Program or Partner
Community/Youth Ministry Volunteers
The emphasis in this program site is on learning through service. Northern Ireland is primarily known for its tragic history of violence and inter-community conflict. These “Troubles,” as they are commonly known, have left behind serious economic, emotional and spiritual needs, particularly in urban/working-class districts. Volunteers work in support of faith-based efforts to address this legacy and will have the opportunity to see various responses from the churches and other organizations to community development, peace building and reconciliation. Each volunteer is placed both with a congregation and a community-based ministry, often, though not always, in the same district.
Volunteers serve part-time in a local congregation and part-time in community-based ministry. Volunteers are needed to serve in the following types of ministries:
- Leaders for youth fellowships and open youth clubs.
- Sunday morning youth program leaders, and in some instances, assisting in worship leadership, visitation and other pastoral duties.
In community ministries:
- Assisting with after-school tutoring and activities for children and youth.
- Organizing/supervising social, recreational and discussion activities for youth.
- Working with senior citizens, parent-toddler groups, women’s groups, literacy, computer training and groups for children and adults with disabilities.
- Occasionally volunteers spend a few hours a week working in local schools, teaching religious education or tutoring.
Volunteers share apartment-style housing with one to three other PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers in districts where they are working. All of the volunteers in the Northern Ireland program live and work within a 15-mile radius of one another.
Intentional Community Aspects
There are three two-to-four-day group retreats in different parts of Northern Ireland in the course of the year. Volunteers join together for half a day every other week for reflection, study, prayer and community building led by the program site coordinator.
Age: 21 to 30
Education: Education: College degree or equivalent age and life experience
Other: After selection, volunteers are asked to provide evidence of police screening in relation to child-protection issues.
The Rev. Doug Baker