Over the past four weeks, we have shared how ISA students, service-learning participants, and staff spent their ISA volunteer days during the fall semester. In Latin America, participants partnered with NGOs in hospitals, dining halls, and with the homeless. In Asia, ISA students gave back through assisting low-income families safely heat their homes. In North Africa and the Middle East, ISA students and participants supported refugees in their abroad communities. This week, we highlight ISA volunteer day events in Europe.
While ISA students can study Dante Alighieri’s Florence: reading and cultural walks, Spain’s evolving social and demographic landscapes, and enlargement of the EU – economic issues in the classroom, there is so much to give, share, and learn when volunteering in your local community.
Prague, Czech Republic
On November 4th, ISA students in Prague spend their ISA volunteer day in a local soup kitchen. Every Saturday, the soup kitchen provides nutritious meals to those in need. ISA students helped by preparing and distributing sandwiches. In addition to volunteering at a soup kitchen, ISA students visited a homeless shelter near the Prague city center and donated clothing.
On November 18th and 19th, ISA students in Florence volunteered with Angeli del Bello Firenze. This organization invites residents and tourists alike to fight against the urban degradation of the historic city in order to preserve the cultural, historical and artistic significance of Florence.
Their first volunteer day was dedicated to cleaning graffiti around their host city of Florence, and their second day was spent planting a community garden.
On December 3rd, ISA students in Rome volunteered with a local organization to help prepare, wrap, and distribute sandwiches to those in need.
On November 20th, students in Granada had the opportunity to visit CEDEFO (Centro-de plan Infoca- de Defensa Forestal). Before the students got to work, they talked with the forest service about fire fighting and forest fires in the Sierra Nevadas.
After testing out the fire hose, ISA students went to the forest service station and tended to their community garden.
The garden grows lavender and rosemary, which are used to make soap and essential oils. When the weeds were pulled and the bushes were trimmed, ISA students went inside to learn about various uses of essential oils. The students ended their day by making their own fragrant packets from the herbs of the garden.
On November 16th, 17th and 18th ISA students in Madrid dedicated their time to volunteering in their local community. Students volunteered at 1 kilo de ayuda, a Madrid-based non-profit that advocates for humanitarian causes, including ending hunger locally and globally. ISA students were able to give back by collecting food donations, preparing baskets of food for those in need, and reorganizing and stocking food in the organization’s food pantry.
In addition, ISA Salamanca students helped provide wool and yarn for the association’s weaving group called ‘¡Quedamos y punto!’ This group decorates the trees around town, in addition to weaving blankets, clothes and other textiles to help people in need or to help specific causes, such as communities who have suffered tsunami, refugees, or victims of earthquakes.
ISA students were featured on the ZOES’ blog!
See how ISA Sevilla students spent their ISA volunteer day contributing to local sustainability efforts. After going for a hike in the mountains north if Sevilla, ISA students were able to visit a rural farm where they learned about the process of growing organic produce, interacted with and fed the animals, and planted trees.
In addition to ISA volunteer days in Europe, ISA Service-Learning offers full-time and Study + Service-Learning programs. ISA Service-Learning connects dedicated people with over 100 local non-profit organizations, schools and clinics that have identified needs and projects to which participants can contribute their time and strengths. Through guided reflection, ISA Service-Learning programs will allow participants to understand how communities across the globe grapple with the complexities of real-world issues.