Facts About International Placement

Mercy Volunteers serve in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, South America. Guyana is an English-speaking country in South America; therefore, volunteers are only required to speak English. Volunteers serve for one year in an International placement with an opportunity to renew for a second year.

Mercy Volunteer Corps has three sites in Guyana. International volunteers can choose to serve at one or two of the sites. It is helpful for the applicants to have an openness to serving where the need is greatest. Placement at a particular site is based on the skills and interests of the volunteer and the needs of the site.

Guyana Service Sites

Volunteers begin with a collaborative cross-cultural orientation in late July prior to the Mercy Volunteer Corps Orientation in August.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

  • Priority Deadline- January 18
  • Final Deadline- March 1

After screening, International applicants will be phone interviewed and then travel to Philadelphia (March or April) for a personal interview as part of a discernment weekend.

Handbook 2017-2018

Facts About Guyana

  • Guyana is an ENGLISH-speaking country.
  • Guyana is located on the Northern coast of South America, and is culturally associated with the Caribbean.
  • Guyana’s climate is tropical; it is 7 degrees north of the equator.
  • About 85% of the population is of Indian or African descent.
  • Guyana is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Mercy Volunteers have been serving in Guyana since 2000.

Frequently Asked Questions About International Placement

What Makes MVC International Placement Unique?

Mercy Volunteer Corps chooses applicants using a process we call Mutual Discernment. Choosing to serve internationally for one year is a tremendous commitment and generous gift. Recognizing the importance of making the best possible match between the individual, the volunteer program, and the sites of service, MVC desires to partner with candidates who value and commit to an intentional process of discernment.

What does mutual discernment mean to MVC?

It means that both the applicant and MVC commit to ongoing prayerful reflection throughout the application and screening processes to decide if the applicant and MVC will be well-matched. This spirit of mutual discernment continues in the orientation process and throughout a volunteer’s term of service as questions and needs arise.

Collaborative Partnerships

International Mercy Volunteers serve only where Sisters of Mercy in the Institute of the Americas have invited MVC to partner with them in ministering to the most vulnerable of the poor in their own countries. This collaboration provides sites with needed personnel and provides MVC and Mercy Volunteers with life-changing relationships and new cultural perspectives on our society and our world. The welcoming local Mercy communities support Mercy Volunteers throughout their term of service.

Quality Preparation & Ongoing Support

Serving internationally offers wonderful opportunities for growth, and also poses challenges and difficulties. Given the realities of international service, MVC is committed to quality and thorough cross-cultural preparation and support for volunteers to ensure a rewarding experience for the volunteer and the collaborating Mercy community in each country. This support continues when the volunteer finishes their term of service through a re-entry retreat.

What does MVC provide International Mercy Volunteers with?

  • Cross-cultural preparation in collaboration with other volunteer programs
  • Orientation to MVC and the principles of simplicity, community living, social justice, and shared spirituality
  • Transportation to and from their country of service
  • Provision for all volunteers’ living expenses during their year of service including health insurance
  • On-going support from the local Mercy communities partnered and committed to MVC
  • Retreats several times a year for reflection and renewal during term of service
  • Re-entry retreat provided by From Mission to Mission
  • Re-adjustment allowance