The Words of the Phillips Family

SFP Newsletter Dec 2008 - Jan 2009

Charles Phillips
January 15, 2009

Dear Service For Peace Friends:

Happy New Year! We wish you a year full of joy, happiness, love and of course service and peace!:)

Here is the SFP's first newsletter for the year. We have a special section for USA, as there is a special service holiday coming up in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


A Message from SFP International President

2009: The Year of Creating a Global Culture of Service World

SFP Celebrates International Volunteer Day around the World, and Honors the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Human Rights

SFP in Austria Helps People Overcome Barriers of Prejudice

Sweet Volunteering in Korea


President Elect Barack Obama to Serve on MLK Day, Calls on all Americans to Join

Service For Peace Chapters in the USA Getting Ready for MLK Day 2009

SFP Sponsors an EcoTour as Part of the Official 44th Presidential Inauguration Program

SFP in Fairfield County Partners with Sacred Heart University for a Year-Long Literacy Program

Idealist Global Volunteering Fairs in February

2009: The Year of Creating a Global Culture of Service - A Message from SFP International President

Dear SFP Friends around the World,

This promises to be a very exciting year in which there will be great interest in international volunteering and in voluntary service in general, and at SFP we will concentrate our efforts on popularizing service activities at every corner of the world.

On January 20, 2009, the USA will have a new president who will place a strong emphasis on voluntary service and on changing America's standing and reputation in the world. The enthusiastic reaction to Barack Obama's election is not only an American phenomenon. As you know, he has created a sense of optimism in countries throughout the world.

At a ONE campaign's recent publication there are specific recommendations for the incoming Obama administration, which I strongly support. Here is an excerpt from "From Vision to Action, Realizing the Potential for Development in an Obama Administration:"

"Achieving all of the longer-term goals for development will require increased human capacity which takes time to build and must start immediately. The new President can capitalize on the unprecedented number of mobilized Americans eager to engage in service. Global volunteerism programs should direct their efforts towards creating lasting infrastructure on the ground through training and capacity building.

President-elect Obama laid the groundwork for a broader engagement in service both through his campaign and in his speech on Election Day. Linking this idea of service to opportunities that help to accomplish the goals of building capacity will prepare the U.S. for success on broader development efforts.

Recommended Actions -- Double funding for the Peace Corps by FY11 in line with President-elect Obama's existing commitment. Set the stage for the creation of a Civilian Assistance Corps. Include a broad call to service in the Inaugural or State of the Union Address that mentions the President-elect's commitments to incentivize service among college students and others. Initiate a broader scale-up of funding to support national and international service opportunities, and include funding in the FY10 budget to begin training new Foreign Service Officers for USAID and the State Department."

At the same time, our founder and the international board of directors are keenly interested in the transformational power of our international projects and SFP is being strongly encouraged to develop and promote its international programs.

Our founder, along with a growing number of world leaders, such as Gordon Brown, strongly supports the idea of a "global peace corps" that will conduct major service activities throughout the world. SFP will take a lead in developing this new global service initiative.

SFP is one of the most active NGOs working systematically in North Korea. At the suggestion of the North Korean authorities, in 2009, SFP will expand its work in North Korea to include international volunteers.

We sincerely support all your heartfelt support in 2008.

Have a Happy and Inspirational New Year of Service!


Charles Phillips
International President


SFP Celebrates International Volunteer Day around the World, and Honors the 60th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Human Rights

Check out the article on the SFP website to see how SFP chapters and affiliates celebrated International Volunteer Day (IVD) last month. Ukraine organized a remarkable series of projects in partnership with the United Nations Office, Amnesty International and other organizations in 10 cities throughout the country. A total of 215 volunteers participated in the service activities in honor of IVD under the motto of Volunteers for Human Rights. Bulgaria led a series of workshops connected to tolerance and human rights with kids from a local orphanage, culminating in an art exhibit about tolerance and human rights of works of art composed by the kids during the workshops. SFP in Sierra Leone acknowledged the contribution of volunteers to the process of national development. UN Officials gave powerful speeches on the role of voluntary service, while university students took part in a debate competition and music and drama performances. SFP in Ghana commemorated IVD through outstanding student presentations on peace made by volunteers.

SFP in Austria Helps People Overcome Barriers of Prejudice

During two intensive theater-weekends, SFP in Austria brought together young people from the local town of Steyr and residents of Maradonna House for Young Refugees in Steyr to devise a play together. This was led by a theater pedagogue. The participants did not only practice a new and creative way to express themselves, but also reflected about their past, the impact of prejudices and the difficult situations they have to face in everyday life caused by cultural misunderstandings. The human struggle for meaningful relationships made its great strides on the way of mutual tolerance and friendship during the local Festival of Integration in the City of Steyr, where the young actors did a great performance.

