Over the course of the programme, which commences in September 2021, the volunteers will be based in Birmingham, the UK’s second largest city with the youngest urban population in Europe and one of the most liveliest and diverse regions.
The programme will begin with a period of induction and training during which there will be an opportunity to explore a variety of areas that the volunteers will be expected to engage with. The successful candidates will be expected to contribute to the development of Columban Mission in Britain by engaging in projects which offer support to refugees and asylum seekers as well as programmes which promote good relations between people of differing cultures and faiths. They will engage in activities to help young people and educators explore the relationship between faith and action for justice and peace, working in schools, parishes and on collaborative projects. The volunteers will also be encouraged to participate in a journey of learning and reflection on faith through personal development.
The ideal candidates will have a sense of faith and belonging to the Christian community and be willing to reflect on their faith and its meaning. They will have a proven ability to relate to a wide variety of people and engage with different worldviews whilst immersing themselves within the lives of disadvantaged people. In addition to this they will have experience of working with church groups and a passion for working with young people and engaging them in educational activities.
Faith in Action volunteer Orla Breslin, who participated in the 2019-2020 programme explains, “My understanding of mission has grown as a result of my involvement in the Faith in Action programme, as has my knowledge of other religions and cultures. I am more aware of the asylum system in this country and the issues impacting asylum seekers and refugees locally. I feel more aware of and confident to challenge Islamophobic and anti-immigrant attitudes.”
Berlind Fellermeier who accompanied Orla on last year’s programme explains, “Through various amazing experiences I have learnt a lot, not only about myself but about other faiths and communities too. The programme has given me a real sense of direction for my life. It is quite easy for us to become oblivious to the difficulties faced by others but having witnessed the injustice of the immigration system in this country and the many policies that impact those who are disadvantaged, I hope to contribute further in helping to make the world a better, more just and fair place to live.”
For the duration of the programme the Columbans will provide the volunteers with finance to support accommodation in Birmingham, local transport and basic maintenance allowances.
The Missionary Society of St. Columban, whose regional office in Britain is located in Solihull, Birmingham, is an international Catholic missionary organisation that crosses boundaries of culture and religion to reveal, by word and by action, the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The closing date for applications is 14th of May 2021 and interviews will likely be held on the 10th of June 2021.
Should you have any further questions or queries, or wish to speak to a previous volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.