The mission of VLM is to share the Vincentian spirit with young adult men and women and to help foster systemic change by serving in communities in Ethiopia and Kenya.
In Ethiopia, VLM teach English to children in local, Catholic elementary schools that are run by the Daughters of Charity. Children vary in age, but volunteers typically teach grades 1-7. There are also opportunities in Ethiopia to work with local teachers by providing professional development opportunities. Non-teaching placements are available as well. In Kenya, VLM work at up to five sites in Kenya, both rural and suburban, as facilitators of a summer camp for children and teenagers. VLM may facilitate drama, crafts, sports, or other enrichment activities for the children. In addition to running a camp, there are also opportunities for VLM to lead youth retreats, teach English, and work with local entrepreneurs on small business development.
Ages 21-35 are welcome to apply. All applicants must be open to living simply, enjoy working with children, and should be flexible and adaptive with a commitment to community and service.
Volunteers will live in a community with 3-4 other participants, and also in a community with local Daughters of Charity or Vincentian priests. In Ethiopia, volunteers live in a residence with the Daughters. In Kenya, volunteers live in a residence that is located on the same compound as the Daughters. Volunteers will be provided with three meals a day. They will share a room and a bathroom with at least one other person.
Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, Vincentian Lay Missionaries has put the Summer 2022 application process on hold until further notice.
Timing of Service Opportunity: Periodic duration
Fulltime required?: Yes
Required time commitment: 4-6 Weeks
This opportunity is open to: Both Men and Women
Can families volunteer?: No
Formation training will begin as soon as volunteers are accepted into the program. A site coordinator is present at each site, and the site coordinator will communicate with the volunteers during the spring. Volunteers will be provided with detailed information about their placement and their duties. Before leaving for Africa, all VLMs will meet in Chicago for a two day orientation. During orientation, volunteers will receive training on: Vincentian spirituality formation, tips and strategies for teaching English language learners, what to expect in Africa, and cross-cultural communication techniques.
Volunteers make a donation of $2,500 to the Daughters of Charity. This will help offset the cost of the flight to Africa and travel insurance (including medical). A portion of the donation will also go directly to the missions of the Daughters of Charity in Ethiopia or Kenya. Transportation, food, and accommodations are provided for all volunteers. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to VLM orientation and yearly retreat.