During the month of March George School students, faculty, and staff will embark on a series of service learning trips across the globe. From volunteering at an earthquake resettlement community in Haiti, to serving as teachers’ assistants in South Africa, students are eager to get to work. “I am excited to go to Nicaragua because I will get to practice my Spanish while effecting real change in the world,” said Bea Feichtenbiner ’19.
This spring’s service learning trips are as follows:
Students will work with an organization called the N a Sonje Foundation (NSF), located in the tiny village of Gwo Jan, a mountainous region about forty-five minutes from Port au Prince. NSF orients visitors, volunteers, and researchers to the history, Creole language, culture, and ethos of Haitian life. For the first several days, students will stay in the NSF guesthouse, with the opportunity for home stays. During the second week, we will explore the wider Haitian community with the NSF team acting as guides. Activities include volunteering at an earthquake resettlement community, meetings with members of youth organizations, visiting rice fields, and a sugar cane mill.
Trip goers will help build affordable houses alongside those who lack adequate shelter in northern Mississippi. The group will enjoy potluck dinners with current and future Habitat homeowners and other members of the community. Students will work to build relationships with the community as they build homes.
George School students will serve as teachers’ assistants in a school in Barrio Riguero, a working-class Managua neighborhood. Other opportunities include repairing and upgrading schools and health clinics in impoverished areas. Students stay with host families. Cultural excursions typically involve visits to artisan markets and historic sites, as well as the lakes and volcanoes for which Nicaragua is known.
Students will be immersed in a cross-cultural exchange with local families near Cape Town, South Africa. While volunteering at primary schools in the area, the students will serve as tutors and assistants to classroom instructors. To help students understand the historical, political, and cultural climate of the country, the group will visit museums and historical landmarks in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
George School will volunteer with the Youth Services Opportunity Project (YSOP), a nonprofit organization. Using orientation and reflection to frame their service experiences, YSOP inspires participants to broaden their perspectives and become engaged citizens. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to visit museums and explore our nation’s capital.
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