Serve Refugees – Meet the World in a Neighbourhood – Grow Spiritually in Community
This full-time live-in program gives young people the opportunity to walk alongside refugees in a spirit of service and mutual care; to live with families in a community that intentionally blurs the lines between work and the rest of life; to explore what it looks like to do justice with Spirit; and to be part of building and sustaining a thriving and life-giving community. The life of an intern in our community includes:
- Accompanying refugees in settling in Toronto and navigating the complex refugee determination process: Through our daily intake program, interns support residents and walk-ins in various immigration processes/applications, accessing social assistance and healthcare, searching for affordable housing, enrolling in school, and seeking employment.
- Carrying out many, varied Organisational Tasks: Some of these are more administrative in nature, such as processing financial donations or putting together our newsletter. Others take interns out into our community, such as coordinating our bicycle program, doing public education seminars, spending a day in the garden or running kids’ club or women’s group.
- Serving as a live-in House Coordinator: Pairs of interns support the families who live at Romero House by facilitating house meetings, supporting social relationships between residents, collectively caring for our homes and properties and responding to emergency situations.
- Intentionally Building community: A community of interns emerges as we meet for prayer each morning, share meals and cleaning tasks, spend days and evenings together, and go on retreats. We build the Romero community through birthday and holiday celebrations, our summer camp, weekend excursions, and simply being present to each other whenever possible. We are a community that walks with people through suffering and difficulty, but also that sees the tremendous importance of celebrating.
Romero House invites applications to its internship program from people looking for a meaningful way to spend a year or two or possibly just a summer. You can apply for either our full year (11 month) program (Late August to the end of July), or our summer program (start of May until late August).
To be eligible for the internship program you must:
- Be over 19 years of age
- Have completed high school. University education or training in specific skills will certainly be helpful to you.
- Demonstrate emotional maturity and good judgment. Interns are in a role of tremendous responsibility.
- Be fairly comfortable communicating in English. Fluency in Spanish/French/Arabic or another second language is valued but not essential.
- Be open to fully participating in the Christian and reflective dimension of the Romero House intern community
- Be willing to really give yourself, including on some evenings and weekends, to being an active and present part of the community for the duration of the internship
In addition to these criteria, we seek interns who exhibit some of the following characteristics
- A commitment to social justice
- A desire to give oneself to others in a free and generous spirit
- A willingness to work and live in unfamiliar situations
- An interest in and excitement about learning from other
- A willingness to work hard with competence and care
- An ability to take initiative
- A desire to live in a spirit of simplicity and solidarity, resisting the material inclinations of our culture
Romero House cares for interns in a number of ways, including by offering the following:
- A room in one of our houses and communal meals
- Basic medical and dental coverage (one cleaning and check up per intern year)
- Medical insurance for international interns waiting to qualify for OHIP
- A stipend of $200/month for first year interns, $500/month for second year
- Insurance coverage to drive a Romero House vehicle and the cost of switching to an Ontario drivers license
- Access to a bicycle and
- A public transit passes
- A cell phone subsidy of up to $50/month
- Support to go on a personal retreat and access to possible retreat spaces
- A personal mentor
- Access to lots of fun local entertainment in accompanying families to events (sports, theatre, music etc) via donated tickets
- A return trip home at the end of the internship for those who are not local
Romero House is committed to living in solidarity with our refugee neighbours, most of whom are receiving social assistance. Thus, all Romero salaries and stipends are deliberately modest. We hope that the compensation available makes the internship accessible to applicants regardless of their circumstances. We are happy to try to assist you, as we are able, in requesting a deferral of your student loan.
If you have any questions about any aspects of the internship program, please contact us by emailing our Internship Application Coordinator (Harold Wright) at: email@example.com