blog

Viewing posts from the blog category

Emma Edgeworth – Zambia

“To start things off, greetings from Mongu, Zambia, my home for the last four months!

I embarked on my Journey in May 2017 and cannot believe how quickly my time here has passed. Cliched but true! From the training provided by Viatores Christi, I was prepared for the initial challenges that my new role would bring and ready for a difficult ‘settling in’ period — but to be honest I feel I hit the ground running because of all the support I was given before I left.

The Cheshire Home is where I was placed, and I am often asked – What is like? What do they do there?  

Believe it or not, these are difficult questions to answer. Unless you experience it for yourself, it is hard to comprehend or fully appreciate the work that takes place in Cheshire Home. When I first arrived one of my Zambian colleagues described it as ‘a special place’, this is a description that continues to ring true in in my mind. I’ve never known anywhere as special, or as important, to so many people as The Cheshire Home. 

When summarising all the work in my head, I see that The Cheshire Home offers the community so many things. It is a rehabilitation home for children with disabilities, a special needs education service, an advocacy centre for people with disabilities, an early intervention hub, an outreach service working with people in the community who have disabilities. Cheshire Home’s community boundary stretches across the whole western province of Zambia. Children and families travel for days to reach it to access its services. The scope of service provision is mind boggling. Coming from a social care background in Ireland, I cannot believe what the Presentation Sisters have achieved in their fight to support children with disabilities in Zambia.  

There are over seventy children on-site with a wide range of physical and intellectual disabilities. The Early Intervention Programme, which allows young children to access services with their parents, has up to 20 families on site. 

A physio therapy programme runs five days per week alongside the education programme, which allows children to access quality education while staying at the Cheshire Home. Unfortunately, the reality in Zambia is that children with disabilities don’t normally get the chance to attend school. Distance, physical and/or intellectual disabilities, poverty and discrimination are all factors that act as barriers to these children getting a proper education.  

There is a core team of Children’s support staff at Cheshire Home, who work with the children throughout the day and each night. Part of my role here has been to devise and provide training that meets the needs of the service. My main priority regarding the training is that it must be accessible for staff and meaningful to the work they carry out. By taking a need based approach and working in active partnership with the staff, we have completed a six-week programme on Child Development and Play as well as a Child Protection Workshop. Because of low educational attainment and their own previous experiences of education, it was important that the training supported staff to be active participants in their own learning. Access to translation was also key. From one-to-one meetings with the staff in my first number of weeks in my role, staff informed me that they had been taught as children to be seen and not heard, don’t challenge your teacher, the teacher is always right etc – reminding me of Paulo Freire’s concept of ‘Educational Banking’. I wanted them to experience a new way of learning. My goal was for the staff to build confidence around the topics and begin to challenge me as a facilitator – ask questions, offer different examples, problem solve and to realise that EVERYBODY has something to contribute. 

The Presentation Sisters, are constantly striving to up-skill staff and encourage learning and further education. Being able to contribute to this process has meant a great deal to me and I hope that this term’s scheduled training will continue to provide learning opportunities for the staff. 

 Working hands on with staff and parents is a big part of my day. The approach I have taken is to work in partnership with both groups. Each task and intervention are as important as the next. From general cleaning to workshops. 

Finally, most of my day revolves around the main stakeholders of the organisation – the children! Each one an individual and special in their own unique way. Although they face many challenges because of their disabilities, Cheshire Home is allowing them to experience childhood and always striving to acknowledge their rights to safety, protection, education and non- discrimination under the UNCRC.  

I find it difficult to write from a personal perspective, and I hope I have provided you with some insight into my time here so far. If I had any advice for fellow volunteers? Do not be taken in by a romanticised idea of volunteering. I took on this role and contract with the same level of commitment and dedication as I would have a professional position at home. I can see how roles like mine, filled by professional volunteers are helping to meet the ongoing and demanding needs of projects overseas. The minimum cost of placing a child in residential care in Ireland is over one thousand two hundred per week. The Cheshire Home is running on the generosity of funders and the unwavering commitment of both Sister Cathy and Sister Stella.”

IT Specialist (with French) Required for Education Project in NW Haiti

 

Viatores Christi (VC) works in the area of development cooperation in the faith based development sector. We specialise in the recruitment, training and placement of skilled development workers on projects overseas which have a skills gap identified by a local partner.

VC is now seeking a suitably IT professional for an IT Project Manager role in Haiti.  He or she should have a good level of French with experience in all aspects IT systems (management, implementation, training).

Our partner, based in a women’s empowerment and education project in North Western Haiti, seeks a volunteer development worker IT Specialist with good all round skills and experience in managing and supporting basic IT systems (hardware and software) within an education/training setting.
The ideal candidate will need to possess strong project management skills in developing and overseeing the refurb of an IT training centre and development of programmes, identification and training of local counterparts, delivery of training to staff and local school teachers.

