Service and Justice Experiences

Community Partners

EcoTeach_Mastatal, Costa Rica

Service and Justice Experience Applications are due by Tuesday, September 4th at 11:59pm!

If you have questions, please contact Ed Sloane:
edward.sloane@villanova.edu  |  [610] 519–6292                                                                                                             

Fall 2018  | October 13-20, 2018

(unless otherwise noted)

The cost listed for each experience below includes transportation, food, and lodging. Cost does not include vaccinations, passport fees, and personal spending money. Some financial assistance will be available but not guaranteed. You will also have 1 ½ months to raise funds with your group. Please speak to Kate if finances are a concern.

Restless Heart Experiences

As an Augustinian University, St. Augustine’s idea of the “restless heart” helps to frame these experiences.

Each of these experiences will involve 5-6 weeks of group meetings before the experience.  These preparation meetings will involve getting to know your group, the community you will enter, Catholic Social Teaching, and other social justice elements of the program. Post break experience will focus on advocacy work related to their host community and of living simply and with an orientation to the common good after the week experience.

Aquinas Center S16

(BEGINS SUNDAY, October 14)

Driving  

Aquinas Center is located on the campus of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Community in the heart of South Philadelphia. Parishioners and guests come together to express hospitality, promote education, and engage in service.  This immersion experience will involve meaningful service that balances interaction with people and demonstrated impact as well as neighborhood tours, educational presentations, and guided reflections to introduce and engage with faith and justice topics. 

Website: http://staquinas.com/aquinascenter/

Cost: $300       Participants: 12

Arkansas Valley 2017

Flying

The Fort Smith area is rugged, mountainous and steeped in rich American history. Arkansas Valley Habitat has constructed close to 100 homes since 1989 in Crawford and Sebastian Counties. In 2015, they celebrated 25 Years of fulfilling homeowners' dreams right in the River Valley.  Participants are lodged at a local church and several meals are shared with people form the community.

Website:http://habitatfs.org/                                                                                                                                                                             

Cost: $750        Participants:14            

2018

Begins Sunday, October 14 

Driving

The Center for Environmental Transformation (CFET) is an environmental retreat center with an urban farm located in Camden, NJ that engages and educates people of all backgrounds to practice a more environmentally responsible way of living on the planet. During the week, the group will spend their days working on service projects at a variety of locations throughout the city. During the evenings, there will be a number of educational sessions which help participants contextualize their experience.

Website: http://www.cfet.org/

Cost: $300       Participants: 12


                                      

2017

There is significant need for both new houses and neighborhood revitalization projects in Winston-Salem where 5% of the housing does not meet the minimum housing code and 2.5% live in over-crowded condition.  Habitat for Humanity is working to remedy this situation.  Participants will stay in dormitory style housing.  They engage many community partners that provide lunch and dinner for the students.

Website:  http://www.habitatforsyth.org/

Cost: $350       Participants: 18

Hand in Hand 2017

(BEGINS SUNDAY, October 14)

Groups working with Hand in Hand near their headquarters in Louisville will work with local residents on a variety of community projects determined by the community itself. Hand in Hand answers the expressed needs of the communities it serves, and Louisville is no different! From time to time, the group will be paired with a local church partner, family, businesses or other area non-profit doing great work to strengthen our community!

Website: http://myhandinhand.org/

Cost: $350       Participants: 15

Maine F15

Driving

Marion County has the highest unemployment rate in the state and poverty housing is rampant. The affiliate is striving to eliminate that by building one quality, affordable home at a time.  Participants will have plenty of work to do and will be welcomed by the Marion community, which prepares most meals for their groups. 

Website:  http://www.marionschabitatforhumanity.org/

Cost: $350 Participants: 18                

Broken Heart Experiences

These experiences go to a deeper level with a mixture of direct service and social justice elements. The framework for these experiences is adapted from Fr. Dean Brackley’s idea of Broken Heart Experiences. 

