In what has become an annual tradition, Wake Forest University students will spend a portion of their holiday break overseas serving the poor and disadvantaged. This year, three groups made up of 33 student volunteers and three faculty advisors will travel to India, Honduras and Vietnam.
Wake Forest’s City of Joy Scholars Program will take 11 student volunteers to Calcutta, India (called the City of Joy), Dec. 26 through Jan. 9 to help the Missionaries of Charity change beds, bathe patients, clean wards and feed and comfort the sick and dying.
Twelve other Wake Forest students will travel to the Can Tho Province in Vietnam Dec. 28 through Jan. 11 to work with Peacework Ambassadors, a division of the nonprofit organization Peacework Development Fund that arranges international volunteer service projects around the world for colleges, universities and service organizations.
The student volunteers will help complete construction on a school at the Long Thanh commune in a rural village and participate in activities with local villagers.
From Jan. 2 to Jan. 10, 10 Wake Forest students will participate in the Honduras Outreach Project and Exchange (HOPE), which began in 1997 with the help of Honduras Outreach Inc., a private organization based in Decatur, Ga.
The HOPE Scholars will work on construction projects that will help improve the quality of life in the Agalta Valley, an extremely poor, undeveloped region with the highest infant mortality rate in Honduras.
“These trips are all student initiated and student led. It’s obvious by the number of students who apply each year that it’s crucial for Wake Forest to continue providing this outlet for student service, and clearly there is much need in the world,” said Charidy Hight, assistant director of student development at Wake Forest.
Wake Forest’s international service trips began in 1994 through the efforts of a Wake Forest student who had dreamed of meeting Mother Teresa and working among her Missionaries of Charity since she was a child.
To prepare for these service trips, all students have attended weekly team meetings during the fall semester that focused on different cultural aspects of their trips, attended a team retreat and participated in service projects and fundraising efforts.
The trips are sponsored by Wake Forest’s Student Development office and the Volunteer Service Corps and are made possible in part by the Pro Humanitate Fund for Service-Learning in Action and the Lilly Grant.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Student Flight information is attached. To arrange coverage contact the News Service at 336-758-5237.
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