Why We Still Need to Learn about Service via JUMP! Foundation

Why We Still Need to Learn about Service (and how JUMP! is Continuing to Learn!)

 

JUMP! have been supporting international schools to develop and deliver their service learning programs for a number years, and yet still for many of us it is an area in which there are more questions than answers. How can we ensure that an experience is both meaningful for our students and for the communities we aim to ‘serve’? How do we create a project that is possible for our students to participate in and isn’t surface-level or tokenistic? How do we introduce students to the complexity and nuances of the issue without disempowering them?

 

These are frequently-discussed issues at JUMP!, and unfortunately not ones that lend themselves to easy tick-box answers. During my time as a JUMP! facilitator I have participated in a number of debates with partners, teachers, and colleagues about how to improve the impact of service learning on both the students and ‘beneficiaries’. A common theme has been that we need to emphasize the learning part of service learning, both so students can be effective and responsive in how they contribute, but more importantly, so they can continue to apply what they have learned to action they take in the future. JUMP! has found that the best service programs don’t shy away from addressing the complexities of service, but actively weave in ways of exploring the issues and asking the big ‘no-right-answer’ questions, in order to enhance student learning.

 

Keep reading on the JUMP! Foundation website!

10 Years on From DiA and I’m Still Learning… via Development in Action

Ten years on from volunteering with Development in Action Mandarin Bennet is still passionate about ensuring that international volunteering has a lasting impact and ethical underpinning. Here writes about what she has learnt (and continues to learn) since her time with DiA. 

 

I became the UK coordinator for Development in Action nearly a decade ago. What drew me to DiA was that its philosophy on volunteering and development was exactly in line with what I had learned experientially after a year volunteering in Nepal.

 

I volunteered with a rural development organization straight after I graduated from university. Every time I thought I could offer a solution or way of contributing, I would realize that it wasn’t so simple. In fact, the more I looked into the root causes of the problems faced in Nepal, the more I discovered how closely interlinked they were with issues back in the UK. I remember thinking that whatever small contribution my presence could offer to a remote Nepali community, I would be able to have a more powerful impact on the same issues as an activist and educator in my own country.

 

Continue reading on the Development in Action blog!