New service destinations in the works

New+service+destinations+in+the+works

Matt Lanetti

While the Philippines has been revealed as a 2014 service trip, other global destinations explored.

 

In an effort to strengthen Malvern’s Christian Service program, the Philippines have been added as a destination for the class of 2015 onward, while West Virginia will be discontinued.

According to Director of Community Relations, Mr. Legner, Malvern hopes to give every student opportunity for an international experience. In addition to studying abroad through our foreign exchange program, Christian Service is a platform to give students international experience and strengthen Malvern’s global presence. Malvern students will be staying in dorm rooms at the St. Augustine University in the Philippnies, and eating at their cafeteria.

 

Lanetti: Will an old destination have to be dropped in order to make room for the new one?

Mr. Legner: Despite rumors, we are not leaving South Africa. However, we will be discontinuing West Virginia.

Legner made it clear that while service trips within the US were great in their own way, they weren’t very popular and needed a change.

 

You may be asking yourselves, “Why the Philippines?”.  The reason can be found in the desire to bring more and more Augustinian related service locations to the table. Already, 2 of Malvern’s locations are based in Augustinian connections: South Africa and Peru. For further insight into Augustinian connections in service, I was able to ask Director of Augustinian Identity, Fr. Drennen, an Augustinian friar, what he thought.

 

Lanetti: One of the main reasons the Philippines was chosen was for our Augustinian connection to the University of St. Augustine, where students will be staying. How important is it to maintain Augustinian connections in our service?

Fr. Drennen: The Augustinians do have a special part of Filipino history. The Friars were with Magellan on his journey and have care of the oldest church in Manila (the capital of the Philippines), St. Augustine’s .  The presence in Asia is also important as it is such a growing part of the world economy.

 

Lanetti: Is service just service, no matter if Malvern operates through Augustinian connections?

Fr. Drennen: Our program aims to bring the Christian values of building the Kingdom of God on earth to our service experiences. If we did not take the time to reflect and ask where God is in these situations then we would be losing something important… It does not have to be a place sponsored by the Augustinians, but it is a nice global connection. We have some great service trips that do not have any Augustinian connections, but are Christian service sites, or are consistent with our values.

After rumors of service trips to India, how sure can our readers be of this?

“I have been in contact with the president of the university, and we are 100% sure,” said Legner, “I was looking at India but it did not work out.”  However, he confirms that South Africa will remain a service destination.

 

While some members of the junior class are anxious about overseas service, others like Arjun Menon are only excited.

 

“I can’t wait to go abroad and learn about new cultures,” Menon said.  “I think just being in a different country itself puts us in a situation to broaden our perspective and understanding of the world and life in its various regions.”

 

Mr. Legner shares Menon’s excitement about the destination changes.   “I’m excited about it, because it’s a brand new place….each one is different and great in it’s own way.

Although often seen as a well to do nation and part of the global community, parts of the Philippines are full of poverty and social injustice.   photo credit: http://www.dataentryphilippines.com/
Although often seen as a well to do nation and part of the global community, parts of the Philippines are full of poverty and social injustice.
photo credit: http://www.dataentryphilippines.com