Join us as a Volunteer
Volunteers have been an important part of the Sisters Hospitallers Congregation since our very beginnings. In fact, our founder, Fr. Benedict Menni, worked as a volunteer in Milan, Italy, caring for wounded soldiers arriving from the war in Magenta (1859), as well as with the Red Cross in Spain during the Carlist wars (1873-1876).
The spirit of volunteering is at the heart of what we do – giving of yourself in selfless generosity, for the benefit of your fellow man. Hospitaller volunteers are characterised by the freely-given and solidarity-based style of hospitality they offer to the needy and vulnerable, particularly the mentally ill, mentally handicapped and the sick, with a special emphasis on the poor and marginalised.
Anita T, Volunteer
For a long time I’ve been drawn to the idea of volunteering in a developing country, and in particular I had always wanted to go to Africa to work with children. When I discovered the Sisters Hospitallers, I was really impressed by the knowledge they possessed and by their deep roots in the communities where they work. So I got involved with them and volunteered to spend a month in Ghana, working in the Benito Menni children’s centre.
It was an incredible month. It really opened my eyes and gave me so many experiences I will never forget. I learned a lot, especially about the realities of life for people in these communities, and about the amazing impact of the Sisters Hospitallers.
My role was that of activities organiser, so I got to spend a lot of time with the children – sometimes all 40 of them together and sometimes smaller groups of kids the same age. We played a lot of games, as a way of getting them to socialise and become more expressive and independent. Most of the children had some sort of developmental disability, so games were really important.
I remember one boy – a big 18-year-old – who saw me taking photos and became really fascinated by my camera. He wanted to borrow it so I let him. At first he went off and took a lot of photos that were quite blurry, but I gave him some tips and by the end of my stay he was taking really beautiful shots! And I’ll never forget another little girl, maybe 5 years old, who couldn’t speak because of malnourishment, but her eyes were so big and expressive – when she looked at me I always knew exactly what she was trying to say.
My month in Ghana stays with me, even now that I am back in the UK. I would dearly love to go back, and hope that I will one day. I would absolutely recommend the experience to anyone. The Sisters took such good care of me, and I really felt like part of a warm, caring community.”
If you are inspired by the idea of Hospitality, and if you can give some of your time to brighten the lives of people in need, please do not hesitate to get in touch.