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We will be sending volunteers to these sites in 2014
Located in the Amazon region in Northern Brazil, Anapu is a town of approximately 20,000 people situated along the Transamazon Highway in the state of Pará. For decades Anapu and the greater Amazon region have faced an array of complex social and environmental challenges. Rural poverty, deforestation, and land disputes are commonplace. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Anapu work in solidarity with community members to promote social and environmental justice throughout the region. Volunteers live in community with the Sisters in Anapu and have opportunities to serve in local schools with children or host adult English classes. Adventurous volunteers are able to live with host families in the various cacau farming settlements that exist outside Anapu proper and experience the joys and challenges of rural life in Brazil. Portuguese is not required but volunteers are expected to embrace the challenge of learning a new language in an immersion environment.
We are happy to announce that in 2012 Notre Dame Mission Volunteers International will be sending volunteers to Les Cayes, Haiti for the first time. Les Cayes is located in southwestern Haiti and has a population of approximately 70,000 people. Volunteers in Haiti will serve in a variety of ways. Volunteers will teach and tutor English language learners. There is also a monthly food distribution program for low income families that volunteers will be assisting with. There may be other various projects that volunteers in Haiti can assist with.
Enugu - Notre Dame Primary School Awkunanaw
Nigeria is located in western Africa and is the most populous country in Africa. Enugu is known as Coal City and has nearly a million inhabitants. Volunteers live with the Sisters of Notre Dame in the city of Enugu and serve at the Notre Dame Primary School in Awkunanaw. At the school, volunteers may serve as teachers’ aides, tutor individual students, help with typing, filing, and other administrative work, read to children in the library, or teach their own classes. In addition to working in the school, volunteers may also work with the Sisters at the Justice and Development Program Commission or at a health clinic.
Amoyo - Notre Dame Girls Academy Amoyo
Amoyo is a small, rural village located just outside of Ilorin, Nigeria. There the Sisters of Notre Dame run a boarding school for girls in grades 7-9 and a small health clinic. Volunteers in Amoyo will teach certain subjects as needed and help with after school activities such as sports and tutoring. Interested volunteers can also work in the school’s small farm. Qualified volunteers may be able to work at the clinic. The health clinic helps the local community with mostly maternity care but also works to promote HIV/Aids awareness and health education.
Volunteers will serve in partnership with the Fe y Alegria school in Las Delicias de Villa, Lima. Service within the school is flexible and can be tailored to the volunteer’s talents and interests. Opportunities include tutoring special-needs children in basic reading, writing, and math; tutoring secondary-school students in English; serving as teacher’s aides; creating extracurricular clubs and activities; and working with adults in the Fe y Alegria Radio School, a distance-learning program that allows adults, primarily women, to complete their primary or secondary education.
Volunteers interested in pastoral ministry can also serve in the parish “Jesus Artesano” by leading catechesis or confirmation groups, visiting the elderly and ill with the parish “health” committee, participating in the choir, offering English classes for adults, or serving in other ways inspired by the volunteer’s skills and passions.
For many of these service opportunities and for everyday interactions with the community in Lima, advanced Spanish is absolutely necessary. Volunteers with limited Spanish should consider whether their language skills and personal style of interaction with others will allow them to fully engage in the type of service that interests them.
To read a PDF article about the Fe y Alegría network , click Here.
Tambogrande is a rural town of about 30,000 people located in the district of Piura, Peru, north of Lima. Volunteers in Tambogrande will serve at the Fe y Alegria School #48, a network of 31 different instructional centers spread throughout the countryside in order to give children in the most remote areas access to education. Volunteers will live in Tambogrande with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur and commute two or three days per week to Fe y Alegria in the countryside. At the school, they may serve by tutoring individual children, teaching English classes, serving as teachers' aides, or organizing extracurricular clubs and activities.
