Volunteer FAQ

Interested in volunteering for HSC? Here's some basic information.

How much does the program cost?

The Humanist Service Corps provides a monthly living stipend to volunteers in addition to covering the cost of travel, insurance, and housing. Vaccines, prophylactics, and visa fees are generally not covered by the Humanist Service Corps, but reimbursement for these expenses is possible under special circumstances.

When may I apply?

New Humanist Service Corps volunteer terms begin every July. Applications are accepted in November/December the preceding year.

What type of work do Humanist Service Corps volunteers do?

Humanist Service Corps volunteers collaborate with local leaders in the design and implementation of solutions they identify. The function of Humanist Service Corps volunteers in these programs is to liaise, facilitate, and train the local leaders who provide the direct program services to the communities.

What training do volunteers receive?

The pre-service and in-service learning includes extensive safety, language, cross-cultural, skill, and content training designed in collaboration with local partner organizations.

Why can't humanists just join the Peace Corps?

The Peace Corps and the Humanist Service Corps are both secular volunteering opportunities, but the Humanist Service Corps is the only long-term international volunteering program guided by the principles and aspirations of humanism. Like the Peace Corps, the Humanist Service Corps provides technical assistance. However, the Humanist Service Corps also seeks to facilitate intercultural exchange, train humanist leaders, increase nonreligious engagement in service, and improve global perception of the nonreligious.

Does HSC compete with or duplicate services being provided by other global volunteering networks?

The Humanist Service Corps intentionally replicates the structures and safety practices of successful service organizations. However, the Humanist Service Corps does not duplicate services because it works in underserved areas where it works with locals to design, implement, and complete projects that are specific to the needs and resources of each location.

How did you determine that there is a need for a separate humanist global volunteer community?

Several studies have shown that the religious give their time and money more frequently and in greater amounts than the nonreligious. Many have suggested that part of the reason for this disparity is that religious individuals feel a sense of belonging to religious communities that encourage service and provide service opportunities, and, furthermore, that the community service itself contributes to the sense of belonging for many religious individuals. We want to provide that community and build that sense of belonging for the nonreligious.

How does the Humanist Service Corps ensure the safety of its volunteers?

Volunteer safety rests on the foundation of strong collaborative relationships with thoroughly vetted partner organizations. The Humanist Service Corps works with these organizations to prepare pre-service and in-service trainings and orientations that facilitate volunteer understanding of cultural expectations regarding behavior and appearance and to delineate any other safety considerations. Additionally, the Humanist Service Corps maintains active relationships with the U.S. embassy in Ghana and relevant Ghanaian government ministries. Should any emergency occur, the volunteers are covered by travel, medical, and evacuation insurance. At all times, the volunteers keep on their person local contact information for the staff of the partner organization, the officials at the embassy, and the emergency medical services.

How does HSC evaluate the effectiveness of its programs?

Our monitoring and evaluation plan is multifaceted, including survey data from volunteers, partner organization staff, citizens in the communities served, and local and national government officials where possible. Additionally, we monitor the immediate and lasting impact of whatever projects or programs we implement through the Humanist Service Corps; the outcomes we measure will vary project by project.

Does the Humanist Service Corps proselytize?

No. The Humanist Service Corps does not include de-conversion of the religious among its goals.

May I volunteer with HSC if I don't identify as a humanist?

Yes! The Humanist Service Corps does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law. The Humanist Service Corps program is guided by the principles and aspirations of humanism, but our approach is one that many non-humanists have arrived at from other philosophical starting points. We select our volunteers based on their professional skills, interpersonal skills, cultural competencies, and grit, not whether they identify as humanists.

Other questions? Contact us.

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