The duration of the role is for 12 months and accommodation is provided by the local partner.

The area is in quiet, beautiful and colourful region in Haiti and this role in a grassroots project will offer the volunteer the opportunity to live and work with the local people and become part of their community.

The role is funded from the Irish Aid Overseas Aid Budget and the development worker will receive an allowance.  Flights, insurances, vaccinations and other costs will also be covered.

For further details, including a detailed role description, please email us!

Montessori Teacher with Spanish Required for Exciting Role in the Dominican Republic!

Viatores Christi (VC) works in the area of development cooperation in the faith based development sector. We specialise in the recruitment, training and placement of skilled development workers on projects overseas which have a skills gap identified by a local partner.

VC is now seeking a suitably qualified person, who has a good level of Spanish with experience in Montessori teaching for an exciting Teacher Training role in the Dominican Republic!

The Volunteer Development Worker Teacher is required to help develop and design programmes for pre-school children of sugar cane workers in the area who currently have no access to early childhood education or early intervention programmes locally.

The Volunteer Development Worker Teacher will work with existing and newly hired local pre-school teachers to help build their capacity, set up training and mentoring programmes and identify and train local counterparts to take over the role. The Volunteer Development Worker Teacher must speak Spanish or be willing to undertake Spanish classes to improve their level of the language.

The project is part of an early interventional education programme which aims to positively impact marginalised children.

The duration of the role is for 12 months and accommodation is provided by the local partner.

The area is quiet, safe and quite beautiful with all year round sunshine and plentiful opportunities to enjoy local life and the many festivals.

The role is funded from the Irish Aid Overseas Aid Budget and the development worker will receive an allowance.  Flights, insurances, vaccinations and other costs will also be covered.

For further details, including a detailed role description, please email us!

 

Venture – Training for Development (Autumn 2017)

Introduction

Venture Autumn 2017 is an excellent, comprehensive programme delivered over four weekends between September and December 2017.

The course also has online modules (using Moodle) in

Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection

Research Methodologies

*New* Technical Writing

Course / Module
Global Awareness, Health 16-17 Sept 2017
Community Development and Leadership 14-15 Oct 2017
Project Cycle Management, Monitoring & Evaluation 11-12 Nov 2017
Cultural Adaptation, Challenge & Conflict, Research Methodologies (New module) Please note some modules including Research Methodologies have an online component using Moodle. 9-10 Dec 2017

Who is this for?
Prospective development workers, missionaries or volunteers who intend to work and live in a developing country.

What will you learn?

While providing a some keys skills and knowledge in practical overseas development it will also help participants to discern if a long term volunteer commitment is for them.  It is crucial that development workers, missionaries or volunteers are well prepared; this helps ensure that they can remain committed to the challenges of living and working overseas.

Programme

Module 1 Introduction and Logistics sessions.
Module 2 Global Awareness.
Module 3 Mission and Development –This is aimed at those working in the faith-based sector and is held after the returned volunteer speaker each Sunday morning.
Module 4 Returned Volunteer Speakers. Four speakers will input, one on each weekend
Module 5 Health
Module 6 Community Development and Leadership
Module 7 Cultural Adaptation
Module 8 Challenge and Conflict
Module 9 Research Methodologies
Module 10 Project Cycle Management and Monitoring & Evaluation
Module 11 Online Security Course mandatory for all trainees (UNDSS)
Module 12 Comhlámh Volunteer Charter
Online The course also has online modules (using Moodle) in

Child & Vulnerable Adult Protection

Research Methodologies

*New* Technical Writing

 

The programme is delivered by facilitators who are experts in the sector.

Course fee €400 (less 20% for unwaged)

Register and pay online here.

Overseas Volunteering Info & Recruitment Session

Thinking of volunteering this year?

VC has been recruiting, training and placing skilled people on projects overseas for over 56 years and we have learned a few things…

Guarantee that your time volunteering will make the best impact – prepare, prepare and prepare!
Get to know the issues and the root causes of global injustice
Get to know yourself!
Go only where you are needed

Come and meet us!

Come and meet us in BELFAST on Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 7.30pm in St John’s Parochial House, Falls Road, Belfast BT12 6EN 

to learn more about our current vacancies overseas as well as our part-time overseas development training programme Venture 2017 (one weekend per month over 4 months at VC HQ) which is aimed at prospective Development Workers and Volunteers and offers an experience that will give the volunteer or development worker the confidence that he/she is fully prepared to work overseas.  

Call 01-8689986 or email us for further information!

 

Digital Marketing Officer Required at VC!

