Sarah Walker

International Coordinator

Sarah Walker (Melissa Ong)Sarah works within the Operations Directorate as a support for the National Organizations. She coordinates various international projects, such as the International Volunteer Database, the Team Leaders Forum and other events, and is the point person for the International Trustees. She brings a background of literature and programme administration to the team, plus several years of experience with the A Rocha family, particularly France, Canada, the Czech Republic and the UK. Canadian by background, she and her husband, Chris Parkman, are now based at A Rocha France’s Les Courmettes centre in the hills above Côte d’Azur.

Why A Rocha?

I was finishing a degree when I heard about this group who loved God, loved this wild world, lived in community and shared resources – and had a project in France! What? I get to live out my faith, be part of an international community AND speak French every day? My two years volunteering at Les Tourades began a career with this organization whose care for people and the planet inspires me. 20 years later…

What do you enjoy most?

Our residential meetings – they’re an adult version of the summer camps I enjoyed as a kid! Also, I get to connect with staff in the National Organizations and across the International Team. As a people person who thrives on relationship and story, this keeps me going!

Has being an A Rocha volunteer influenced how you do the job?

It helps me see us from different perspectives – as a seasoned family member, able to explain who we are and how we function, and as a newly arrived member. I’ve lived in several countries, including one where I didn’t speak the language, and discovered the joys of culture shock. I hope that makes me a thoughtful listener to potential volunteers, an administrator who can anticipate what support and information we should offer, and a helpful example of someone who has survived (and thrived from) volunteering with us.

Has A Rocha influenced the way you live?

I met my husband! And am daily encouraged by the joint efforts of the A Rocha family to live lightly and care for this beautiful world and all that inhabits it. Be careful, A Rocha can change your life…

I couldn’t do my job without…

The internet – and time outside. All in balance!

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