Not Turning Tragedy into Tourism

By: Wendy Turner  

Developing countries are often noted for the tremendous needs of their inhabitants. Poverty, lack of resources and corruption are often acknowledged by the media, without giving attention to the strengths that these communities possess. Well-meaning persons and groups from wealthy nations may travel to those areas in order to help, but never recognize the tremendous gifts they receive from the residents of that country. The author takes graduate and undergraduate students annually for service-learning trips to Jamaica. She takes the approach that the students are learners and the people of Jamaica are their teachers. After fourteen years of building relationships with agencies and institutions on the island, the author has identified the essential components of successful service-learning activities abroad. She describes the necessary steps that faculty must take in order to ensure that they and their students are not exploiting the tragedies of others. She details how service-learning in developing countries can promote the values of social justice among privileged students.

Service-learning Social Justice
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Wendy Turner

University of Southern Indiana