Gloriana Mejias & Adjani Reed, Contributing Writer & Staff Writer
A class of 22 students will embark on a life changing journey to Bolivia that will begin on May 16.
POLS 272 and SPAN 394 students and instructors will travel to Cochabamba, Bolivia, the fourth largest city in its country. While staying in Cochabamba, students from SUNY Oneonta will take part in service learning, which, according to SUNY Oneonta’s Save the Children page, is, “a process through which students learn about a topic, culture, or social issue by serving.”
Dr. Brett Heindl and Professor Alejandra Escudero, professors of the Political Science and Spanish departments and creators of the service program, will be leading the trip.
The class will be working closely with one of the biggest non-governmental organizations in the world, Save the Children. Students have been preparing workshops to empower the children in Bolivia and get them involved. The students hope to raise a total of $10,000 to donate to Save the Children Bolivia.
Aside from participating in a semester-long fundraising effort, the students organized a benefit concert, which was held on April 19, at the Waterfront in Hunt Union.
Packed to the brim with students, family, and professors, the evening began with a short introduction by the energetic hosts Anna Daly and Mary Bilecki. The event had a wonderful line of artists such as this year’s OH-Fest opening act, Ghostwalk, The Philanthropists, Matt Booth, Daniel Marks, and Kasper. Performances by SUNY Oneonta’s Hooked on Tonics and Pitch Slapped also energized the crowd with their fun tunes. Finally, there were lively dance performances by the Oneonta State Dance Team and Kickline.
Decorated with the colors of the Bolivian flag, tables around the room held student-made art, including bracelets, chains, and paintings for sale. A silent auction was also held. The event was successful in raising over $500 toward the cause.
All of the students’ and instructors’ work towards Save the Children International Bolivia will benefit this organization, which aims to provide education, protection, and survival for Bolivian children by 2030.
More specifically, Save the Children also aims to reduce hunger and chronic malnutrition for the children, and has made progress in improving household water and sanitation for kids in Bolivia.
Students and faculty are still raising money for Save the Children until May 2nd. Head over to bolivia2016.org to learn more about the courses offered for this trip, service learning, and how to donate. Containers for the trip’s coin drive are located in various venues on campus.