STUDENT LIFE Apr 1, 2014
In March, students, faculty and staff embarked on seven experiential learning and service trips throughout the world. A total of 111 students and 25 faculty and staff members traveled to Guatemala, Honduras, India, New Orleans, Paris, Romania and South Africa.
The year’s trip to Romania was in its 15th year. Students worked with infants and preschool-aged children at the Romanian Children’s Relief (RCR) and taught classes at an elementary school. The group even witnessed a joyful moment at the RCR’s hospital when 18-month-old Stefan found a foster family.
This year also marked the first trip to Guatemala. Eleven students and three chaperones volunteered at Safe Passage, an organization that offers educational opportunities to children and families living in extreme poverty around Guatemala City’s garbage dump.
Other highlights included:
Sixteen students and four chaperones taught English to fifth to 10th graders at Kaplani School in Mussoorie, India and helped rebuild a water pipeline in Donk Village. The group also visited Agra Fort; Gandhi Museum; the Taj Mahal; and Tibetan Children’s Village.
Nobles returned to New Orleans for the eighth time since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thirty-six students and eight chaperones resided in a former school that has been converted into lodging for up to 300 volunteers. Each day, students divided into groups to work in various sites around the city including Community Center of St Benard, 9th Ward Senior Center, Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter and Camp Restore Construction Projects. They also learned about New Orleans’ charter school system—public schools no longer exist in New Orleans—and visited the Kipp McDonogh 15 School for the Creative Arts where Abby Snyder ’07 now teaches.
In South Africa, 21 students in Classes IV and V and four chaperones connected with students at the St. Brendan’s School and Bakhita Orphanage. The group facilitated games, read to students and helped build a garden. They also returned to Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) this year to reconnect with longtime Nobles friend Thulani Madondo, executive director of KYP and one of CNN's 2012 Heroes of the Year. Students painted shacks, learned gumboot dance, assisted with homework and made lunch for the program. Students also visited Nelson Mandela’s home and completed the trip with a safari ride.