Domestic & International Service in Action Trips
Champlain's Service-in-Action Trips (formerly called Alternative Spring Break) take groups of students to different communities to learn and serve. This year the trips, organized by the Center for Service & Sustainability, will go to Uganda and North Carolina. While on these trips students perform direct service in response to community needs and learn about issues such as hunger, homelessness, lack of healthcare, access to education, and poverty as they relate to the community they are visiting.
The Teach for Tomorrow program encourages students to be global citizens by exposing them to another culture through international service. This May will be the second annual trip to Entebbe, Uganda to volunteer at the Malayaka House, an organization that provides a safe, educational and loving home for over 35 orphaned children from birth to 22 years old.
During this three-week international service trip, students will participate in projects varying from teaching after school lessons to the younger students; helping the older students develop working models for their current or future businesses; providing child care to infants; assisting the five Ugandan women ("Aunties") who run the daily operations of the organization; and working on sustainable energy and agriculture projects.
The students will be addressing some of the immediate needs of the organization (i.e. financial support and helping with the daily operations) as well as long-term needs (such as development of sustainable energy systems). By traveling to and staying at the Malayaka House in Uganda students will have the opportunity to learn about and be immersed in another culture; bond with other Champlain students; be exposed to some of the needs and injustices in the political and social structure of Uganda; learn about and witness "another side of Africa" through meeting and getting to know educated, successful, and healthy Ugandans who are making a positive difference in their own country; make an impact with a group of teenage orphans who are already or striving to be young entrepreneurs; learn about the importance of organic farming and permaculture in East Africa and its affect on the local and global environment; and explore the pros and cons to international aid and volunteering.
There are several domestic service trips that the Center leads students on. One of the most popular is the Spring Break Service-in-Action Trip. This year, seven Champlain students went to Burlington, North Carolina to as part of Habitat for Humanity's Collegiate Challenge. Champlain students worked building and renovating affordable housing for low-income residents of Alamance County during the day. At night, students will augment their experience with reflection, dialogue and site visits to local organizations around the city of Burlington.