I am looking for 8 students, undergraduate and/or graduate, to help with a service-learning project in Belize during J-term 2011. I’d prefer students from women’s studies, sociology, anthropology, and folks studies (or anyone else who has a back ground or interest in qualitative field studies/methods). My dream is to have students from at least four different fields. And, yes, this is a three-credit hour elective course. Sound interesting? Well, read the description below; it gets better!
The IMPACT program (International Multi-disciplinary Public and Clinical Health Team) at Western Kentucky University (WKU) is an interdisciplinary service learning program directed by the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS). The departments that collaborate in this endeavor are Public Health, Allied Health, and the School of Nursing. In 2010, the program expanded to include Women’s Studies. During the week of January 7-14, 2010, IMPACT program participants worked in Belize to provide much-needed medical, dental, and public health services to the village of Gales Point. The team of 17 students and 7 faculty members represented the disciplines of Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Public Health, Environmental Health Science, and Women’s Studies.
The WKU IMPACT program has taken place annually in the village of Gales Point, Belize since January of 2005. This program differs from traditional study abroad programs in that faculty and students live in the community and work with the people of the village to solve community problems. Because we adhere to the principles of service learning and combine those practices with a focus on social responsibility, this program is truly unique and provides an excellent opportunity for student engagement. As a result, students develop a clear understanding of the connections between their service, social interactions, and real-life applications. The villagers within Gales Point rely on WKU staff and students for their dental and medical needs; many have never stepped inside a doctor’s office or hospital during their lifetime. In January 2010, students and faculty set-up a clinic for three days and saw 55 out of the 65 households within the village. Students also surveyed the villagers about their water use and tested several water sources. Students held a Health Fair and educated community members on how to live safer and healthier lives. In the future, the Impact program will continue to pursue current initiatives while also expanding to include additional disciplines.
So, if you are interested let me know (just email) and I will give you more details.
Dr. Molly Kerby
Women’s Studies Program