Good News Corp (GNC) is an overseas volunteer program started by the International Youth Fellowship. It seeks to nurture leadership qualities in youths by exposing them to different cultures. The program uses short-term overseas volunteering opportunities, which allow youths to challenge themselves and broaden their perspective of the world.
Youths, typically between the ages of 18 and 35, spend 10 to 12 months in a foreign country, where they exchange cultures with natives. While spending time there, they experience the joy of living from something greater than themselves and develop lasting bonds. Ultimately, they join a global network of volunteer leaders with a mindset to serve.
IYF Jamaica, a participating branch of the GNC program, hosted volunteers from countries like South Korea, Mexico, Peru, Australia, Colombia, Haiti, China, Thailand and the United States. Each year a new set of volunteers arrive on our shores and are trained as future leaders. Jamaica also reciprocates by dispatching local youth to other IYF branches.
Things you need to go on GNC
- Open mind — Be willing to look beyond yourself; volunteerism is about service and sacrifice.
- Travel Documents — You need to fulfil the legal requirements for leaving this country and entering another: passport, visa, etc.
- Commitment — Willingness to step beyond your limitation and experience something new; you don’t know yourself as well as you think. Be willing to try when asked and trust your hosts.
- Airfare — Money to cover your travel costs to and from your destination.
Things IYF is responsible for
The IYF branch country hosts will provide transportation, food, and medical expenses (where applicable) for all volunteers during the time of their service.
The Mindset of a Volunteer
Your tenure as a volunteer in another country is challenging. There will be more obstacles to overcome and they will certainly be different from your home routine. A volunteer needs to have a clear understanding of why they are doing this. During the workshop, the IYF Jamaica Director explained the mindset of a volunteer.
Solomon had one of the greatest gifts that one can hope for: he was able to understand the heart of the people around him. We have a natural tendency to react to the actions of others and rarely consider their heart and motive. However, when this component is added we learn that it isn’t always right to be right. Instead of defending ourselves and proving how we were misunderstood, once we set that aside and listen, a whole new world opens up. This becomes the foundation for relationships built on trust.
He asked prospective volunteers to join the program with the understanding that they have many weaknesses and a lot to learn. They will make mistakes, accepting that it is okay to be wrong is the starting point for learning. Once we accept that we are lacking and need guidance or correction, we can learn many things from the people around us.
The workshop participants were excited about the program. As they prepare for upcoming dispatch to various countries, IYF managers will be there to guide them every step of the way. We hope that as they embark on this new chapter of their lives, they will discover precious treasures that they will hold for the rest of their lives.