As Buba, one of the participants in the program puts it "I have never played theatre before. It was amazing to speak, to cook and to play with you. We became a team, not only for the performance, but forever."

Sweet Volunteering in Korea

Two exciting volunteer initiatives for strengthening family and social relationships took place in Korea in December.

SFP in Korea joined hands with Taejeon Hanfence Social Welfare Institute and with an inquiry section of Segye Daily Newspaper in Taejeon, to organize the 10th Tasarang Cake. Volunteer families and handicapped students prepared cookies and cakes and gave them to multicultural families. During the 11th Tasarang Cake which took place in Mapo Cultural Center on Dec 21st twenty-five volunteers from Korea-Japan multicultural families made cookies and cakes together and gave them to elder citizens who live alone.

The good news is that in Korea more and more people from multicultural families acquire a taste for taking part in such service initiatives which is essential for strengthening both multicultural communication and family relationships.


President Elect Barack Obama to Serve on MLK Day, Calls on all Americans to Join

The families of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden and over 500,000 from across the American nation will serve their local communities for this national campaign of community service in honor of Dr. King. Obama is calling on all Americans to volunteer on MLK Day (January 19). His new website,, lists thousands of opportunities -- and lets you add your own too! This website is designed to help promote these events and for Americans to make their commitments, build communities, find opportunities to serve and share their results. These can be events that engage people in direct service, or bring people together to reflect on Dr. King's legacy and how they can commit to becoming more engaged citizens. American citizens can also pledge to serve throughout the year through the ServiceNation website by signing the Declaration of Service.

The call to service on this day comes from the recognition of Dr. King's life and legacy of social action and service. In the words of Coretta Scott King, "Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service... It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutor those who can't read, mentor at-risk youngsters, console the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream." At this year's ServiceNation summit on 9/11, Obama said that that service and civic engagement would be central to his administration and added that "the country yearns for that sense of unity and purpose. We're at one of these defining moments. Americans have a right to expect leadership from Washington, but they have to be part of the solution, too." He has proven his commitment to service even before his term has begun.

Service For Peace Chapters in the USA Getting Ready for MLK Day 2009

President-Elect Barack Obama, together with community leaders and nonprofits from across the nation, called upon Americans to follow the lead of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commit to service on MLK Day of Service next Monday, January 19. That, along with the wave of excitement and energy from the recent election, experts predict the biggest MLK Day of Service in history.

Read about the great plans US SFP chapters are making to celebrate MLK Day in 2009. Plenty of valuable and exciting initiatives are going to take place in Selma, AL, Prescott Valley, AZ, Oakland, CA, Palo Alto, CA, Bridgeport, CT, Washington, DC, Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Bloomington, IN, Louisville, KY, Queens, NY, Cincinnati, OH and Seattle, WA.

We have already gotten some related publicity.

SFP Sponsors a Service Related Eco-tour as Part of the Official 44th Presidential Inauguration Program

On January 19th fifty participants (including renowned leaders throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed) will descend on the Anacostia Watershed for a 12 - 15 mile bike ride as part of the "Polar Bear Ride" Bike Eco Tour.

In partnership with Service For Peace and honoring the 44th Presidential Inauguration, Wholeness for Humanity (WFH) h?s designed this project to raise public awareness of ecological issues connected with the Anacostia Watershed and to have community leaders and citizens work together effectively for the improvement of life in their communities.

SFP in Fairfield County Partners with Sacred Heart University for a Year-Long Literacy Program

Sacred Heart University's Business College has partnered with Service For Peace and Citi's Office of Financial Education to bring Financial Literacy and Community Engagement Training to youth in five Stamford middle schools through December 2009. The student volunteers of Sacred Heart University will team with Citi employees to provide training on community engagement, the importance of saving, and the meaning of money. The program will create Financial Literacy Ambassadors within schools, local business, colleges, and community service organizations, who will serve to instill a passion for Financial Literacy and an awareness of community needs within the youth of the community.

Idealist Global Volunteering Fairs in February

In February 2009, will host three Global Volunteering Fairs in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston, to help people make more informed decisions about volunteering abroad.

For more information and registration please go to

Idealist currently has over 80,000 organization from 190 countries posting job openings, volunteer and internship opportunities, and events, connecting over 50,000 daily visitors and 500,000 subscribers. 

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