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April 10, 2012

DWU to host fundraiser for trip to Tanzania

MITCHELL – If looking for the opportunity, or excuse, to purchase unique cultural crafts, then Dakota Wesleyan might have the answer – and it comes with the guilt-free bonus of supporting a good cause.

DWU students and staff will depart on their fourth service-learning trip to Tanzania, Africa, this spring and will have a fundraiser dinner and silent auction at 5 p.m., Saturday, April 14, in Wagner Chapel. Tickets are $15 per person and dinner begins at 6 p.m. To purchase tickets, contact Sally Wickware-Thompson at sathomps@dwu.edu.

The evening will include a meal, silent auction on items from around the world, and a presentation on the 2010 DWU Tanzania trip, as well as projects for the 2012 team. All proceeds will be used to fund the service projects at Olkokola Technical School for the Disabled and the Maasae Girl’s Lutheran Secondary School in Monduli, Tanzania.

Students traveling this year include: Erika Cobb and Amanda Dixon, both of Mitchell; Andrew DeVaney, Sioux Falls; Kim Maas and Leah Miiller, both of Corsica; Carrie Swanson, Spearfish; and Kelsey Hanson, who graduated last May. DWU counselor Wickware-Thompson will lead the team, which will be her fourth group to Tanzania with the college, but she, herself, has traveled back and forth since 2001. Her husband, Kent, works as a registered nurse for Selian Lutheran Hospital in Tanzania.

The last DWU service-learning trip, which can be taken for college credit, was in 2010, and the group performed community service projects, visited AIDS, HIV and cancer patients in the local hospice program, and became acquainted with rural African economy. Much of what they will do this trip will be similar, visiting hospitals, the Olkokola Vocational School for the Disabled, the MaaSae Girls’ Lutheran Secondary School in Monduli, and taking a wildlife safari with guides whom the Thompsons know personally.

“The purpose this year will be similar, to introduce college students to another culture, halfway around the world,” Wickware-Thompson said. “Students will learn about cultural activities and beliefs, how education is viewed, how medical services and availability differs from here in the U.S., and how international projects, such as the Heifer Project, have improved the quality of life for rural families in Tanzania.”

Each trip is focused for the first week on learning and experiencing the country and culture of the Tanzanian people. The group then goes on a wildlife safari with trained guides which offers students not only the opportunity to see wild animals “up close,” but also stresses the vital nature of conservation to the students.

The second week of the trip is spent in service projects where students meet with the project managers or agency to determine their needs, decide on a completion plan and then work with the locals to finish the project.

“This trip, we will hopefully visit the same schools and finish the projects begun last trip. The Tanzanian people and organizations that we work with count on us coming and look forward to our help,” Wickware-Thompson said.

 

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