Dominican Republic and Ecuador Added to Global Outreach Trips


Tasks for different GO! projects vary, but students in the spring 2011 New Orleans trip exemplify how the team helps the community. (Courtesy of Monica Hanna)


Tasks for different GO! projects vary, but students in the spring 2011 New Orleans trip exemplify how the team helps the community. (Courtesy of Monica Hanna)

Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s Global Outreach (GO!) added two new destinations to its list of projects for the 2012 academic year, Dominican Republic (DR) and Ecuador. They are scheduled to take place during winter and spring break, respectively.

Theresa Murphy, coordinator of GO! at FCLC, said that she is very excited and fortunate to have both projects happening early next year. The sudden event for including the DR came when Elizabeth Brockland, a former member of GO! and Fordham alumnus from Rose Hill, suggested Murphy to visit the DR after finding an organization who was willing to cooperate with them.

According to Murphy, selected members of the GO! team will go to the town of Esperanza in northwest DR, promoting both educational and social justice toward the Dominican and Haitian communities. Another group of students will travel to the city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, working with less fortunate families and to get a feel of how hard life is like there.

“It’s a learning experience first and foremost,” Murphy said. “This program is created to examine a world outside yourself. Global Outreach is referred by many sources like other organizations, and past graduates who recommends us on places to go see.”

Murphy said that GO! is a service-based and cultural immersion program designed to teach Fordham students numerous matters of political and economic injustices, while living a life that stimulates spiritual improvement. It first began in 1999 at Lincoln Center. Its philosophy centers around four pillars that serve as the structure of the program: spirituality, social justice, community and simple living.

Abiezer Mendez, FCLC ‘12, and leader of the DR project this year, said that he and his team will partner up with the Joan Rose Foundation, an after school program for the Dominican and Haitian youths. The children receive food, education and clothing from the organization. Coordinated by a Haitian couple, the foundation tries to build bridges of understanding between Dominicans and Haitians alike.

“Global Outreach has allowed me to realize my passion for direct service and has taught me a lot about myself,” Mendez said. “It’s a life changing program. Everything about Global Outreach is appealing to me: the reflections, the bonding, the experience, everything,” he said.

As for the Ecuador project, Laura McClelland, FCLC ’13 and leader of GO! Ecuador, said that her team will be working with the Working Boys Center (WBC), a Jesuit organization centered in the capital city. It was founded to help young boys in need who worked on the streets shining shoes.

“For more specifics, the project is fairly new so I’m still working out all the kinks,” said McClelland. “As a member of Global Outreach, all I can say is that this is the best program offered at Fordham. I highly recommend GO! to everyone, especially those who don’t think they will like it.”

Monica Hanna, FCLC ’12, and leader of the Ghana project next summer, has been a member since her sophomore year. She has gone to Florida and New Orleans with GO before leading New Orleans last spring.

“A GO! experience is a GO! experience,” said Hanna. “GO! is not about helping people but going to work with the community toward their goals. GO! will certainly teach you a very different way of thinking.” Hanna also said that you will learn “the difference between charity and justice.”

In addition, both Murphy and Hanna believer fundraising is important to any team’s trip for GO! Murphy said that she believes individual fund-raising is the bulk of GO!’s project cost.

Hanna said that fundraising for both domestic and foreign GO! trips are estimated to cost anywhere from $300-$3000 per student. She said, “It’s not like I’m just selling cookies or waffles. I want to tell people just what exactly I’m doing.”

Murphy said that she encourages students to participate and get involved because “it’s lasting and deep.”

“Here at Global Outreach, we want students to look at or be touched in the experiential learning, but also see the justice which is long term social change,” she said.