We have taken teams to Cambodia on service-learning projects every year since 2010. This summer, some of the students who went with us in 2013 formed a team to work on their own projects. They call themselves “Connect Beyond Dream”, and worked in a slum in San Sok, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. They helped the local YMCA refine their home-stay program, did a survey of the slum, ran a number of health promotion workshops such as personal hygiene, wound management, shoe painting, etc. They are hoping to form an organisation to continue the effort. This week they are running an exhibition on campus to publicise their project and to recruit new members. They put a lot of effort in organising the exhibition and it has been well-received.
This is what we would like to see happening when we started the credit-bearing service-learning program across the campus. Students continuing to participate in community service not because they have to, but because they want to. We are trying to build a culture of social engagement at the university. And this is hopefully just the beginning.
We are so proud of you. Keep it up.