Each of these experiences will involve at least 5-6 weeks of group meetings before the experience, with international experiences meeting for several additional weeks in the fall semester.  These preparation meetings will involve building community, and going more in-depth to learn about the host community, Catholic Social Teaching, Social Analysis, and other key social justice components.  Post-break experience will focus on advocacy and continuing to live out the experience through pursuing related academic study, media presentations, and making involved choices related to purchasing, sustainability, and more developed sense of solidarity

Benincasa

Benincasa Community is a lay community named for Catherine (Benincasa) di Sienna, the theologian, mystic, reformer, and peacemaker. The community is dedicated to the works of mercy and justice in an era thirsting for humanity's collective recognition of unity and interdependence with all creation.  They are grounded by faith, an emerging understanding of the new cosmology, the development of new economic models in our world, and the need for deepening relationships with the land and one another.  Participants will spend the week living, praying, and working with the Benincasa community in New York City.

Website: http://www.benincasacommunity.org/

Cost: $300       Participants: 10

CFET F16

(Begins Sunday, March 4) 

Driving

Located in central Appalachia, Bethlehem Farm is an intentional Catholic community that strives to transform lives through serving the local community and teaching sustainability. During the week at the Farm, the group works with the surrounding community, prays together, learns about and from the people of Appalachia, and experiences ways of practicing and living a sustainable life. The group may find themselves doing a variety of projects, from working alongside a family in repairing their home to practicing sustainability by working the farm and preparing the food it produces.

Website: http://www.bethlehemfarm.net/main/

Cost: $350       Participants: 15

2017

Northern New Mexico is one of the most unique and culturally distinct areas of the United States. It is the home of both ancient Native American communities and pueblos founded long before the inception of the United States.  Participants will spend time in Santa Fe and possibly time on a reservation living, learning, and working among the local community.

Website: www.communitylearningnetwork.org

Cost: $800       Participants: 14

Homeboy Industries

Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of our community.  The group will spend the mornings at Homeboy taking in their meetings and group activities.  There is potential to work at some of the HomeBoy Industries partners.  The group may also work with other local community organizations

The group may stay at Dolores Mission

Websites: https://www.homeboyindustries.org/ http://www.dolores-mission.org/

Costs: $800     Participants: 10

San Diego is fast becoming the hub of an emerging trans-border culture, and the city is home to the largest refugee population in America. Participants will explore the rich trans-border culture of the San Diego region while participating in volunteer service learning projects along the U.S. side of the international border with Mexico.  Much of this week will be spent learning Via's methods of community development, and coming to a greater understanding of the human aspects of border issues and immigration.

Website: http://www.viainternational.org/san-diego.html     

Costs: $800     Participants: 14          

Winter 2019  | January 5-12, 2019

(unless otherwise noted)

Spring 2018 group

This is a driving "Resless Heart" Experience.  The group will depart campus on Sunday, January 6th.  Habitat Charlotte strives for a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.  Participantes will work along side Charlotte Habitat and have an opportunity to connect with VU alumni during the week.

Website: http://www.habitatcharlotte.org/

Cost: $350       Participants: 16

Fall 2017 group

Mustard Seed Communities' is a "Broken Heart" Experience.  The group will spend the week at the MSC home in Montego Bay, Blessed Assurance, is home to over 30 children with disabilities. On an SJE to Montego Bay, volunteers stay at Blessed Assurance during their entire stay. This provides an opportunity to establish close relationships with the residents.  This experience is similar to a retreat – it is a chance to distance yourself from the convenience of home, hot showers, electronics, and everyday life, in order to help and care for the MSC residents. Be present for them, the staff, and your fellow volunteers.  Interaction with the children is more important than finishing a project. Each group will also have a work project that may include light construction, painting, farming, or landscaping.

Website: http://www.mustardseed.com/home

Cost: $1400 Participants: 12