New Director!

Joyce de Gooijer appointed as VICS Director



Please see the following from Joyce:

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” (Alan Wilson Watts). This quote certainly describes how I’m feeling as the new director of Volunteer International Christian Service. VICS, a lay volunteer mission organization, was started by the Canadian Spiritan priests 42 years ago. Through their discernment, they have chosen to continue their support and involvement in the program with one major change – handing the directorship over to a lay person – me! My name is Joyce de Gooijer and though I plunged into the position early January of this year, in many ways I joined the VICS dance a long time ago.

My history with VICS started 25 years ago when my husband, John, and I experienced our first 2-year volunteer posting. We’ve been out three times now – serving in Kenya, East Africa; Kiribati, Central Pacific and Tanzania, East Africa. VICS matches requests from developing countries with Canadian volunteers’ professional and technical skills. Twenty years of teaching and principal experiences in rural Saskatchewan (most recently in the Watson and Drake areas) served me well for my experiences overseas.

Working alongside people in developing countries often leads to experiences one didn’t expect. In Kenya, I taught Math and English to high school students. Expecting to once again teach in Kiribati, I became the principal at St. Joseph’s College, a 400-student boarding school. And Tanzania? Well, that unfolded in a way I never expected, teaching 13 to 56 year old students with physical disabilities to read and write their national language – Swahili!!

And now as director, I plunge in, move with and am part of the VICS dance in a new way; continuing to respect the program and it’s philosophies within the context of change and moving forward. What an exciting place to be!