The program, UnitingWorld Experience exists to strengthen the Uniting Churches’ partnerships with churches throughout Asia, Africa and the Pacific and to build the capacity of these churches to work in their own contexts and transform their communities. It is a wonderful opportunity for mutual learning and sharing of skills and for volunteers and church partners to work together in God’s mission in the world. The program also acts as a way for volunteers’ home churches to connect in real ways with a church community overseas and to share in fellowship together.
From librarians to strategic planners, ministers to music teachers, IT gurus to youth workers, UnitingWorld Experience volunteers work alongside many overseas churches strengthening these partnerships in real and lasting ways. So far in 2014 we’ve had 40 volunteers from all UCA Synods around Australia serving in 15 different countries. Volunteer placements generally range from around two months to three years, with some shorter term placements also possible. All placements are at the request of our partners and we work hard to ensure that all volunteers go into placements that are the right fit for both them and the host church or organisation.
Volunteers are supported throughout the placement process, from pre-service training and orientation, in-situ pastoral support, travel insurance and international SOS coverage, to post-service debriefing and follow-up. While volunteers are self-funded, we also provide fundraising support and in the vast majority of placements accommodation is provided by partner churches.
More detailed information about the UnitingWorld Experience program is available here. UnitingWorld is currently advertising a number of great placements beginning late in 2014 and early in 2015 and these placements can be viewed on the UnitingWorld website. To contact UnitingWorld directly go through the website or contact Laura McGilvray, the Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.