The road to spiti is one of the bumpiest roads we have ever been on, reading is sure not easy, but how can you pass up the most beautiful place on earth to not reflect and think. One of the materials that we read while traveling was an analysis written by Caryn McTighe Musil regarding service in higher education, while reading this piece many thoughts ran through our minds, our initial reaction to what we had read led us to think about service in the world and our particular task. We began to think that at many times one will ask how can we make a difference in the world, In order to make a difference it is not necessary for all to travel thousands of miles. Many times help is needed within our own homes, our own neighborhoods, and at times even our closest and dearest may be in need. Wherever we stand there is always an opportunity to serve. We are currently carrying out service in India, It might not seem like an easy task, and it sure is not, but service has become part of our daily lives. Outlined are the 6 phases of service. They have given us a clear look, at what type of service we are providing.
There are six basic expressions of citizenship:
Exclusionary: is the service of serving yourself.
Oblivious: The drive by service act, not really knowing what you are doing or why you are doing it. Just being put in a situation where you are expected to serve.
Naïve: Not thinking of the culture or surrounding of the people that you are serving. Just thinking that your way of life is the way every one lives.
Charitable; Can be multicultural service act, but. It benefits the givers feelings, and the sufferers immediate needs but does not empower them to better their life.
Reciprocal; A resource to empower and be empowered by, it can be influenced by legacies of inequalities. The act will benefit society as a whole in the present.
Generative; Changing the outlook and possibilities’ of a community by improving knowledge and quality of life. it benefits everyone now and in the future.
It was very interesting for us to read this analysis because it seems that we could relate to each topic spoken about. The writer expresses her feeling on all the different degrees of citizenship saying “the faces of citizenship are indeed phases.’’ We have been able to witness YMAD go through all 6 of these “Phases”. The fist time traveling to India being totally oblivious to what we were doing and entering into. Next being ignorant to the people and their native ways and trying to give them the comforts of our life when it was not comfortable for them at all, and realizing that the charity we were rendering really might not have been as empowering as it could have been. For 5 years we have been learning, growing, and morphing through each phase. It is to the point where we finally understand our purpose and our goal. To teach and motivate young people worldwide that they can make a difference in their own communities and in the world. It is to bring education and the skills necessary for children with little to no hope of bettering their life to become effective leaders in society. We don’t just work in India with orphans because it feels good; we are Generating and building the future.
We are currently working on a model orphanage. One that teaches the attributes that are taught in our yearlong trainings with high school students. These attributes are integrity, vision, the ability to inspire, courage, service, learning, forgiveness, and gratitude. In most cases the orphanages here in India are a place to eat and sleep. There is no education outside of what little schooling the children get. They have no responsibilities or respect for their possessions. They are not taught they can change the world. That they can be whatever they want. They are looked down on as outcasts in some areas. There was a school we went to once where the orphans couldn’t go in the classroom, this because they could not afford uniforms. These students were found under the stairs away from all the other children studying. We are committed to empowering these children so that they can make a difference now and in the future.
Nefi Alarcon and James Baird
Musil, Caryn McTighe. "Peer Review, Spring 2003 Educating for Citizenship". American Colleges and Universities. 08/25/09 http://www.aacu.org/peerreview/pr-sp03/pr-sp03feature1.cfm.