Through guest lectures, service learning placements, educational excursions, group reflections, and regular journaling, students explore the challenges facing South Africa as they try to build a rainbow nation in a racially diverse country with a history of racial oppression and tremendous economic inequality.
Some of the questions we tackle include:
What role can social entrepreneurship and creative community development play in allowing poor South Africans to reach their full potential and lead meaningful lives?
What role should government play?
What actions are necessary to create a more socially and economically just society?
What lessons from South Africa can be applied to the United States?
Students will begin to explore the history of South Africa and the legacy of apartheid during three pre-trip classes in March and April. While in South Africa, we explore the political, social, and economic challenges in South Africa through a combination of lectures, service learning, and site visits. Most mornings, we will meet as a class. Several of these class meetings will include guest lectures from South African experts from various fields that complement the expertise of the Bucknell instructors. Most afternoons, students will engage in experiential service learning at an organization located in a nearby township. Possible placements include working in a social business or a non-profit promoting social entrepreneurship, working with an NGO or government agency on community development, working in a health clinic, working in an educational or child care facility, and others. Learning will be enhanced through visits to social businesses, museums, and cultural sites.