Dear Prospective Volunteers,
My name is Anna and I am a Mercy Volunteer serving as a teacher at St. John Bosco Orphanage in Georgetown, Guyana. I became a volunteer with the intention of expanding my worldview and building upon the service learning I participated in during high school and college. I feared that taking the conventional post-grad path would lead me to lose my passion for direct service. This year provides the opportunity to experience a lifestyle of wholeheartedly serving the poor and marginalized members of our global community.
In my discernment process, I considered several organizations that serve in a multitude of capacities and cultures both nationally and internationally. However, I was drawn to Mercy Volunteer Corps’ four tenets of Social Justice, Simple Living, Community, and Spirituality, which provide both direction as well as a challenge during my service year. Each of the tenants is proving to be crucial aspects necessary to wholly dedicate myself to a year of faith in action. Additionally, while all of the organizations I considered offered opportunities for incredible service and immersion experiences, I felt the most holistically supported by MVC. Throughout my application process, current time as a volunteer, and considerations of future plans, I have found endless support in the MVC staff, alumni network, and fellow volunteers. The small size of the program allows for personal connections so that everyone at MVC offers genuine guidance and encouragement. MVC cares for not only the safety and success of each volunteer, but also for our happiness, growth, and all of our small victories.
So far, my time as a Mercy Volunteer has been filled with many revelations about Guyana, its culture, and its people, as well as myself. Every day provides an opportunity to push myself to explore new avenues of social justice and their worldly implications. More often than not, I find more questions than answers. Despite some difficulties that may arise, each day is filled with joy and love from my service site and community. We have few times in our lives when we can really take a year to do something we love and is meaningful, while simultaneously figuring out who we are. Being a Mercy Volunteer is an incredible, transformative experience and I am immensely grateful for all of the lessons and love that Guyana has provided me.
Anna Pappas: Guyana, South America