Friday, August 26, 2016

Latin American Service-Learning

I am here in Buenos Aires to attend a Latin American International Conference on Service-Learning.  There are ~500 people here from all over South and Central America, completely filling up all the seats.  The organiser is CLAYSS (Centro Latinoamericano de Aprendizaje y Servicio Solidario).  I noticed that they pronounce CLAYSS in way that  sounds like “Christ”.  I do not know whether it was intentional. 

I was one of the speakers at a panel which presents service-learning in a number of countries: Uruguay, South Africa, Columbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Hong Kong (me). Each of us had ~12-15 minutes.  My talk (about service-learning at PolyU) was well received. They were impressed that we are offering ~70 subjects with 4,500 students.  And that we have some eye practical projects with solar panels, computers, networks, social media, eye examinations, tourism, health, …  

There was a big applause when I told them I always go with the students, and would not ask students to do something that I do not do myself.  Afterwards some people came up to have photos taken with me.  It was great for my ego.  But I am also aware that it is God who allows me to play a part in this great endeavour.  One of the speakers said that it felt good to be with students serving the community fervently.  Those are exactly my felling as well. 

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