Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 7:48 am | Fair 44º


Record 71 Westmont Students to Serve Abroad This Summer

A record-tying 71 Westmont College students will spend at least four weeks this summer serving communities around the world on 15 teams in 12 countries including Bolivia, China, Guatemala, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Madagascar, Nepal, Philippines, Spain, Taiwan/Korea and Uganda.

Westmont College students Tyler Merkel and Kelsey Canon in Nepal as part of Emmaus Road 2012. (Westmont College photo)
Westmont College students Tyler Merkel and Kelsey Canon in Nepal as part of Emmaus Road 2012. (Westmont College photo)

The student-led, staff-directed Emmaus Road program is in its 15th year, sponsoring activities that serve to increase awareness of global concerns, broadening the worldview of students and promoting the value of diversity.

Last year, the same number of students took part in Emmaus Road, surpassing the previous record of 51 who took part in international service projects in the summer of 1990.

Students in Guatemala City will be working and living for eight weeks alongside staff and missionaries at Casa Bernabé, caring for more than 170 children rescued from abandonment, trafficking and other forms of severe trauma.

In Cochabamba, Bolivia, students will serve at Hospitals of Hope, a nonprofit, Christian, medical missions organization that improves the health care of the under-served. Along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, students will serve with the Edge Project Mission in Altea-Alicante, living out their faith in the area of the arts, culture and community.

Students serving in Jerusalem will work with Musalaha, a nonprofit organization that promotes reconciliation and bridge-building between Israelis and Palestinians.

In Lugazi, Uganda, students will work with orphans and widows at Faith Children’s Home and God’s House of Miracles. They will also teach AIDS and HIV awareness to both teenagers and adults in the community.

Music is the focus of a camp that will serve an indigenous tribe in Taiwan and refugees in South Korea. Team members will teach music and English to children while living with local families.

For the third year, students will travel to Katmandu, Nepal, volunteering at Transformations Nepal, a registered religious non-profit organization that assists the underserved. Students will teach English, basic computer skills, sewing and gardening.

Students will travel to Qingdao, China, to volunteer at the International Care Community, an orphanage serving children with mental and physical disabilities. In a nation with restricted access, students will teach English and assist in building a school on the property.

The Emmaus Road team in Tokyo will assist with English classes and after-school activities at Jiyu Gakuen, a Christian-oriented school with many non-Christian students and faculty. Students will also partner with Mizuba Community Church, a bilingual, independent church.

In Indonesia, students live and work with local families, serving the community in meaningful and helpful ways as directed by leaders.

For the first time, a team will travel to Manila, Philippines, to serve with Kids International Ministries, which seeks to end poverty in slums and on the island of Mindanao. Students will volunteer at sports camps, building projects, tutoring programs and assisting agricultural development.

Another new trip for Emmaus Road will take a team to Mahajanga, Madagascar, to serve with Red Island Restoration, which focuses on health, agriculture and faith. The students will lay the foundation for a much-needed women’s birth center and support Malagasy men and women planting propagules in the mangrove forests.

Emmaus Road is just one program that encourages Westmont students to take part in cross-cultural service to help them understand the impact of world events and cultures.

Each student must raise several thousand dollars for their trip. Click here to help with this year’s service trips.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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