International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Amizade, Ltd.

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • www.amizade.org

Mission Statement

Amizade (pronounced ah-mee-za-jee) empowers individuals and communities through service and learning worldwide. Amizade offers alternative travel programs as well as courses for college credit that combine education, community service and recreation. Since 1994, Amizade has placed over 9,000 volunteers at service sites throughout the world. 

Programs are rooted in Amizade's core values: 
Community-Driven Service: Amizade works collaboratively with communities to identify issues, implement projects and evaluate outcomes.
Deliberate Learning: We cooperate with community members and organizations to educate participants about local culture, local concerns, and local assets.
Intercultural Immersion and Exchange: Amizade experiences ensure deep learning about cultural assumptions, worldviews, and the concerns and happiness that we all hold in common.
Consideration of Global Citizenship: Amizade invites all participants to reflect on fundamental human equality and how we might each work to build a world where human life is treated more equally across traditional cleavages of ethnicity, nation, class, or gender.
Reflective Inquiry: Amizade encourages reflective inquiry to encourage participants to stay connected to global civic engagement after a short-term experience.

Main Programs

  1. Service-Learning Programs
  2. Fair Trade Learning
  3. The Global Switchboard Service Corps and Youth Ambassadors Program with South America
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Amizade promotes community-driven service and friendship across cultures around the world. We connect students and volunteers to community projects in 12 countries in 16different communities. Including International Communities: Brazil, Bolivia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, Germany, Ghana, Tanzania, India, and Northern Ireland. National Communities including: Appalachia (West Virginia), Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and The Navajo Nation (New Mexico and Arizona). We also work locally in Pittsburgh, PA.

ruling year

1995

Executive Director

Self-reported

Brandon Blache-Cohen

Keywords

Self-reported

Tanzania, Amizade, Amizage, Amizaje, Eric Hartman, Dan Weiss, Brandon Blache-Cohen, Brandon Cohen, water walk, volunteer, service-learning, study abroad, international, service, fair trade learning

Notes from the Nonprofit

Every year over one hundred thousand American students travel the world to participate in study and volunteer abroad programs. There are many different types of these programs – each offering their own level of community engagement and voice. Many of these programs operate by focusing solely on the student experience and rarely consider the important value and sacrifice of the communities they work in. Still others engage community leaders and organizations they operate in, but still fail to recognize the importance and power of a mutual learning partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect.

Modeled after our partnership in Jamaica, Fair Trade Learning recognizes that the individuals and communities that host students and volunteers are uniquely impacted by visitors and should be offered fair working conditions and compensation, hold significant voice in the orchestration of programming, and be offered proper professional development opportunities.

Amizade enacts the Fair Trade Learning model of study and volunteering abroad by:

Engaging only in community-driven development, in which community leaders and organizations help decide theVolunteer terms of foreign student projects in their communities.
Encouraging and opening classes for local students to audit, free of charge.
Offering fair compensation to all of those who make study and volunteer abroad programs possible, including guides, drivers, homestay families, cooks, and community organizations; and
Working to offer partially or fully subsidized opportunities for individuals in our communities abroad to engage in service-learning programs in the United States.

Fair trade learning recognizes that the flow of learning and service doesn’t have to be a one-way stream. It also considers that individuals in the communities where study and volunteer abroad programs take place deserve similarly empowering experiences as those who take part in these programs. Fair Trade Learning transforms the classroom into an engine of change, not only for the visitors, but also for those who host programs.

By facilitating a free flow of service and learning across borders, Amizade will be able to truly empower individuals and communities, transforming even more lives through intercultural immersion, understanding, and learning.

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Also Known As

Amizade Global Service-Learning, Amizade, Amizade GSL

EIN

36-3974227

 Number

3777484581

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Cultural Exchange (Q21)

Promotion of International Understanding (Q20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Service-Learning Programs

Amizade offers courses for university credit at its sites in the U.S. and abroad.  Each course includes a service component where students deliver a service identified by their host community. Credit is awarded through West Virginia University.

Recent courses include:
History of the Holocaust - based in Germany and Poland
Indigenous Women's Literature - based in Cochabamba, Bolivia
Journeys with Indigenous Cultures - based in the Navajo Nation

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 2

Fair Trade Learning

Modeled after Amizade's partnership in Jamaica, Fair Trade Learning recognizes that the individuals and communities that host students and volunteers are uniquely impacted by visitors and should be offered fair working conditions and compensation, hold significant voice in the orchestration of programming, and be offered proper professional development opportunities.
Pioneered by Amizade Global Service-Learning, the Fair Trade Learning framework commits volunteer sending organizations to transparency, community-driven service, commitment and sustainability, deliberate diversity, intercultural contact, community preparation, local sourcing, reciprocity, and reflection. Each ideal is broken into specific standards that have been vetted by community members, staff members across several VSOs, and a broad coalition of academics.

Category

Education

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

Program 3

The Global Switchboard Service Corps and Youth Ambassadors Program with South America

The Global Switchboard Service Corps and the Youth Ambassadors Program with South America are both programs that provide an opportunity to empower Pittsburgh area youth through worldwide service and learning. In each of these programs, volunteers will have the chance to have a cross-cultural experience that will impact their lives, the host community, and the greater Pittsburgh and West Virginia regions. High school-aged participants will experience a different culture, learn and serve with other young leaders, then return home to the Pittsburgh and West Virginia area and learn about project planning, budgeting, management, and create a youth-designed local projects in their own communities.

Category

Youth Development

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Other Minorities

Budget

Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Amizade promotes community-driven service and friendship across cultures around the world. We connect students and volunteers to community projects in 12 countries in 16different communities. Including International Communities: Brazil, Bolivia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Poland, Germany, Ghana, Tanzania, India, and Northern Ireland. National Communities including: Appalachia (West Virginia), Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, New Orleans, and The Navajo Nation (New Mexico and Arizona). We also work locally in Pittsburgh, PA.

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External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

AMIZADE LTD
Fiscal year: Sep 01-Aug 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Amizade, Ltd.

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Brandon Blache-Cohen

BIO

Cohen first began experimenting with social entrepreneurship and service-learning while an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh. After sailing on Semester at Sea in the fall of 2003, he combined his passions of travel and social justice by helping to create a student-initiated NGO, FORGE. As Associate Director of FORGE he worked in three refugee camps in Zambia and Botswana on a slew of small-scale development projects. Since then, Cohen has worked in development for the Tahirih Justice Center in Washington, DC, as a researcher and program assistant for aids2031 in Worcester, MA, and as a consultant for several other small nonprofits and foundations. From 2007 - 2009, he was a Social Change Fellow at Clark University, where he earned an MA in International Development and Social Change. To date, Cohen has worked, studied, or traveled in over 55 countries on five continents.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Rachel Helwig

Franklin & Marshall College

Term: Oct 2015 - Oct 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?