One way Cornerstone actively facilitates service learning is through involvement in Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) programs.
A recent example involved Cornerstone Science Teacher, Mr Andrew Weiss, who joined eight other teachers from Lutheran schools across Australia to take part in an ALWS Teacher Study Tour. These teachers visited refugee camps in the small African country of Djibouti. Djibouti is one of the poorest and least developed places on the Earth. Lutheran World Federation (LWF) works in two refugee camps in Djibouti: Ali Addeh and Hol Hol, both of which the teachers visited as part of the tour. When visiting these camps the teachers were involved in shared learning and teaching experiences.
In September, 3 students and a staff member from Cornerstone will be joining with other Lutheran Colleges around Australia, travelling to Cambodia with ALWS’ Student Christian Learning and Service Tour. They will be working with ‘Life With Dignity’, which is an autonomous Cambodian Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that ALWS have partnered with in Cambodia for over 20 years. The focus of their work is rural integrated development and empowerment programs, so the students spend quality time in rural villages learning about the joys and challenges of rural life in Cambodia and the need for justice action.
Last year Cornerstone students and teachers joined Habitat for Humanity in Cambodia. They worked alongside families to lend muscle to help build homes. Habitat for Humanity believes a decent home provides much more than bricks and mortar. It’s the foundation for the future, giving families the opportunity to be more secure, healthy and content, and leads to stronger communities that can grow and sustain themselves.
There are a growing number of ways that schools can engage students and teachers with the opportunity to develop the core value of ‘service’ through service learning experiences.
If you’d like to hear more about service learning at Cornerstone, listen to Andrew’s interview with PowerFm on the link here.