Service and Justice Experiences

Community Partners

EcoTeach_Mastatal, Costa Rica

Service and Justice Experience Participant Applications are due by Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:59pm!

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

Spring 2019  | March 2-9, 2019

(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 Ed 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, March 3rd

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

2017

Driving

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

Begins Sunday, March 3rd

Flying

GRID Alternatives helps low-income families save money while bringing clean solar energy onto the grid, providing volunteers and job seekers with hands-on experience in solar installation. The Grid Alternatives Salinas office works with agricultural communities that grow a large portion of America’s salad greens and other produce. In their free time, participants will trace the steps of Cesar Chavez, who organized the United States’ migrant farmer workers for just working conditions, and explore the coast.

Website: https://gridalternatives.org/centralcoast                                                                                    

Cost: $800        Participants:12            

2018

Driving

Hickory is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and has been named an “All-American City” three times. Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley is a non-profit, Christian-based community organization dedicated to building simple, decent, and affordable housing for hard-working, low-income families in their community. At this first-year only site, participants will not only build with their hands but they will learn and grow alongside community members.

Website: http://www.hickoryhabitat.org/index.html

Cost: $350       Participants: 16


                                      

Flying

Habitat for Humanity of Taos fills an important need in the Taos community, where 90% of the population cannot afford to purchase a home. Taos’ average home price is over $300,000, but the median Household income is under $32,000. Most of the home building is done by volunteers, but paid professionals oversee work, including licensed plumbers, electricians and construction supervisors. On this experience participants will have the unique opportunity to build an adobe home. Adobe is traditionally a mix of earth/clay, water, sand, and an organic material such as straw. It is one of the oldest building materials known to humans and offers significant advantages due to greater thermal mass. Adobe buildings can be perfect for a desert climate as they hold in the proper amounts of hot or cold air depending upon the season.  

Website: http://www.taoshabitat.org/

Cost: $750       Participants: 14

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                

Begins Sunday, March 3rd

Driving

Participants will engage in the Urban Challenge Program where they will have the opportunity to build bridges of understanding. The group will confront issues which divide us – poverty, race, class – in a prayerful and constructive environment.  During the day, the group may work at a variety of social service and education sites in Camden and Philadelphia. In the evening, they will have the opportunity to discuss urban poverty and social and economic justice, and reflect on our call, as disciples, to embrace a “preferential option for the poor.”

Website: http://www.romero-center.org/

Cost: $300    Participants: 12

 

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

Flying

Annunciation House is a Catholic organization that accompanies the migrant, homeless, and economically vulnerable peoples of the border region through hospitality, advocacy, and education.  Participants will learn about the issues facing the border area such as immigration, economic development, human rights, and social justice.  The food that participants will eat and the conditions in which they will live are as much a part of the experience as the people and groups that they will meet.

Website: http://annunciationhouse.org/baexperience/

Cost: $750       Participants: 14 

Flying

During this week of immersion, students live on Rancho Mastatal, an environmentally sustainable ranch where they learn practices of sustainability.  Students also have opportunities to learn about the economic and cultural make-up of the local Costa Rican communities, especially during two days of home stays.  

Website: http://ecoteach.com/

Cost: $1,400    Participants: 15

 

Driving

Since 2004 The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia has worked to provide individuals with interfaith experiences, skills, and knowledge that will increase understanding, improve attitudes, and celebrate diversity within the public square. Participants will learn about, and dialogue with, diverse faith communities, attend worship gatherings, and meet with people of Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Quaker, and other faith traditions. They will meet the leaders and members of grassroots community organizations to understand what they do and why. Finally, they will participate in structured skill building workshops and reflection.

Website: https://www.interfaithphiladelphia.org

Cost: $300                   Participants: 12

 

Flying

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.

Websites: http://www.viainternational.org/locations/san-diego

Costs: $800     Participants: 10

Applications for this experience only are due on October 24th, 2018 by 11:59 PM. Decisions will be released on October 29th, 2018.

To apply follow this link: https://vuc.formstack.com/forms/sje_application_casa

Driving

New in 2018, this experience was created in partnership with LEVEL and the Office of Disability Services to provide all students of all abilities the opportunity to serve, grow, and embrace an opportunity to change the way people see ability. The Discovery Trail and Triple Play Farm serve all ages, all abilities, and set out to use the outdoors in a safe and delightful way along with integrating therapeutic animals into the overall experience.  Students who are chosen for this experience will work at two different facilities, help improve the physical landscape, interact with students from a local school who utilize the facility, and dive deeper into nature based therapeutic/educational programming.

Check out this video to get a glimpse into this experience: https://vimeo.com/268601126

·       Vans will be provided for transportation.

·       Lodging will take place in a local hotel to account for accessibility needs.

 

Websites: http://www.rcdiscoverytrail.org/; http://www.tripleplayfarm.com/

 

Costs: $250     Participants: 20