Through the school’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) organization and the nonprofit Both Your Hands, the student group will be promoting long-term economic sustainability through education and a micro-loan program.
The group will be working at the Bethlehem Parents School. Of the 350 students there, about 250 of them are orphaned and about 150 live at the school. The Bonaventure group will be teaching students about individual talents and financial responsibility.
A micro-loan project will be established so that local adults can start small businesses. The group will start peer workshops so that those who take out the micro-loans will have others with whom to discuss their progress.
The St. Bonaventure group is also expected to offer some health education, assist with building projects, and help collect photos and essays for a planned book documenting the orphans' stories.
In addition to the work component, the trip will include visits to cultural attractions such as the head of the Nile River and Lake Victoria, as well as an animal reserve.
SIFE is assisting with the project. The St. Bonaventure chapter has taken yearly educational and entrepreneurial service trips to the Bahamas and the Gulf Coast.
Both Your Hands is a nonprofit organization designed to connect caring communities with poor villages to create self-sufficiency and pride in achievement. The organization was founded in 2001 by Deborah Naybor, a small business owner from upstate New York.
The group will return to the U.S. June 5.