Student and Alumni News
This summer, Macaulay Service Initiative (MSI) is planning two service trips (open to all Macaulay students) with Global Volunteers to Appalachia, West Virginia. Please help us guage interest in this exciting opportunity.
***PLEASE FILL OUT THIS INTEREST FORM BY APRIL 2nd, 2017 @ 11:59 PM. Please fill this form out even if you are interested, but cannot come.***
When: We are currently considering two trips – August 5-12, 2017 and August 12-19, 2017
Where: We will be traveling by bus to Fayette County, West Virginia – a county in the Appalachian region in northeast America which stretches from southern New York to Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia.
Why: The Appalachian region in Southern West Virginia has been designated as a federal “empowerment zone” for the last 50 years, meaning communities in this region have struggled with high poverty levels, limited employment opportunities, and dilapidated infrastructure. About 20% of the population live below the poverty line, 1/3 of West Virginia children are born into poverty, and 50% of counties in the Appalachian region have only one or no hospital at all.
What Happened: In the early 20th century, large-scale coal mining and logging industries dominated the economy in Appalachia, but these companies did not focus on providing long-term benefits for local communities. Once they left, the economy declined rapidly, and many important resources (gas, electricity, etc.) and institutions (education, healthcare, etc.) were not properly provided and sustained. Ultimately, this left many of these rural coalfield communities devastated and those residing in them at complete loss.
What is “Global Volunteers”?: Global Volunteers is an international NGO that facilitates service projects in under-resourced communities in the United States and abroad. In 1999, it partnered with the Southern Appalachian Labor School (SALS) in West Virginia’s Fayette County in an effort to provide much needed aid. SALS provides education, research, and networking opportunities and helps rehabilitate dilapidated and energy inefficient homes for low-income families.
What will we do?: We’ll repair and rehabilitate homes, classrooms, and other buildings, help children of all ages with homework and reading assignments, help young adults study for the GRE and other exams, participate in community gardening, and work with elderly and disabled community members to optimize their living situations.
Cost: The price is $995 for each student. This sum covers all lodging, meals, & program-related materials and transportation. It does not cover the cost for bus transportation for departure from and return to NYC (Estimated round trip bus cost is $180 per person, though this is highly subject to change).
With all of that that being said, this is truly an incredible opportunity for everybody in MSI. Not only will we have the chance to learn about the Appalachian culture and the plight of its people, but we’ll also forge bonds with children and families while working together. Above all else, we’ll be a part of long-term effort to revitalize a significantly under-resourced community and we’ll do service work that in the grand scheme of things, really does matter.
Even if you cannot go on the trip, but are interested in the future, please do fill out the interest form by April 2nd, 2017 @ 11:59 PM.