throughout the world.

"An important focus of VfP is to promote economic growth in the developing world by having the nation’s most talented professionals, as volunteers, advise and mentor aspiring entrepreneurs,” said VfP Director Jack Hawkins.

As the U.S. government’s coordinator of President Bush’s Volunteers for Prosperity initiative, VfP promotes the international voluntary service of American professionals in support of the nation’s global health and prosperity agenda.

HOPE Global Initiatives will be implemented by Operation HOPE’s network of corporate and nonprofit affiliates. The network will identify and recruit American professionals who will serve as volunteers under flexible arrangements of time, duration and location.

Among the joint activities of the two organizations will be public relations efforts to promote the new VfP/Operation HOPE model for collaboration to support international volunteer service.

"I believe that volunteerism is a uniquely American asset,” said HOPE founder John Bryant, β€œand our partnership will focus on using our collective influence to help developing countries find the solutions they need through the volunteerism of Americans.”

"Operation HOPE is excited to be working in partnership with VfP because we share a common goal – the goal of empowering underserved communities everywhere through economic education and the provision of much needed knowledge and expertise," Bryant said.

Additional information is available on the Volunteers for Prosperity Web site.

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