From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Openings available for Global Justice Volunteers

Date 16 Feb 2001 13:48:04

Feb. 16, 2001 News media contact: Linda Bloom·(212) 870-3803·New York

NOTE: Photographs are available with this report.

NEW YORK (UMNS) -- Two opportunities for placement remain in 2001 for young
adults interested in becoming Global Justice Volunteers for the United
Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Aimed at 18- to 25-year-olds from any country, the program offers short-term
mission experiences of cross-cultural exposure, learning and service, with
an emphasis on justice-related issues. Volunteers work in solidarity with
members of the community and grass-roots organizations.

The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 28 for the spring-summer
term, from May 14 to Aug. 17. Those interested in the fall term, from Sept.
10 to Dec. 14, must apply by June 1.

Participants must be high school graduates with at least a year of college
or work experience; be able to participate in all phases of the group
volunteer experience; and show respect for and willingness to live among
people of different faiths, cultures and traditions. Acceptance is not based
on particular skills but "an individual's desire and willingness to
accompany individuals and community groups in their work for social

"If they (applicants) don't fit into the Global Justice Volunteers, we try
to get them into another program," said the Rev. Bud Heckman, the board
executive who directs the program.

The overall number of individual volunteers for mission programs, especially
in the young adult and older adult categories, is increasing, according to
Betty Whitehurst, who, with her husband Walter, processes volunteer
applications for the board. She noted that students often seek these
experiences in the summer or between undergraduate and graduate school or
between graduation and a job. Some students even take a semester off to

Heckman said the applicants are seeking something more fulfilling than a
summer job. "They're interested in gaining a faith experience rather than
just getting an income to pay for the next quarter of school," he explained.

Last fall's group of Global Justice Volunteers finished its commitment in
December. Sahar Parshad of Pakistan and Sarah May Salen of the Philippines
served with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in Armenia;
Todd Paben of Nebraska and Amanda West of Texas with UMCOR in the country of
Georgia; and Carrie Gardner of Illinois and Deniece Williams and Bill Innis
of Liberia with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Mary
Miller of Wisconsin is continuing her work with an indigenous women's group
in Costa Rica.

In mid-January, a new group of volunteers -- Susan O'Neill of New York, Joy
Freed of North Dakota and Angie Meyer of Texas -- was placed with Projeto
Meninos e Meninas de Rua de Sao Bernado do Campo in Brazil.

A post-program internship at the Church Center for the United Nations is
evolving through the board's Women's Division, Heckman said. Carrie Brunken
of Texas, a former Global Justice Volunteer in Brazil, is working there.

More information and application forms are available at online. Heckman can be
contacted by e-mail at or by phone at (212) 870-3825.

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United Methodist News Service
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