Young men and women have been walking in the footsteps of Saint Justin de Jacobis, together with native Vincentian priests, brothers and Daughters of Charity in Ethiopia. They are the Vincentian Lay Missionaries of the United States and Ireland.
In Bahir Dar, VLM work at the Blessed Ghebre Michael Catholic School. The school is located on the outskirts of the city of Bahir Dar, and serves 500 students in grades K-8. The students come from all over the city and countryside to attend the school.
VLM teach English in the mornings and work in the afternoons doing a variety of different ministries. There may be the opportunity to provide professional development training for the school’s teachers, or work with women from the area by teaching English, or assisting with grant writing.
When I arrived in Ethiopia, whatever reservations I had about coming were quickly resolved through the Sisters’ generosity. They immediately took me in as part of their family. Day in and day out, the Sisters paved the way for me to use my gifts as a teacher to bring about change for the school and local community. Even though I was only there a month, I know in my heart that many of the people I met will stay with me forever.
VLM have worked in Jimma since 2007 as teachers at the Ginjo, Tulema, and St. Peter and Paul Catholic schools. In Jimma, VLM teach English to students in grades 1-6 during the month of July. Jimma is located in Southern Ethiopia, a beautiful area know for its rolling hills and delicious coffee.
What happens during VLM is truly transformative. The community of Jimma welcomed us with open arms and hearts, along with their famous Ethiopian hospitality. From our time learning from and forming relationships with those we came to love in Jimma, I have gained a greater understanding of our world and what it means to be a global citizen, and a member of the human race.
Saying #IamVincent means we follow in the footsteps of Saints!
Now, enjoy some images of the Irish VLMs in Bulbula!