On the remaining two or three days per week, the volunteers will serve at Tambogrande's physical therapy center “Sonrisas Felices,” which provides therapy to disabled children of poor families from the town and its rural surroundings. Volunteers may serve as receptionists, assist the therapists, and/or accompany center staff on visits to the children’s homes in the countryside. Volunteers interested in pastoral ministry may also serve in the Sisters’ adult faith formation program.
Notre Dame Mission Volunteers has served at these sites in the past, however volunteers will not be at these sites in 2012.
Malava - Tumaini Miles of Smiles
The Tumaini Miles of Smiles Centre, located in the rural Kakamega district of western Kenya, strives to provide for the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of each child in the community. The Center consists of a Christian primary school serving about 180 students, and an orphanage that provides a home, food, clothing, education, and spiritual and emotional care for the students who have nowhere else to go.
The volunteers’ primary responsibilities are to teach English, Creative, P.E. and other classes to students in primary school grades. Volunteers may choose the subjects they are interested in teaching. Additional service opportunities may include construction on the school and orphanage; doing office work; website design; social work; and designing fun weekend activities for the children at the orphanage. Volunteers’ various tasks are varied and always interesting, from brick-making and painting to first-aid and home visits. Volunteers live about 4 kilometers from Tumaini and commute by public transportation and a 15 minute walk.
Michael Durkin, NDMV ’09, says of Tumaini:
“Tumaini is an amazing place to work. The orphanage staff and the school leadership are very supportive. Most important are the children, who are amazing. I NEVER wanted to teach, but since January I have said repeatedly that 'the children will get me through this year,’ and they continue to do so. Despite the minor hardships, I am happy to go to work every day, every single one. How many people can really say that?”
Malava - Saint Julie Center
The Saint Julie Programme focuses primarily on working with children with disabilities, providing help to both the children and their families so that the children can achieve their full potential. The St Julie Centre (SJC) is where the clients come for physical and play therapy. In addition, the programme provides financial support for surgeries, medicines, and small farming projects.
At the SJC, volunteers will do administrative work and provide support in play therapy when needed. Administrative tasks include filing, record keeping, accounting, and photography. In addition, volunteers will periodically accompany or drive families to monthly health clinics. The centre is open from Monday to Thursday with Fridays reserved for staff and volunteer meetings.
Sisters of Notre Dame present in the region provide guidance to volunteers as they grow in understanding of the culture and issues facing the community.
The volunteers in Nairobi, Kenya serve at Rescue Dada, a centre for young girls who have lived on the street. The volunteers are helping fulfill the mission of the Centre, which is to provide the girls with a home, education, and social services. The main goal of the centre is to reintegrate the girls into society and to hopefully reunite them with their families. To do this, the Centre offers the girls training to become self-supporting, as well as giving them counseling, medical care, and overall support and love. The Centre also trains the mothers of the girls to become self-reliant and conducts a follow-up program. For more information about Rescue Dada, visit their website at www.rescuedada.org.
Kroonstad, which is Afrikaans for Crown City, is located on the central plains of South Africa. With a population of just over 100,000 people, Kroonstad is the third largest city in the Free State province. Volunteers in Kroonstad serve at the Northern Free State Institute for Community Development (NFSI) or St. Peter Claver School. NFSI was founded in 2000 to combat poverty in the northern Free State through job skills training and income generating projects. Volunteers at NFSI teach computer classes and permaculture gardening/nutrition classes. Other volunteers have served at St. Peter Claver School. St. Peter Claver School is a private Catholic school that was built almost a hundred years ago by the Sisters of Notre Dame. St. Peter teaches almost 900 students in grades 1-9, many of these children come from low income families. Volunteers at St. Peter tutor small groups of students, work as substitute teachers, or teach certain subjects.
To read about our current and former volunteers' adventures and service abroad feel free to visit their blogs below! Please note that the contents of these blogs do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NDMVP.
|Feels good. Inside. So be cool.
Kroonstad, South Africa
|Sarah in Kroonstad
Kroonstad, South Africa
|How Did I Get Here?
