Facts about the International Program
Mercy Volunteers serve in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, South America.
Guyana is the only ENGLISH-speaking country in South America.
Volunteers serve for 1 year in an International placement with an opportunity to renew for a second year.
Mercy Volunteer Corps has 3 sites in Guyana. International volunteers can choose to serve at 1 or 2 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.
Volunteers begin with a collaborative cross-cultural orientation in late July prior to the Mercy Volunteer Corps Orientation on August 4th.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
- Priority Deadline- January 15
- Final Deadline- March 1
After screening, International applicants will be phone interviewed and then travel to Philadelphia (March 7-9 or April 11-13, 2014) for a personal interview as part of a discernment weekend.
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.
What Makes MVC International Program Unique?
Choosing to serve internationally for 1 years 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.
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.
MVC provides 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 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