A fairer future

Justice, equity, diversity and inclusion volunteering

Experience West-Africa while contributing to a fair and free future.

Play your part to address critical sustainable development challenges, by helping to create a world that’s more inclusive, fair and free for all human beings.

When you volunteer on our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) programs, you’ll support locally-led partners on the ground to drive projects in communities and schools that are based in lower income countries.

Cutting Edge

Cutting Edge

Our programs are partnered with locally-led projects that are at the forefront of inclusive, actionable community engagement and development.
Ethical

Ethical

We pledge to do good only through meaningful, considered action that can make a proven difference in the world.
Sustainable

Sustainable

Using the UN’s SDGs as a framework, we’re committed to community development solutions that are built to have a lasting, positive impact.

Ethical volunteering to empower marginalised groups

Overview
Impact and ethics
Locations and programs
FAQs

By joining a GVI program focused on JEDI, you’ll be part of impactful projects that work toward empowering groups that have been treated unfairly.

What is JEDI?

In the field of global development, JEDI is critical to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), in a way that benefits all groups. 

It’s a useful lens to determine whether the current global development agenda meaningfully includes the most marginalised, or not.

JEDI is a complex concept with many facets, but it mainly includes actions like:

  • dismantling systemic and institutional barriers
  • ensuring everyone in society is equally represented
  • seeing that everyone’s rights are protected
  • allowing full access to resources. 

 

Unpacking JEDI:

  • Justice, in particular social justice, ensures that everyone is treated equally and doesn’t experience systemic discrimination as a result of their identity. It takes on the institutional barriers that keep certain groups marginalised.   
  • Equity distributes access and resources in a way that corrects social injustice. It promotes equality between all groups by tailoring this access to the specific needs of groups that are underrepresented.
  • Diversity refers to the differences between people. It can include age, gender, nationality, ability, race and ethnicity, socio-economic status, and a host of other demographic characteristics. It also includes the intersectionalities of these characteristics and identities.
  • Inclusion creates an environment that affirms, respects and is welcoming to all individuals and groups.

 

Why is JEDI important?

Over the years, the global development sector has identified many destructive ideas, values and theories that have caused great damage in the social impact space. These wrongful approaches imply that marginalised groups lack sophistication in thought, and don’t have the assets and tools to define and lead their own development.

The rising criticism of white saviourism in voluntourism and community projects have further compelled organisations to recommit to their efforts to entrench justice, equity, diversity and inclusion into their programs.

And in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, the international development sector has increasingly had to reckon with its structural inequities. Equity in access to education suffered significant setbacks due to the pandemic, and gender norms and biases continue to constrain human potential around the world.

Advancing JEDI practices and programs is critical to meet the UN SDGs in a fair and inclusive way.

What will you do on a JEDI program?

GVI’s JEDI programs are built on close collaboration with local partners to ensure ethical volunteering that will be sustainable in the long run. We don’t set the agenda – our team and volunteers follow the lead of existing organisations, schools and communities in each location. 

We come alongside them to support their efforts to dismantle social injustices. Our team is guided by our partners to identify marginalised and underrepresented groups in the community, and to work with them in their own context, to design or amend the programs.

JEDI is not a developmental area that stands alone, but rather an important factor throughout the entire life course of human development – from education in schools and learning the English language, to vocational skills training and health workshops. 

What your program will typically include:

  • Learn how justice, equity, diversity and inclusivity apply to the particular country and community you’ll be working in.
  • Attend orientation sessions and de-briefs with the GVI team and partners on base.
  • Get the chance to observe and participate in JEDI project activities at schools, community groups or women’s empowerment groups.
  • Design and deliver informative sessions in support of inclusive education, healthcare or economic opportunities. You might do this through facilitating games to challenge students to recognise and celebrate diversity.  
  • Attend reflection and action sessions to build inclusive friendships and act against discrimination of marginalised students.
  • Work with teachers to explore and test different approaches to delivering educational material about JEDI. 
  • Work with partners and the community members to enhance JEDI programs in other sectors, to improve their inclusiveness.
  • Explore systemic social injustice issues or approaches to amplify minority voices. 

