Mercy Volunteer Corps

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Our international placement in Guyana stands out among other international programs namely because of its location, length of service, and community living. In addition, MVC offers one of the few international programs with a one year commitment instead of two years. Our program has the option to renew for a second year if the volunteer feels called. Lastly, we offer community living. While some programs place one volunteer in a country on their own, MVC places four volunteers in Guyana every year. Mercy Volunteers serve in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, South America. Volunteers serve for one year in an International placement with an opportunity to renew for a second year. Mercy Volunteer Corps has four service sites in Guyana. International volunteers can choose to serve at one or two of the sites. It is helpful for the applicants to have an openness to serving where the need is greatest.

Volunteers are needed at the orphanage to serve as teachers and tutors as well as to lead sports and artistic activities, and to aid in the day-to-day activities of the home. Social work and counseling skills are also useful in the holistic development of the boys. Teaching and/or social work background is helpful but not required. Volunteers are also needed at the vocational school as teachers in the Adolescent Development Program and in remedial subjects (math, reading, computer literacy), as counselors, and to assist with music, dance,

  • Our international placement in Guyana stands out among other international program.
  • MVC offers one of the few international programs with a one year commitment instead of two years.
  • Volunteers serve for one year in an International placement with an opportunity to renew for a second year.
  • Placements are focused on social services, healthcare, and education.
  • International volunteers can choose to serve at one or two of the sites.

Questions & Answers


9.5 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 83.33%
  • 7-8 rating 16.67%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9
  • Safety 8.5
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience That Informs Your Life.

Spending 2 years in Guyana with MVC was one of the greatest ways I have used my life to do good.

The power of living in a faith-based, intentional community has shaped me in a way that I did not anticipate, and have not experienced before or since. Sharing a vision of Mercy in the world and supporting the work of a Hospital's HIV programming, an Orphanage's swimming program and a Vocational School's arts curriculum were all unique experiences. Each one encouraged me to learn, stretch and grow and to live a life of deeper understanding and service, and to watch the fruits of that service blossom in the relationships, moments and memories shared by my MVC community and my Guyanese community.

Guyana is a place of pluralism - in foods, language, religion & cultural customs, music, local humor and even its holidays - all of these layers of intriguing complexity made this site an interdisciplinary dream come true. It's even possible to find conversation classes to keep up your Spanish in this English-speaking country!

I left Guyana wondering if I could have made MORE of a difference, and that is a question I struggled with both on site and since my return. I had a lot of learning to do about what "making a difference" means, and what are reasonable, tangible goals in an unfamiliar host environment. As a recent college grad, I had no defined skill set, and it took a while to find a good occupational fit.

However, in the absence of a profession, I learned the value of the intangible ways that my choice to be open, present and engaged with people in another country has made a difference in the organizations and communities where I served. The MVC staff were very valuable in their ability to listen, help me process and be flexible in their programming to allow me to explore where I could do the most good.

Though I was deeply challenged many times by this experience, on the whole I enjoyed myself, my mission, the support offered by MVC staff and our receiving communities immensely.

I have recommend this and other MVC programs to friends and acquaintances looking to live deeply and be of service, and will continue to recommend and support the program my whole life long.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Greatest accomplishment? Serving with MVC

Serving for 2 years with Mercy Volunteers Corps in Guyana was a life-changing experience for me. I worked at Mercy Wings and at the boys orphanage, as a teacher and tutor and lived in an intentional community with one other volunteer. The program is very well run and was established with a quality, holistic, cross-cultural experience in mind for the volunteer. The local support is tremendous for those who are open and desiring of an immersion experience in the culture, and reflection on their own growth in the values of the program and the reality of what it means to live in a country that is economically and otherwise marginalized by the U.S. and other "developed" countries. Living and working in another country does not automatically mean one comes to understand how the world is viewed from another's point of view, however, if you are willing and able to engage in meaningful relationships and authentic dialogue with the Sisters of Mercy and other Guyanese, it will be a transformative experience beyond anything you can study or "accomplish" in your work.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Mercy Volunteer Corps

When I decided to serve internationally, I was looking for some specific things. Healthcare, Catholic, Community Living, and English Speaking. MVC internation provided all of those and so much more. I work as a volunteer nurse in the highest level of care in one of the best hospitals in Guyana. I get to be at the bedside changing lives and helping people. I get to teach at the nursing school to provide a lasting change in Guyana. We are supported spiritually and emotionally by the Catholic Community here and the Sisters of Mercy. I live with three other volunteers and have been blessed by a supportive and friendly bunch. Guyana has a rich mix cultures: African, East Indian, Caribbean, Portugese, British, Amerindian.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Chaos can be calming and change your life!

Working of Mercy Volunteer Corps in Guyana at first seemed like chaos. Georgetown is a busy city and I felt like I was going to get lost. Slowly but surely I became comfortable in my surrounds and what I once considered the chaos of the city became a comfortable hum to which I was happy to be in.

I work both at a school for at risk teenagers and at a hospital which has a program for individuals with HIV. I find both jobs very fulfilling and challenging. I feel like I am never bored and always have the opportunity to learn more and become a better person. Volunteering here has helped me to learn how important it is to focus on the here and now. Life is precious.

I wouldn't enjoy my experience here nearly as much if I had not tried to become part of the local community. Having local friends that are more like family has transformed my life. I will be forever grateful for the experience MVC has given me by allowing me to work with these wonderful people.

In the end, Georgetown may seem a little chaotic but it's really quite peaceful. Everything has a reason whether we see it or not. Every person a story and every place a new adventure.

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The most defining experience of my life...

I spent two years working with the Mercy Volunteer Corps after I graduated from college. I worked in a hospital, an orphanage and a vocational high school. I was both challenged and empowered in all of these experiences. I lived with a community of people who were also working with MVC. These people have become some of my closest friends. My experience wasn't all butterflies and roses, but when people ask how my experience was...I always respond it was the most defining experience of my life. I met amazing people and discovered a new side of myself. My Guyanese family took care of me. The Sisters of Mercy have an incredible support system for their volunteers and they uniquely made me feel like an intimate part of their family. Guyana is a thread that weaves through the fabric of my life and find that it has helped to shape me into the person that I have become.

3 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Fantastic Faith Based Program

When I decided I wanted to volunteer overseas, I knew I wanted a longer commitment (two years), a faith based program, and one where I lived in community with other volunteers. Mercy Volunteer Corps had everything I was looking for. I really appreciated the small size of the international program. I felt that the program really knew and cared for me as an individual and supported me throughout the whole process. Since I didn't speak a foreign language, I also appreciated that Guyana was English speaking. I fell in love with the work I was doing and found it really meaningful. The two years flew by. I was glad for the longer commitment because it wasn't until around a year that I really felt at home. The Guyanese were so welcoming and hospitable, and I so valued the relationships I formed. I appreciated the culture and learning about the diverse holidays. It was so valuable living with other volunteers who were experiencing the culture shock with me.

2 people found this review helpful.