Kroonstad, South Africa
|Kimiko Serves Peru
|Sue's African Adventures
|A View From the Cave
|How Did I Get Here?
|How Kathleen Met a Llama
|Tim in Kenya
There are many benefits to serving internationally with Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. Along with the basic necessities like housing and travel to and from the volunteers’ service site, we provide orientation and training, health insurance, a living stipend, spiritual retreats, and supervision and support by NDMV staff and friends. There are also intangible benefits in the spiritual and/or personal developments that take place when a volunteer is exposed to new cultures and ways of life. Below we will define and explain each benefit in more detail.
- Monthly stipend
- Health insurance
- Orientation and training
- Supervision and support
- Travel expenses
Housing is available for members. Accommodations are modest and volunteers live in community with one another. Volunteers in Brazil will live with a host family. In Nigeria and Peru, the volunteers live in a Convent setting with the Sisters of Notre Dame.
As a condition of our partnership with the Catholic Medical Missions Board, we are able to provide volunteers with a monthly stipend of $350 per person. This living allowance can be utilized to pay for rent, food, and other personal expenses.
Health insurance is provided through our partnership with the Catholic Medical Missions Board.
Training and Orientation
Orientation takes place at the NDMV National Office in Baltimore, MD. In Baltimore, volunteers participate in workshops, trainings, and informative sessions hosted by Sisters of Notre Dame and friends of NDMV on relevant topics to their year of service. Once arriving at their service site, they also engage in a second Orientation to introduce them to their new home, service site activities, and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the area.
Supervision and Support
NDMV offers strong support to its volunteers in the form of an international site director and other Sisters of Notre Dame. The site director keeps in contact with the volunteers on a monthly basis, in emergencies and makes visits to the volunteers’ service sites. In Nigeria and Peru, the volunteers live with the Sisters of Notre Dame who offer them both guidance and support.
NDMV pays for the travel costs to and from the volunteers’ service sites.
Personal and Professional Development
Moving to a new country and immersing oneself in a new culture is a life changing experience. International volunteers often learn a great deal about themselves as well as the people they work with at their site and those they befriend during their stay.
When reviewing your application, we will look at the following criteria:
- US Citizenship
- College degree and/or professional skills needed in the missions
- Good mental and physical health
- Aged between 21 and 50 years
- Willingness to participate in a Catholic community and regular liturgical services
- Willingness to participate in fundraising for the program (with guidance from the National Office)
- Commitment to work and live with the poor.
Upon acceptance, volunteers have the following responsibilities:
- Raise $3000 towards program expenses
- Visit a travel clinic to obtain the necessary vaccines and medicines
An ideal candidate will also:
- Have a history of long-term service, like AmeriCorps or JVC.
- Have experience traveling and/or living abroad
- Speak a language used in the service region.
- Spanish is Required for Peru.
- Volunteers going to Brazil do not need to speak Portuguese prior to leaving but are expected to study Portuguese over the course of the year.
- English is the official language of Nigeria so volunteers are not required to learn another language.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2013 service year. We will begin accepting applications for 2014 in January 2013.
Volunteers begin their year of service in January and return in December.
For current and former Notre Dame Mission Volunteers:
- Submit a letter of intent outlining where you wish to serve and why
- Obtain a letter of recommendation from your NDMVA site director
- Current Resume
For new applicants:
- Complete an application form (Microsoft Word version)
- Obtain two letters of recommendation
*Note to applicants applying to Peru: It is strongly recommended that you submit your applicant in both English and Spanish to help expedite the process.
After completing the above, selected applicants will have:
- Personal interview(s)
- a medical exam
- an interview by our international site contacts
- familiarity with our International Handbook
Important Dates for 2014 Service:
- January, 2013 - begin accepting applications
- May, 2013 - begin interview process
- January, 2014 - tentative start date for departure
Thank you for you interest in the program. For further information, contact Jeremy Mitchell at 410-532-6864 x13 or firstname.lastname@example.org.