The Sisters of the Good Shepherd have a presence in over 65 countries around the world that carry the same collective mission of serving women, children, and adolescents in poverty and neglect. For over ten years, GSV has placed volunteers internationally to serve these populations in need through service including youth counseling, domestic violence, fair trade/economic justice, education, and community outreach.
Currently GSV is placing volunteers in two countries, Chile and Thailand. GSV may expand to other placements in the future.
GSV International, like our Domestic program, has a one-year commitment. Volunteers begin their service term in August. International GSVs are welcome to renew their service term for a second year. In addition, when volunteers return home, they are sent to a weekend re-entry retreat that provides tools with re-adjustment to live in their home country. Anyone is welcome to apply to GSV International, but GSV gives preference to those who have completed a year of GSV Domestic service.
GSV International is unique from our Domestic program in several ways. Community sizes are smaller with usually two GSVs per community, and the GSVs are integrated with the local community, giving them a more expanded definition of “community” where they can build personal relationships with sisters, co-workers, and neighbors. Housing situations vary and include living with host families, living at one’s placement site, or living in apartment settings.
GSV sites provide housing, basic living stipend, transportation, health insurance, and flights to/from the United States. GSV International has a fundraising component. We ask international volunteers to reach a fundraising goal of $4,000. This may seem like a lot, but international volunteers are always surprised by the generosity of others. People have a real desire to give to those who are doing charitable works of justice, especially if they have a personal connection to them. The staff works with each GSV volunteer to help them find ideas and resources for fundraising. Put simply, fundraising is easier than you might think!
For Spanish-speaking countries, basic Spanish is required. There are opportunities for informal language training in-country. For other countries, we do not require knowledge of the native language and we provide basic language opportunities in-country.