Fifteen Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers are serving in five nations across Europe. Here is an update on BVS project sites in Europe, where three volunteers are the first to serve in new projects for the program. The following listing is provided with help from Kristin Flory of the BVS staff, who works in the Brethren Service Europe office in Geneva, Switzerland:
In Bosnia-Herzegovina, Stephanie Barras is serving in Mostar with the OKC Abrasevic Youth Cultural Center. The project is described as a place “where everyone can drink coffee, see films, and attend concerts together regardless of ethnicity.”
In Croatia, Julianne Funk works for the Ecumenical Women’s Initiative in Omis, which grants funds to and networks with women’s groups in the Western Balkans. She concludes her assignment at the end of June.
Also in Croatia, Julia Schmidt is in an interim assignment in Osijek, with plans to return home in mid-summer.
In Germany, Marie Schuster is in Hamburg living and working with the Brot und Rosen Community, a house of hospitality for homeless refugees.
In Ireland, Margaret Hughes and Craig Morphew live and work in two of the four houses of L’Arche Community in Cork. L’Arche is French for “the ark,” and is a community for people living with disabilities.
Also in Ireland, Rosemary Sorg is in Callan with L’Arche Kilkenny Community.
Eight BVS volunteers are working in Northern Ireland:
Andrew Kurtz and Becky Snell work with children at the Quaker Cottage cross community family center in Belfast.
Hannah Monroe lives and works and gardens with L’Arche Community in Belfast.
Sarah Caldwell just arrived in Belfast for a new BVS project site called Journey Towards Healing.
Megan Miller and Hannah Button-Harrison work with “Compass,” the family and community department of the Methodist Church’s East Belfast Mission.
Megan Haggerty in Richhill, County Armagh, is the first BVS volunteer with Enable, which offers activities and respite weekends to people with intellectual disabilities.
Emma Berkey is the first BVSer working with young people in Downpatrick, with the Youth Initiatives project.
For more about Brethren Volunteer Service go to www.brethren.org/bvs .