In the Holy Cross tradition, the International Immersion program strives to remind us that “we must make ourselves at home among more than one people or culture, reminding us again that the farther we go in giving , the more we stand to receive.” (Congregation of Holy Cross Constitution II, 17)
The information below is representative of the program before COVID-19. We hope to continue to partner with these communities in the coming years.
Focus: Forming community for those with developmental disabilities
L’Arche is an international organization, founded by theologian/philosopher Jean Vanier, that organizes and staffs communities for adults with mental and physical disabilities. The purpose of the ministry is to form community in order to heal the wounds from a world that often rejects people with disabilities. You can help by working directly with the core members of the communities (those with developmental disabilities) and their assistants. Days may be spent working in the community's workshop or around the houses.
One Love, One Heart
Focus: Working with the vulnerable
Mustard Seed Communities began in 1978 in the impoverished community of Mona Common on the outskirts of Kingston, Jamaica, as a home for a handful of abandoned and disabled children. Today they serve more than 500 children, young adults and families who belong to the most vulnerable groups in Jamaican society. The populations of their homes include children and young adults with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS and teen mothers along with their babies. You'll contribute to their mission of creating an environment for spiritual, physical and emotional development.
Focus: Service street boys and orphans
Abhayadhama Human Development Center provides a stable environment for the rehabilitation of street boys and economic orphans. The name Abhayadhama is derived from two Sanskrit words: abhaya, meaning without fear, and dhama, meaning home. Time at the center time is spent working directly with the boys in a student-designed and led “summer camp,” along with Holy Cross and lay staff members.
Poverty & Education
Focus: Education & meeting the needs of the community
The Congregation of Holy Cross sponsors several organizations in Peru, including Fe y Alegria, a grammar and high school; Yancana Huasy, a special school for the mentally and physically challenged; and Lord of Hope Parish.
You can be part of the great work being done. Immersion participants volunteer side-by-side with Holy Cross religious and dedicated lay people. Time is spent on various projects that benefit the community at that particular time. In years past, participants have helped in classrooms, assisted in home visits, cleaned and painted, build homes and interacted with the students.
Support & Understanding
Focus: Children in poverty and orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic
Baphumelele Children's Home seeks to provide a temporary shelter for vulnerable/orphaned children and young adults with chronic diseases and HIV/AIDS, and to provide skills development for the unemployed, early childhood care, alleviation of poverty, and healthcare information to the community in Khayelitsha (outside of Cape Town) and surroundings, so that the lives of everyone we touch can become more productive and accepted individuals who make a difference within society.
You can be a part of their work through education and building activities.
For more information, contact Liza Manjarrez.