ISV Annual Planning Meeting 2011

by Narelle Webber on Monday, 17 October 2011

Some fun after a hard day's work: ISV staff at Annual Planning Meeting in Big Bear California. Used with permission by Adolfo Ramirez (c)

Each year, our country coordinators from around the world convene in Big Bear, California, for our Annual Planning Meeting.

This is my favorite week of the entire year as we reflect on the past season, our accomplishments, the lessons learned and plan and get ready for our next season. We discuss our projects, our adventure tour itineraries, new global destinations for programs, responsible tourism initiatives and much more.

It’s also a time for celebration. This year marks ISV’s 10th season! Each of our Country Coordinators works super-hard all year, and when we bring our staff together from the US, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, it’s fantastic for our team to share experiences and have fun.

I’m most looking forward to an upcoming session on ISV’s volunteer projects and their relationship to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). I am passionate about this topic and our aim is to more closely align our projects with these global sustainability priorities. I would recommend to anyone to read up about the world’s progress in the 2011 Report in areas such as combating HIV-AIDs, malaria and other diseases, achieving universal primary education, reducing child mortality, and much more.

ISV volunteers digging a latrine 2011, used with permission by Narelle Webber (c)


ISV is already doing projects that relate to many of the MDGs. For example, over 2.6 billion people still lack flush toilets and other forms of sanitation.  One part of our volunteer program in the Dominican Republic this year included two ISV groups building eight latrines that provide improved sanitation to over 200 people from the Los Brazos communities. That said, ISV’s mentality is that we can always do more and focus on the projects that make the most impact.

Back to the planning meeting, we’re working hard. Thanks so much for everyone’s contribution! We’re excited and motivated to run even better programs for our volunteers and to have a greater impact on our world through our development projects.

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