“[I learned that] it is important to remain good to yourself so that your giving may have longevity.”
“When I broadened my definition of what helping could be and let go of preconceived ideas about the population, I saw a community that would benefit from me just being with them, existing in solidarity beside them, listening to their stories, sharing my own, and making a connection. I saw a staff of people who were trained on the job, yet doing the best that they could with the skills, knowledge, and supplies that they had. In a community where I had perceived only weaknesses, with my new eyes, I saw strengths and places where I could insert myself. My place was not to be simply a ‘doer’ within this community during my short stay in Belize. Rather, my place was to provide a connection, an outlet, an opportunity to share a story that would otherwise perhaps not have been heard and to give of myself by simply being. My hands are only one of the many tools that I have at my disposal.”
“I accepted a trifecta of service-learning… [to]: absorb, learn and be in solidarity with the organization and the people I worked with. I adopted this trifecta of service-learning with a positive outlook and believed that my “not-doing” and just being present was indeed helpful and that my learning would help others as I shared my knowledge and experiences with people in the future.
By Jennifer Fricas, from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference, May 2011: Guiding Meaningful Student Reflection throughout Education Abroad Expereiences
By Jennifer Fricas, from the Global Health Education Consortium Conference, April 2010: North-South Academic-Community Partnerships: A “Learning Away – Learning at Home” Model for Multicultural Collaboration in Nursing Education
By Jennifer Fricas, with Ruth White (Social Work), from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Conference, May 2009: Integrating effective service learning content into education abroad courses