Any good freeware equivalent to VideoPad?

Hi all!

I've got an unusual problem that I hope someone might be able to help with.

For various reasons, including the fact that I can't charge for my work (I do volunteer work for a non-profit organisation), and a disadvantageous ZA Rand/US Dollar exchange rate, I use freeware when doing video editing tasks.

I've been using NCH VideoPad (versions 4.14, 5.04, 5.11, 5.32, and most recently, 6.00) for about six months. The most recent versions are perfectly adequate for the work that I do. The trouble is that, since V5.32, NCH allow you a brief trial period that expires after five or six video exports. After that, no more exports until you pay.

I want to transition away from VideoPad to an equivalent that's true community-developed freeware.
Two questions:
1) Does anyone here know of an outstanding freeware equivalent that they've used, and can recommend?
2) Does the recommended software have any facility to import and, if necessary, convert VideoPad *.VPJ project files to its own proprietary format? The last thing I want is to have to rebuild existing video projects from the ground up.

Bless your heart if you can help.