Service Learning and Croce Rossa Meet Italian High School Students
On Friday, May 26, 2017, Professor Andrea Lanzone was invited to hold a seminar on the JCU Service Learning Project – Combining Fieldwork and Education for Italian high school students. In attendance were last-year students from Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore Statale Croce – Aleramo, a school in the Tiburtino III district, on the outskirts of Rome. The lecture was held in collaboration with Croce Rossa Italiana (Italian Red Cross), one of JCU’s main partner organizations in the Service Learning project.
Professor Lanzone stressed the importance, for younger generations, of mastering practical working skills and developing critical thinking in a multicultural environment, both for personal and professional growth. He invited the students to get involved in fieldwork experiences and to contribute to the development of their local community. As an example of fieldwork experience, Professor Lanzone presented the doctoral research he conducted in Indian Reservations in South and Nord Dakota in the late ‘90s.
In the second part of the workshop, Croce Rossa representatives Giorgio De Acutis and Alessia Bernardi shared their professional experience with the students. De Acutis illustrated the history and mission of the organization. Since the summer of 2016, Croce Rossa Italiana opened a refugee shelter in via del Frantoio (Tiburtino III) that has since welcomed about 1700 migrants, mostly from Eritrea, Sudan, and Somalia. To conclude the seminar, Bernardi, a Croce Rossa psychologist, described her experience in social assistance for school rehabilitation.
The Service Learning Project aims to prepare students for a life of civic engagement, enhancing their career development by connecting educational goals with service to those in need. The humanitarian fieldwork with people in need also allows the students to better understand not only their living conditions, but also the larger debate surrounding issues like migration and human rights.