 

Our valued local partners

Our partners are critical to our approach to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. We’re honoured to learn from their deep knowledge and understanding, and to gain insight on the most important issues in their context. They also have relationships with communities and understand their needs best.

GVI has collaborated with over 600 partners over the last 20 years – amongst others, with schools in Asia and Africa, and NGOs such as the Ghana Girl Guides Association and SASANE (in Nepal).

Over the last two decades, GVI has gained a positive reputation for being an organisation that follows the highest ethical standards. It’s something that we’re unwavering about, and we’re committed to continuing.

We ensure that all of our programs adhere to GVI’s ten ethical commitments – a set of guidelines that directs our approach to everything we do. A vital part of these ethical commitments is in fact to ensure that justice, equity, diversity and inclusion are part of our own volunteering and internship programs.

At GVI, we implement JEDI through actions like:

  • Enabling local ownership of knowledge, results and data in community research and projects.
  • Follow the lead of local organisations and community leaders to define their needs, opportunities and priorities.
  • As far as possible, vulnerable populations are identified by the community and by how partners conceptualise marginalisation.
  • Even though orphans and children with learning disabilities are often amongst the most disenfranchised groups in many settings, GVI doesn’t support orphanage volunteering in any of our program locations. For more information see our stance on orphanage volunteering and our Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy.

 

Aligned to global impact goals

GVI’s volunteer programs in JEDI align with UN SDG Goal 10: Reduced Inequality, Goal 4: Quality Education and Goal 5: Gender Equality. We also integrate the UN SDGs into our impact measurement and management approaches, and use participatory methods.

GVI has permanent bases in beautiful locations all over the world – each focusing on different community development impact areas.

At the moment, the only hub where you’ll be able to volunteer and play your part in this specialised global development movement is Ghana.

Travel to the western coast of Africa to experience tropical scenes with beautiful beaches and humid forests. GVI’s base is in the beachtown of Kokrobite, outside the capital city Accra, where you’ll live and work with warm-hearted locals and witness how closely-knit family bonds are amongst communities in the villages. Enjoy live music, acrobatics, festivals and traditional African dance.

In terms of the political and economical climate, Ghana is also one of the most stable countries on the continent. And over the years, the government has developed new policies, and implemented programs to reduce inequities based on income, religion, geographic location, gender and other demographic characteristics.

But even so, unequal access to education and representation for minority groups still remains a great challenge. That’s why GVI’s justice, equity, diversity and inclusion program in Ghana mainly focuses on local educational initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.

What you’ll typically do while volunteering in Ghana:

  • Support educators by teaching them how to incorporate classroom management methods that will enable them to reach more children. 
  • Design and deliver exercises that encourage students to recognise and respect one another’s differences.
  • Host interactive sessions to help to create a safe space for all children to thrive socially.

Do I need to be a certain age to join the JEDI program?

Everyone over 14 years is welcome to join our justice, equity, diversity and inclusion programs.

Our family programs are open to children from 14 years, but you must be accompanied by a guardian. If you’re a teenager, you’re welcome to join one of our under-18s programs.

Otherwise, if you’re 18 or older, you can choose from the wide array of volunteer and internship programs available

Do I need to understand or speak a second language?

No, you don’t need a second language to join a program as all our JEDI programs are currently conducted in English. 

Do I need any special skills or qualifications? 

There are no skills requirements to volunteer on a JEDI program. We will provide training and guidance for each of our projects, led by qualified staff members and experts in their field.

If you have specific skills that you believe would be useful to our JEDI program, please let us know.

What’s the accommodation like?

Housing options differ between bases. You might be in a home stay with a local family or at shared accommodation with other GVI volunteers. Some bases even offer BnBs and accommodation upgrades at an additional cost. Chat with our team to find out more about the options available at your chosen location. 

If we have any other questions head on over to our FAQs page or reach out to our enrolment team who will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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