Digital Marketing Officer 

A Digital Marketing Officer is being sought to assist with, develop and manage the organisation’s internal and external digital communications in relation to updating and maintaining the website, social media accounts, writing blog posts as well as working on the organisation’s inbound marketing strategy and assisting with quarterly campaigns around recruitment and training.
Job Description
Roll-out and implementation of VC 2017-18 Inbound Marketing Campaign
WordPress website management
Writing, posting and maintaining blog
Online outreach and promotion using Social Media
Manage media contacts list and establish media database on Salesforce
Assist with drafting/issuing of media releases for dissemination to national media
Research and implement communication tools
 Qualifications and skills required are
A strong capacity for analysis, communication and information management
Excellent communication skills
Full proficiency in spoken and written English
Third level qualification preferably in digital marketing
Ability to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure
Excellent interpersonal skills, team worker and good listener
Ability to take initiatives and be flexible and adaptable in a changing environment
Advanced computer literacy in marketing/communications desktop/online packages
Some previous experience required
Terms
Part-time, initial 3 months contract
Would suit recent graduate who is seeking gain experience or a student seeking a work placement
To apply
Send CV and cover letter to apply@viatoreschristi.com

Final Talk in “He Has Spoken Through the Prophets”

He Has Spoken Through the Prophets…

VC Invites You to a Our Final Seminar in this Series on Renewal

After a very successful series of talks so far we really look forward to the final talk in this series on Wednesday 7th June!

This talk, featuring broadcaster and journalist Pat Coyle will be from the perspective of a lay woman.

Pat was born in Derry City in 1957 and was ten when the troubles’ started. The Catholic Church and the war on her front street have been two of the most potent patriarchal forces in her life. She is a graduate of Philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology. In 2005 she took up the post of Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland where she works today.

 Time: 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Lecture Hall, Belvedere College Dublin 1

Suggested donation €10

To book you place call 01-8689986 or email info@viatoreschristi.com

Executive Director Required for South Africa

Executive Director

South Africa

Viatores Christi (VC) works in the area of development cooperation in the faith-based development sector. We specialise in the recruitment, training and placement of skilled people on projects identified by a mission partner which meets the needs of the beneficiaries. We also specialise in the monitoring and implementation of projects as well as in the provision of experts in developing countries for targeted consultancy.  Since 1960 we have recruited, trained and placed over 2000 specialists of varied disciplines in 48 different countries. Today, our members work in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

VC seeks a suitably qualified candidate for the position of Executive Director for its mission partner the Salesians of Don Bosco in South Africa:

Position Title: Executive Director

Type of Assignment: Salaried, International Development Worker

Project Title: Salesians Institute Youth Project (SIYP)

Duration: 3 year contract

Location, Country: Cape Town, South Africa

Expected Starting Date: Q3 2017

Background:

The Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco were founded in Italy in 1859 and in 1896 first came to Cape Town. The first centre to care for at risk youth was founded in 1910 and since then the focus of the Salesian Institute Youth projects (SIYP) has been to serve the needs of the most vulnerable, marginalized youth to aim to bring about lasting change in their lives.

As an organization, the SIYP is dedicated to serving the needs of vulnerable youth. It focuses on building their capacity and skills through a broad range of customized programmes and assists the youth by securing employment.

Role Description:

The Salesians Institute Youth Project (SIYP) is now seeking to hire a new Executive Director to lead the organization through its next chapter of growth. 

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the SIYP, programmes, expansion, and execution of its mission. S/he will initially develop a deep knowledge of core programmes, fundraising and operations.

Leadership & Management:

  • Bring about any necessary organization restructure and create mechanisms for change management to ensure successful transition from current organizational dynamic.
  • Ensure ongoing local programmatic excellence, rigorous program evaluation, and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, communications, and systems; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve the strategic goals.
  • Actively engage and energize volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors. This includes communicating regularly and effectively with the Board and providing, in a timely and accurate manner, all information necessary for the Board to function properly and to make informed decisions.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain a high-performance management team
  • Ensure effective systems to track scaling progress, and regularly evaluate programme components, to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.

Financial Performance and Organisational Viability:

  • Develop resources sufficient to ensure the financial health of the organization.
  • Responsible for the fiscal integrity of the organization, which includes developing and planning annual budgets, working with the CFO to develop appropriate management and risk management systems and actively engaging the Board of Directors in supporting the overall health and financial wellbeing of the organization
  • Reviews all policies and procedures for all functions and for the day-to-day operation of the organisation
  • Ensures the organization adheres to all local and national policies as required for SIYP and its registration as a charity.

Fundraising & Communications:

  • Expand fundraising activities to support existing programme operations and overall organizational growth
  • Develop and manage systems for the monitoring of activities to generate sustainable and diverse income sources for the organization
  • Refine and develop a strategy to expand all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand.
  • Actively network and develop new relationships to garner new opportunities  – including  initiation and development of government liaison and with international donors and foundations
  • Be the lead national voice that publishes and communicates programme results with an emphasis on the successes to media, donors and potential new donors.

