A New Concept of Mission
A New Concept of Mission*
Global Justice Volunteers is based on a philosophy of mutuality in mission. Mission with, not mission to or for others. The model is one of solidarity, accompaniment, reciprocity, and subsidiarity.
Solidarity - When we say that the volunteers are in “solidarity” with the work of members of the community, we mean that the volunteers stand with the individuals and organizations with whom they are placed.
Accompaniment - By “accompaniment” we mean that the volunteers are participants in a ministry of presence. The volunteers accompany the work of the organization and groups by their willingness to be incorporated into the existing structure of the communities’ work and life. Although the additional presence of volunteers does create new dynamics within the communities, the presence of the volunteers should not disrupt or redirect the present work and methodology of the local organizations. Also, the volunteers are not to displace local, paid volunteers or workers.
Reciprocity - By “reciprocity” we mean that volunteers and communities will learn with and from each other. Both groups will contribute to the learning. Both groups will receive. This is true mutuality in mission.
Subsidiarity - By “subsidiarity” we mean that the volunteers will be placed within local communities at the most grassroots levels of the partnership organization or community group.
The program is not designed to match a volunteer's specific skills with the needs of a local site. In this respect, the program is not a volunteer placement service in which a particular individual's skills are matched with the work needs of the volunteer site. Acceptance to the program is based upon an individual's desire and willingness to accompany individuals and community groups in their work for social justice. Global Justice Volunteers do not replace or assume the responsibilities of leaders within the host communities.
* (adapted from Dr. Glory E. Dharmaraj, “Concepts of Mission” GBGM Women’s Division 1999)