|Organization Name:||A Rocha Canada|
|Project Name:||Homes of Hospitality: Integrating Environmental Stewardship and Spiritual Growth|
|Purpose of Investment:||To facilitate the growth of a residential internship program for environmental education through housing expansion in Surrey BC, and the launch of a new program for interns in Hamilton ON.|
The project will enable the expansion of A Rocha Canada’s (ARC) Internship program, by supporting the creation of 2 new residential internship spaces in ARC’S Hamilton, ON and Surrey, BC centres.
ARC’s Residential Internship Program is currently available at only one of A Rocha’s 3 national centres: the BC Centre in Surrey, BC. It is an apprenticeship-style program designed for anyone 18 years or older, offering 3 different 3.5-month term options annually. Interns participate in community life, receive quality teaching on a variety of topics related to environmental stewardship and Christian faith, as well as instruction and practical experience in their internship concentration area (conservation science, sustainable agriculture, environmental education). Individuals from all over the world are invited to engage fully in what our intentional Christian community life has to offer: regular community meals, worship and prayer, weekly teaching times, mentorship, and mentored retreats. This is a deeply transformative experience for interns, whether they have a faith background or not. Some of them discover God for the first time, while others grow deeper in their faith and gain a more holistic understanding of how to practice it. Many identify their experience at A Rocha as a turning point in their vocational, academic, spiritual, and/or other personal trajectory.
For the last 2 years, ARC’s intern residence at the BC Centre has been used to house a maximum of 7 interns, as well as residential intern coordinators (a family of 4) in 1100 ft2. Thankfully, ARC purchased a 10-acre property with a 4,300 ft2 house in October 2016, which will provide much-needed living space for 12 local and international interns per term (36 annually), 1 apprentice and 1 residential staff family. The house included in the purchase was used for 37 years as a care facility with no renovations occurring during that time. While structurally sound, the interior needs significant upgrades. This acquisition is a major milestone for ARC’s work in BC, as it allows them to share the internship experience with more individuals and transition from a small, poorly insulated building into welcoming, community-oriented living space.
Twelve years after opening their first internship centre in Canada, they will finally start a similar internship program in Hamilton, Ontario and lease a 600ft2 space for 12 annual local and international interns. Interns living at the new “Urban Centre” will have a similar experience to Brooksdale interns, by being immersed in Christian community living, local stewardship projects, and community engagement (ex. refugee services).
ARC has requested $45,000 (45% of total project cost) towards renovation of a newly acquired intern house at the BC Centre, lease of the Urban Centre internship space in Hamilton, and development of an intentional discipleship program for all interns. The project will start in January, 2018 and be completed in January 2019.
1) A 4300 square foot Intern Housing space in Surrey, BC and a 600 square foot Intern Housing space in Hamilton, ON will be purchased and renovated (Surrey) and leased (Hamilton) by the end of this project.
2) 75% growth in number of annual interns (from 20 to 35) who attend 3.5-month internship programs by the end of the project, with a capacity for future growth to 48 interns annually.
3) 8 spiritual mentors will be identified and trained for one hour per week over three months using newly developed curriculum in order to disciple interns one hour per week throughout their internship stay.