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Volunteer with the UUSC: Advancing Human Rights is the Work of Many Joining Hands
"There is no peace when you are wondering not what to eat, but if you will have food to eat; not if you will sleep, but rather if you will find a place to lay your weary body down; and not about how the next day at work will go, but hoping for any work, no matter how risky, so you will be able to buy some food for your hungry belly. This a world I have merely glimpsed and am forever changed by." —Holly Balsbaugh, Haiti Medical Trip, 2011
About the UUSC
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Mission: UUSC advances human rights and social justice around the world, partnering with those who confront unjust power structures and mobilizing to challenge oppressive policies.
(The mission of UUSC is guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.)
The UUSC is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. We envision a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can realize their full human rights.
Through a combination of advocacy, education, and partnerships with grassroots organizations, UUSC promotes economic rights, advances environmental justice, defends civil liberties, and preserves the rights of people in times of humanitarian crisis.
We also engage local communities through two experiential-learning programs, Just Works and Just Journeys, which introduce participants to the work of our domestic and overseas partners—who are often on the front lines of addressing social-justice issues.
Our work is built on the conviction that all people are entitled to basic human rights, which transcend divisions of class, race, nationality, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and gender.
Volunteer Opportunities/Experiential Learning Programs
JustJourneys: On the Path to Rights for All
Far from tourism, JustJourneys are unique educational travel experiences that focus on human-rights and social-justice issues. During the course of a typical seven-to-ten-day JustJourney, participants meet UUSC program partners and other human-rights defenders in their local communities in order to learn about and see human-rights work firsthand. Past themes include:
- Refugees returning home to Uganda
- Economic justice and women's labor rights in Mexico
- Indigenous communities and the human right to water in Guatemala
Each JustJourney includes an overview of the historical, cultural, social, and economic context in which a human-rights struggle has developed, as well as opportunities to hear from many different concerned groups. Participants return inspired and well-informed, with tools to become more effective human-rights activists in their own right. It is a unique opportunity to hear new perspectives, reflect together, and develop action steps for creating change so that human rights may be fully realized for everyone.
Please visit the JustJourneys homepage for more information.
JustWorks: JustWorks Camps Develop Skills
Through JustWorks camps, participants work directly with people in local communities on direct-service projects, learning about human-rights issues firsthand.
Short-term (usually week-long) projects help participants examine and understand the root causes and damaging effects of injustice, with an eye to promoting intercultural understanding. Participants are taught advocacy skills for addressing issues of poverty, discrimination, and racism in their own communities.
JustWorks camps have become a powerful way for people of all ages and backgrounds to put their values into action. Since 1996, UUSC has operated dozens of JustWorks camps in the United States and around the world, providing hands-on learning for more than 2,000 participants.
Please visit the JustWorks website for more information.
"If you want peace, work for justice."—Henry Louis Mencken