Planning & New Business:

  • Creates and manages the role out of a strategic business plan for the organisation
  • Build partnerships in new markets, establishing relationships with the funders, with political and community leaders.

Qualifications/Requirements:

This appointment will be the first external lay person to take on this role, therefore it is crucial that the candidate not only meets the criteria below but also can demonstrate an understanding of the ethos and values of the organization, its faith based approach, in the Catholic tradition and how this influences the work of the organization.  The successful candidate must be thoroughly committed to this mission of the SIYP. All candidates should have proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience as well as the ability to manage cultural diversity.

Specific requirements include:

  • Advanced degree, with at least 10 years of senior management experience; track record of effectively leading and regionally and/or nationally scaling a performancebased organization and staff; ability to point to specific examples of having developed and operationalised strategies that have taken an organization and team to the next stage of growth
  • Steadfast commitment to quality programmes and data-driven programme evaluations
  • Excellence in organisational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Past success working with a Board of Directors with the ability to cultivate existing board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

Conditions of Service

3 year contract, basic relocation package

To Apply:  Please email a letter of motivation and a detailed CV outlining all areas of experience relevant to the role to colette@viatoreschristi.com by 5pm on 6th June 2017

Retreat & Gathering for VC Members

Viatores Christi would like to invite you to a

Retreat & Gathering
Led by Fr. Donal Dorr SPS

from Saturday 10th to Sunday 11th June.

In Gormanston Park, Co Meath

Arrival on Saturday 10th June at 1pm for lunch (attendees may also arrive earlier)
Closing on Sunday 11th June at 4pm approx (after 3pm Eucharist)

The weekend will give time for reflection and prayer but also for tapping into or re-kindling the enthusiasm and spirit of our VC experience as well as re-connecting with our VC family.  There will also be time to make new friends or renew old friendships, tell stories and generally be together!

Cost €80 to €85
(includes B&B in single or 6-bed dormitory room on Saturday night and all meals and tea/coffee breaks)

To register:
Click here to download event booking form, complete and return by email to info@viatoreschristi.com or by post with €30 deposit by Monday 22ndMay 2017

 
Payment Options:
Cash or cheque made payable to Viatores Christi
Electronic transfer to our bank: Bank of Ireland, College Green, D2,  BIC: BOFIIE2D, Account No. 38239797, Sort Code 90-00-17, IBAN: IE34 BOFI 9000 1738 2397 97 – (remember to mention Retreat)
Make a quick, secure online credit/debit card payment through our website below: 

Pay €30 deposit for VC Retreat
Pay VC Retreat Cost Dorm 

 

Pay VC Retreat Cost Single Room

Getting there:
Gormanston Park is off Exit 6 on the M1 Northbound
Please click here for more information
Let us know if you would like a lift (we will try to facilitate this as far as possible) or if you can provide a lift to somebody else.

For further information please email Nora Casey noracasey45@gm
ail.com  or call the VC office at 01-8689986.

We look forward to seeing you on 10th and 11th June!

He has spoken through the prophets…

VCTalkImage

He Has Spoken Through the Prophets…

VC Invites You to a Seminar Series on Renewal

We are delighted to announce that VC will hold a number of seminars on renewal and the future of the Church during April, May and June. This will consist of a series of hard-hitting thought-provoking seminars from different perspectives featuring the following speakers:

Bishop Willie Walsh April 4th 2017

Click to hear his talk

 

Fr Mark Patrick Hederman May 3rd 2017

 

Patricia Coyle June 7th 2017

About our speakers

Bishop Willie Walsh is not afraid to ask the difficult questions – questions that willneed to be faced by the institutional Church if it is to try and regain the credibility lost in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century.” Columba Press.
A native of Roscrea Bishop Walsh  was ordained in 1959 in Rome at the ageof 24. He taught for a year at Coláiste Einde, Galway and joined the staff of St Flannan’s College, Ennis in 1963. He became Bishop of Killaloe in 1995 and served until 2010. He was succeeded by Bishop Kieran O’Reilly.

Mark Hederman is Abbot of Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. A former headmaster of Glenstal Abbey School, he is author of a number of number of books, the two most recent being Underground Cathedrals, Columba Press, 2010 and Dancing with Dinosaurs, 2011. With a doctorate in the philosophy of education, Mark Patrick has a reputation for being thought provoking, insightful and wise. He has lectured in philosophy and literature in America and Nigeria as well as Ireland,

Pat Coyle was born in Derry City in 1957 and was ten when the troubles’ started. The Catholic Church and the war on her front street have been two of the most potent patriarchal forces in her life. She is a graduate of Philosophy from the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology. In 2005 she took up the post of Director of Communications for the Jesuits in Ireland where she works today.

 Time: 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Lecture Hall, Belvedere College Dublin 1

Suggested donation €10

To book you place call 01-8689986 or email info@viatoreschristi.com