FOR THE FIRST TIME IN JVC’S HISTORY, the organization welcomed all incoming Jesuit Volunteers (whether serving in Micronesia or Maine) to an integrated orientation at the start of the 2018 program year.
With the help of some incredible speakers (and a commissioning mass led by Homeboy Industries’ Fr. Greg Boyle), incoming volunteers received an in-depth introduction to JVC’s values and Ignatian roots, training in self-care and other tools necessary to performing vital service, and opportunities for reflection among others with similar placements, affinities, and identities.
Following the success of orientation, we are continuing to explore ways in which we can better foster One JVC: an organization that seamlessly, consistently, and professionally trains and supports its volunteers, agencies, and the communities they serve.
JVC is not simply an organization that places volunteers. It is a movement, a congregation, AND A WAY OF ENGAGING WITH THE WORLD that feels INCREASINGLY RARE.
Why host a single orientation?
One Orientation empowers JVC to offer high-quality, consistent formation and training for all JVs, fully preparing our volunteers to perform vital service regardless of location, target population, or type of work. It also allows JVs to build community and collaborate with the full cohort of volunteers, across the regional and domesticinternational divide, fostering solidarity, learning, and mutual understanding among a larger and more diverse pool of young leaders.
Additionally, JVC can now attract speakers and facilitators from across the nation to share knowledge, expertise, and reflection with every incoming volunteer. The new format also provides opportunities for both large and small group reflection, as well as spaces for volunteers with similar placements, affinities, and identities.
What are affinity group spaces?
JVC recognizes that volunteers with marginalized and underrepresented identities may need an intentional space to further process and hold conversations related to social justice, race, gender, and sexuality. All volunteers who identify as people of color and/or LGBTQ+ individuals are invited to join staff-facilitated affinity groups during orientation and future retreats. JVC continues to offer this intentional space to volunteers via a virtual platform on a monthly basis throughout the JV experience.
What are apostolate group spaces?
Jesuit Volunteers perform vital service in 16 core fields, accompanying poor and marginalized communities as they seek critical services, pastoral ministry, and quality education. JVC has created ongoing spaces for volunteers in each of these fields to support and learn from each other throughout their terms of service. Through collaboration and open discussion over the challenges and blessings of working in their fields, JVs are better positioned to provide high quality and responsive support to the communities who rely on them.