Volunteers Make a Difference
International Partners relies on volunteers.  The hard work and dedication of our volunteers have made a difference in the lives of countless children and families. From our delegations, to fundraising, to our scholarship program, every IP program requires that someone volunteer to work with us to develop and implement it.  The more IP grows, the more volunteers we need.

We need your help!  Are you interested in volunteering?  Please let us know if you would like to volunteer in any of the following areas, either short-term or long-term:

  • Recruiting delegates
  • Fundraising (e.g., grant-writing, organizing house parties, developing “giving circles”)
  • Creating videos
  • Organize a Partner group so sponsor specific projects
  • Organizing groups of alumni and parents
  • Creating social media campaigns
  • Translating materials
  • Providing administrative support
  • Speaking to groups
  • Developing our education programs (e.g., training materials, tutoring, arts programs, programs to support youth)
  • Supporting our disability initiative (e.g., developing training materials, providing and technical expertise, fundraising for “Circulos de Amigos” program
  • Organizing donations of materials
  • Interning in the USA and/or in El Salvador

We also welcome interns in many areas including community development, education, social work, agriculture, business, and health. For more information, please contact: director@internationalpartners.org

Form a Partner Group with Family, Friends, Schoolmates

Anyone – no matter how old or how young – can organize a sponsorship group to provide desperately needed aid to children and families in an economically impoverished community.  Your school, classroom, university, club, religious organization, scout group or civic organization can literally change lives and it takes very little to make a difference. Work together to sponsor an education center, scholarship, clinic, or other community project by following a few simple steps.

It is common for partner groups to sponsor education centers and scholarships for students of all ages, but many activities can be beneficial.

  Decide what your partner group wants to do. Or contact us for options.   For example:

  • Sponsor an early childhood program
  • Support a “Circulos de Amigos” group for individuals with disabilities
  • Give a scholarship for someone who would not be able to attend school without it. Your group can receive their letters and follow their progress.
  • Sponsor a micro-lending project to give a woman the income to feed her family. A small amount of money can help a woman establish a pupusa stand, buy a sewing machine to make clothes, or start a small chicken business.
  • Provide nutritional supplements to undernourished babies, children or a whole educational center.
  • Fund medical assistance to children with life threatening injuries or illness.
  • Pay the salary of a teacher.  ($150 per month).
  • Give  medicines, bandages and other supplies to a clinic or local health promoter for a year.
  • Provide nutritional supplements for a school where children don’t have enough to eat.
  • Buy or collect books and supplies for a school or multi-use center.
  • Provide toothbrushes and toothpaste to a village.
  • Help with a special project (e.g., getting water to a family; putting electricity in a school.) Support our disaster-assistance fund – an emergency fund that allows us to have needed cash when hurricanes, floods, and earthquake eruptions create a crisis in one of our host communities.

We can get you specific information about children and communities that need help now and help you identify the project that best suits your group. Contact director@internationalpartners.org  We can also provide you with pictures and fundraising materials to help you get started.

Form an Alumni Group

If you have been part of an IP delegation, you already know the needs in the communities and probably have ideas of your own about how you can help. Join others who have also worked in “your” village and maintain contact with them, by joining one of our alumni groups. We will make sure you stay updated about the news in your community and that you learn about the needs there as they arise. And if there is not a group already formed, ask us how to form one.

  • You can sponsor a community with a monthly donation to International Partners by clicking the button below
  • Have a drive to collect books in Spanish, toothbrushes, sports equipment, and over-the-counter medical supplies such as bandages, antibiotic ointment, children’s aspirin. You can make arrangements with our office to have them delivered by one of our delegations. Email us at director@internationalpartners.org about how to conduct such a drive and what items we can and cannot accept.

How to Start

  • Tell us what you’d like to do. We can get you specific information about children and communities that need help now and help you identify the project that best suits your group. Contact director@internationalpartners.org. We can also provide you with pictures and fundraising materials to help you get started.
  • Make your project part of an educational activity in your school, scout troop, or Sunday school. By learning about a poor village and the children who live there, your group can learn more about the  rest of the world, poverty and culture.
  • Establish a target. As little as $250 allows a child to attend school for a year;  $150 per month can pay the salary of an education or health promotor; $500 can install electricity in a school; $1,500 can provide an university scholarship.  .
  • Work together to raise the funds for the project you choose. Click here for ideas for how you can raise funds.
  • Stay in touch with us to learn how the community is doing and how your donation is being used; get photos; and communicate with people you are helping. We will work with you to find out what kind of contact you would like and create a way to accomplish it that meets your group’s needs.


Melissa (Missy) Robbins

Over the years, IP has had many outstanding volunteers who have contributed greatly to our goal of empowering Salvadorans.  We are pleased to honor Missy, who has worked side-by-side with Elba Funes, our Director of Social Programs in El Salvador, to develop a scholarship program that has expanded every year.

Missy and Elba

On her first delegation in 2009, Missy made a fast connection with a 13-year-old girl named Elsi.  When she discovered that Elsi’s family could not afford to pay the costs for school (which included school supplies, uniforms, and food), she gave Elsi a scholarship.

She didn’t stop with Elsi.  Realizing that many children needed scholarships to pay for school, Missy volunteered to launch a new IP program that identified motivated students and found people to fund scholarships for them.  She is now the Scholarship Director for IP, coordinating a program that has served dozens of students from preschool through college or a vocational program and has expanded to include more students every year.

Together, Missy and Elba developed a program that went far beyond solely covering school costs.  The scholarship program not only tracks student progress and facilitates communication between students and their scholarship donors, but it also provides academic support when students struggle to learn.  In addition to good grades, students must give back by getting involved in the community.  Usually, this means volunteering in the community Education Center once a week, mentoring younger students, and participating in community-wide campaigns or events.  By maintaining an active role in the community, these students serve as role models and help improve educational opportunities for other children.

Thanks to Missy, her partnership with Elba, and the generosity of scholarship donors – we now have a program that offers hope and opportunity to children, youth, and their families. Our scholarship recipients range in age from preschool through the university. Without a scholarship, those students might have dropped out of school in order to help contribute to the family income.  While family members would appreciate the additional support, a discontinued education would only perpetuate yet another generation of hardworking people caught in the cycle of poverty.  With these scholarships, we now have students who have made it to the university and are studying to become teachers, doctors, veterinarians, social workers, professional chefs.  Go to our scholarship page to learn more about this program and how you can become involved.