This summer, 70 Westmont students in 15 teams will serve in 13 countries, including China, Nepal, Japan, Uganda, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, Guatemala, Bolivia, Madagascar, the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea. The student-led, staff-directed Emmaus Road program is in its 16th year, sponsoring activities that serve to increase awareness of global concerns, broadening the worldview of students and promoting the value of diversity.
“Over the past four years, one in four students at the college have participated in Emmaus Road, dedicated to providing exceptional co-curricular experiences to compliment our top-shelf academics,” says Jeremy Fletcher, assistant director of campus life. “The program is both a launching pad and landing platform for students prior to graduation — as we attempt to send out thoughtful world citizens with rich real-world experience.”
For the first time, Emmaus Road is partnering with Westmont in Istanbul to support student’s efforts begun in the spring semester. The team in Istanbul will serve with local organizations on several projects addressing human trafficking and working with refugees and the elderly.
Students in Guatemala City will be working and living with Guatemalan staff and missionaries at Casa Bernabé, caring for more than 130 children rescued from abandonment, trafficking and other forms of severe trauma.
In Cochabamba, Bolivia, students will serve at Hospitals of Hope, a non-profit, Christian, medical missions organization that improves the healthcare of the under-served.
Students serving in Jerusalem will work with Musalaha, a non-profit organization that promotes reconciliation and bridge-building between Israelis and Palestinians.
In Lugazi, Uganda, students will work with orphans and widows at Faith Children’s Home and God’s House of Miracles. They will also teach AIDS and HIV awareness to both teenagers and adults in the community.
Music and education are the focuses of a camp that will serve in Taiwan and South Korea. Team members will teach music, cooking, crafts and English to children while living with local families.
For the fourth year, students will travel to Katmandu, Nepal, volunteering at Transformations Nepal, a registered religious non-profit organization that assists the underserved. Students will teach English and serve in community development projects.
Students will travel to Qingdao, China, to volunteer at the International Care Community, an orphanage serving children with mental and physical disabilities. In a nation with restricted access, students will teach English and assist in a school the team helped build last year.
The Emmaus Road team in Tokyo will assist with English classes and after-school activities at Jiyu Gakuen, a Christian-oriented school with many non-Christian students and faculty. Students will also partner with Mizuba Community Church, a bilingual, independent church.
In Indonesia, a restricted-access nation, students live, work and fish with local families, serving the community in meaningful and helpful ways.
A team will return to Manila, Philippines, for a second year, serving with Kids International Ministries, seeking to end poverty in slums and on the island of Mindanao. Students will volunteer at sports camps, building projects, tutoring programs and assisting agricultural development.
Students return to Mahajanga, Madagascar, for a second year to serve with Red Island Restoration, focusing on health, agriculture and faith. Students will work at a new maternity center for the under-served and support Malagasy men and women planting propagules in the mangrove forests.
Each student must raise several thousand dollars for their trip. To help with this year’s service trips, please visit: www.westmont.edu/studentministries.