Brescia Showcases Alternative Spring Break Experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 24, 2008

London, ON – Brescia University College’s Student Services Department and the 13 students who traveled to Thailand to work in an orphanage for the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program are hosting a showcase on March 31 at 3:30 p.m. in the Brescia Auditorium to share life-changing lessons learned.

The participants’ stories and photos will illustrate their experience working at the Baan Dada Orphanage. Kathleen Maika, a fifth-year student majoring in english and sociology, describes how her the ASB experience significantly changes her perspective. “The people of the orphanage are conscious of their limited means but are very resourceful with their land. They practice reducing, reusing and recycling in a manner which reflects great awareness of the value of every commodity. Conservation of everything, from the amount of paint we used while painting the great hall, the rice we used to make the mud bricks for their new building, to the portions of food that we ate were taken into consideration.

“Their sharing, caring attitude was very evident within the Baan Dada community. This made me reflect on my own lifestyle. Not only do I take for granted the easy access to a consumer-driven western world lifestyle, but I follow it blindly. This trip provided me with the opportunity to think about how I can be more resourceful in my everyday life, and resist the lure of consumerism.”

Diane Reesor, first-year family studies student, learned several lessons in gratitude, saying that we should always be happy for what we have. “I gained a global understanding during my visit to Thailand. Coming from a high income nation and traveling to a middle income country the differences really stick out. It’s hard to appreciate the suffering that goes on in much of the world when you don’t witness it first hand. These young children have been through so much in their lives already, but yet they are just so happy to see you and can’t wait for their day to start.”

Reesor and Maika both aspire to become teachers. In increasingly multicultural classrooms, the ASB experience has afforded them more worldly and empathic approaches to teaching. Maiker said, “I am a firm believer that education is received outside the classroom as much as it is within the classroom. As a sociology student, I was able to experience first hand the social inequality I’ve spent so much time reading about in textbooks.”

All of the ASB participants will discuss their motivations and plans for future projects at the showcase. Handwoven garments will be sold, with all proceeds going towards the Weaving Project and the Bann Dada Orphanage.

Admission is free. However, ASB organizers will be accepting donations towards the Bann Dada Orphanage to support the 60 young men and women who live there.

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For more information, please contact: Jessie Westlake-McCormick, Co-curricular Service-Learning Coordinator at 519-432-8353, ext. 28036 or Julie Maltby, Communications & Alumnae Relations Officer at 519-432-8353, ext. 28280.

Brescia University College, Canada’s only women’s university college, is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 954 women registered as full-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition while perusing Western degrees. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more information, please visit www.brescia.uwo.ca.