Students visit Cook Islands for service learning project
University students spent two weeks in May on the other side of the world
assisting an island village meet their educational and community needs.
"It was a great trip," said Nicole DiDomenico, director of volunteer programs at Norwich. "We learned much about the culture and issues facing the people of the Cook Islands. It's really easy to say to yourself that it looks like paradise. However, if tourists looked beyond the surface, they would see a community with many of the problems facing other communities. They are dealing with the educational needs of children, the needs of disabled citizens in their community, environmental problems, and health related issues."
Visions Abroad is a collective program organized by the International
Student Office and the Office of Volunteer Programs at Norwich University.
They developed this two-week overseas service trip for our Norwich students
in collaboration with Global Volunteers -- a non-profit grassroots organization
which seeks to create international partnerships by organizing and staffing
projects in various countries. Global Volunteer programs aid in global
development and understanding through individual and/or group participants
hoping to experience and serve another culture foreign to their own.
DiDomenico said that specific accomplishments achieved during the Cook Island visit included:
The Norwich University contingency to the Cook Islands consisted of: Professor Diane Byrne, director of NU's Teacher Licensure Program; Cadet Benjamin Buotte, Junior, International Studies Major; Orlando Craig '04, Mechanical Engineering graduate; Nicole DiDomenico, director of volunteer programs and trip coordinator; Ms. Erika Gervais, Junior, Psychology Major, Elementary Education Minor; Cadet Andrew Mezzetti, Sophomore, Criminal Justice Major; and Cadet Stephanie Tavss, Senior, Communications Major.
The cost associated with the program fees and flights to and from Rarotonga
came from fundraising efforts and, in part, from the participants directly.
For more information on Service Learning at Norwich University, stop by the Office of Volunteer Programs in 223 Harmon Hall or call Nicole DiDomenico at 802.485.2670.
email@example.com, August 2004