In the summer of 2017, Georgetown Preparatory School (North Bethesda, MD, USA.) initiated an immersion service trip to Senegal in conjunction with the NGO, Trees for the Future (trees.org) founded by Prep grad, John Leary. Students lived with hosts families and planted “forest gardens”.
It was always our plan to create a service trip in which students and faculty from different Jesuit schools across the globe could experience together- serve, pray and reflect together. Our inaugural trip was a great success!
We now would like to invite any faculty who are interested in participating/observing – with an eye on his or her students joining the trip in 2019 – to join us in Senegal this summer, August 1-12.
Please download the Senegal Immersion 2018 information brochure or read below.
If interested, please contact Marianne Gallagher at [email protected] or Brad Boyle bboyle @gprep.org
Senegal Immersion 2018
· August 1-12, 2018
· 8-10 students
· No language requirement, however priority will be given to French students.
· Approximate cost: $2,800.00
· The trip is during the planting season so students will help plant thousands of trees
· Direct flight from Dulles Airport to Dakar
· The trip starts with a crash course in Wolof language
· We will avoid city centers and tourism centers
· Spend time in villages with your homestay family
· Meet Trees for the Future personnel and Peace Corps Volunteers assigned in the area.
Observe through shadowing
Students will be assigned to a family and get hands-on experience helping their families with work in the field and at home.
Uncover truth through inquiry
Students will learn to use participatory exercises such as community mapping, daily and seasonal calendars, and needs assessments to better support the local community.
This Senegal learning experience will be rooted in values shared with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.
· Reflect on Ignatian Spirituality
· Understand a new sense of Community
· Embody Simple Living and learn a new understanding of needs vs wants.
· Make a plan to achieve Social Justice
Define a vision for the future
Students reflect and determine how they can use their strengths and skills to contribute to a common purpose as they develop a global consciousness.
Implement a plan for change
Students practice and learn professional skills, such as effective communication strategies and project management skills, to make their intended change.
I have never felt more connected to the mission of Georgetown Prep than during my service trip to Senegal. The philosophy underpinning the work of Trees for the Future in Senegal is very much compatible with the fundamental goals of our Jesuit mission and Pope Francis’ Encyclicals: care and compassion for the poor, care for the environment, and care for refugees. These issues are directly addressed by helping local farmers develop sustainable “living gardens,” which in turn increases income dramatically, revitalizes the land, and reduces the need for immigration. The great paradox of service is that those providing the service receive more than they give. The men and women in the small Senegalese village of Ngodiba showed me how did live closer to God and family, and helped me to develop an even greater passion for my role as a Jesuit educator. Peace, Marcos Poole.
What impressed me most about the Senegal Immersion Trip was not the work we were doing or the conditions we were living in, but the people with whom we we were living and interacting. The people of Senegal are some of the happiest and welcoming I have ever met. The way they opened their homes up for us to stay with them, and the sense of community that exists in Senegal is astounding, I think, to any Westerner. Never have I seen such solidarity. Of course, the work we were doing with Trees for the Future was excellent. It will inspire decisions I will make going forward. Austin W.
My Senegal Immersion Trip was an unforgettable, incredible and truly humbling experience. At first, being introduced to a new and unfamiliar culture was uncomfortable. But as time went on, I learned to appreciate my time there to the fullest. The people I met, the things I experienced and did along with my classmates and teachers will be things I never forget. I hope to soon travel back to Senegal and revisit the people and places that made this trip so memorable, made it a trip of a lifetime. Gabe A.