Student blogs share service-learning experiences
Every year, students can choose to enhance their academic studies with a variety of service-learning programs aimed at broadening their views, exposing them to new cultures and providing a sense of community and civic duty. Twenty students recently set off to Tanzania, Ecuador and Leaf Rapids for five life-changing weeks. They are sharing their personal day-to-day accounts in a series of student blogs from each location.
Here is an excerpt from a recent entry in the Tanzania blog ‘Changing the Way We See Things’:
“Normally I eat a vegetarian diet, but sometimes this proves difficult while in a different country and other times I don’t want to limit my experiences by staying restricted to a diet. Also, something that I have thought more about, is how privileged I am to make a conscious choice of what I eat. At home, I choose a vegetarian diet because of moral and ethical reasons that fit my lifestyle. I know that I am still able to stay healthy and nutritious with these choices.
However this is not a choice most of the world gets to make. Especially for those who live in poverty, or who have limited access to food. As I was reading through the Background Information on Bunda that Susie provided us, the awareness of my privilege became undeniable. The 2005 Poverty and Human Development Report indicates that as many as 68% of people living in Bunda District live below the poverty line, and according to the Bunda Health Department, anemia is a major cause of death in children under the age of five (malaria is the number one reason). In Bunda District, over 80% of people work in the agriculture sector. However, production of food and cash crops has decreased over recent years because of environmental concerns, traditional farming, and lack of access to agricultural input. This results in farmers selling crops at a low price, and can cause serious economic stress for families.”
To find out more about service-learning at the University of Manitoba or to apply for a local or international service-learning opportunity, visit the Service-Learning website.