Thanksgiving Break 2017

Three groups of IU students spent their Thanksgiving Break giving back to communities around the world!

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Urban Revitalization: Empowering Entrepreneurs through microloans

Over spring break a group of students traveled to Detriot, Michigan to work with LaunchDetroit and learn about micro finance and social entrepreneurship. Microfinance is a relatively new form of financing that typically targets lower income entrepreneurs. Microfinance was founded in education. Most microfinance organizations have an aspect that teaches business skills to the people receiving the loans. Downtown Detroit is a hot spot for microfinance and social entrepreneurship, it was hit hard with an economic decline but has since climbed back and is now a powerhouse city that has it's hand in just about every industry. LaunchDetroit is a project of Rotary members in Michigan that provides microloans and free business education to local entreprenuers. In addition participants recieve a mentor from the community. The students on this trip were able to help multiple entreprenuers as they tackled thier business venture with money loaned from LaunchDetroit.

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Providing companionship and nourishment to new yorkers in need

This group of IU students spent their Thanksgiving Break in New York learning about companionship and nourishment specifically relating to the issue of hunger amongst the elderly, disabled, and financially less fortunate. New York City is known for its homeless population, usually depicted on the streets or in the subway. The number of homeless people in New York City has reached it's highest level in recent years, currently over 60,000 people sleep in the New York City shelter system each night. This group partnered with Citymeals on Wheels which created The Emergency Food Package which is a shipment to elderly and disables New Yorkers at their homes. Throughout the week they aided Citymeals in their delivery of morning and afternoon meals. They not only packaged meals but transported the meals to the neighboring homes giving them the opportunity to spend time with the community members.


A bottom up approach: Human Security at the community level

Over Thanksgiving break a group of students went to the Dominican Republic to work with 7Elements and learn about human security. More than one third of the DR lives on less than $1.25 a day and over 20% of the country lives in extreme poverty. 7Elements is an NGO that has designed and implemented projects to alleviate human insecurities. The organization uses a unique system to properly find and enter local communities and provide ethical and sustainable methods to help alleviate their insecurities. On this trip participants had the opportunity to immerse themselves in a small fishing community in Northern Dominican Republic where they worked to provide security though various hands on projects.


Winter Break 1 2017

See how these groups of students spent the week before Christmas serving and learning in communities both in our own country and abroad.


refugees in america: providing community and continuity 

Over the first week of Winter Break a group of students traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to work with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in order to provide community and continuity. The United States has a long tradition of sheltering those fleeing conflict and persecution. The IRC in Atlanta focuses on providing a safe place to live, a furnished apartment, access to quality health care services, English and job skills classes, and employment services all as a way to ensure refugees feel welcome and secure. This group worked with the IRC to learn more about the issues the organization solves and assisted with a variety of tasks related to the refugees throughout the week.


the change makers: supporting social entrepreneurs in latin america

This group of IU students traveled to Antigua, Guatemala over winter break to work with Ninos de Guatemala to promote social entrepreneurship in the area. Ninos de Guatememala was founded in 2006 when a man named Martin Dresen visited the area nad realized there was a lack of proper education available to the children. In 2009 they opened their first elementary school - Nuestro Futuro and in 2014 a middle school was built to further their education. Currently they house over 500 children in their two primary schools and one secondary school. This group spent the week working the schools and learn about the social enterprises that NDG has in place helping it to become a self sustaining organization.


Winter Break 2 2018

Two groups of students rang in the new year by serving communities and learning about the socials that affect them on a daily basis.


Achieving fair trade through fair trade and micro-enterprises

Over the second half of winter break this group of students traveled to Cape Coast, Ghana working with Global Mamas supporting fair trade and mico-enterprises. In Ghana 25% of the population lives in poverty. Not only that, but 34% of workers in the craft industry work more than 50 hours per week and are rarely paid fair wages. This group worked with Global Mamas to help the people in Cape Coast continue to achieve prosperity through the creation and sale of Fair Trade products. Fair Trade is an equitable partnership between the producers of goods in developing countries and retailers in developed countries. This group worked to further educate the Mamas on Fair Trade as well as used their skills to help further develop the community and taught its members about microfinancing.


Business development and the rise of cambodia's middle class

This group of students traveled to Phnom Penh, Cambodia working with UBELONG to support Business Development and Education. In 2004, the Co-Founders of UBELONG met at Cornell University where they were inspired to change the way people engage with the world. For years, they traveled, studied and served in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Now, UBELONG has become the leading organization for people who struggle to find the right opportunity to travel and fulfill their promise as global citizens. This group worked with a sewing company in Cambodia as internal consultants. They edited and wrote reports, provided workshops to local staff and worked with entrepreneurs on growing their businesses within the community. 


Spring Break 2018

Three groups of IU students spent their Spring Breaks traveling and working in communities around the world to better the lives of those who live there.


Fostering financial literacy in americas classrooms

This group of students spent their spring break working with Junior Achievement to foster financial literacy within the classrooms of various Boys and Girls Clubs in Clearwater, Florida. Financial literacy is an important skill for today's youth to learn but many children are never taught any of these basic skills. It is much more than just dollars and cents; it's about setting up a successful lifestyle and career. This group spent the week teaching financial literacy in Boys and Girls Clubs around the Tampa Bay area. They used the skills they have learned both here at school and from the Junior Achievement coordinators to teach students about gearing up for the future by understanding the basic concepts of financial literacy.


Environmental ethics and our commitment to the non-human world

This group of students spent their spring break working with the National Park Service in the Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park. Since 1916, the National Park Service main goal has been to "preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations." Through the help of volunteers and partners, this organization works to not only preserve national parks but revitalize and safeguard local communities and their heritage. This group got the chance to have hands-on experience working on keeping beautiful places like these two national parks alive fro all ages to enjoy.

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The Refugee Frontline: Humanitarian Felief in southeastern europe

This group of students spent their spring break in Zagreb, Croatia working with the Croatian Red Cross (CRC). The CRC was founded in 1878 and has acted as an independent national society in Croatia since 1991. Since 2003, the CRC has provided practical assistance in daily life, social services, psychological support, and protection services to asylum seekers and refugees. Since the need of the CRC fluctuate throughout the year, this group worked on various activities including distributing humnitarian aid and hygiene parcels, and organizign social, sport, creative and educational activities.