Service Learning Project Raises Money, Awareness for Nonprofit Ubuntu Mundo

Each year, Corlears’ graduating class of 10s students chooses a service learning project for a cause that resonates with them. This year, the Class of 2019 chose nonprofit Ubuntu Mundo, which provides nutritious meals, after-school activities, and other skill-building opportunities to underserved children in Bodlayabongolo, South Africa.

Many of children that Ubuntu Mundo reaches are orphans and don’t have access to much food outside of school, the 5th grade class explains. These children are also taking on many household responsibilities when they’re not at school. The fact that Ubuntu Mundo is providing these children with enriching after-school activities like sewing, dance, carpentry and more – as well as an additional meal each day – resonates with them.

“I think that it’s helping me feel more grateful for what I have,” one student reflected. “[The children] don’t get food at home or on the weekends, and I get three meals a day with snacks in between anytime I want. I choose when I eat. They also have to walk a long distance for water, and for me, it just pours out of the faucet. [This project] is helping me be more grateful.”

To raise money and awareness, the 10s created a hand-stitched and embroidered quilt with guidance from Corlears Art Teacher Becky West. Each square represents South Africa as well as the word “ubuntu,” meaning, “I am because we are,” compassion, and humanity. The students then held a raffle for the quilt, with proceeds benefitting Ubuntu Mundo.

For the 5th graders, this service learning project feels like a culmination of the social justice conversations they’ve had throughout their time at Corlears, they explain. While it can be emotionally difficulty to learn about children who are struggling with food insecurity and poverty, the students feel pride when creating awareness within their own community and raising donations they know will have an impact.

“The younger students look up to the 10s doing this work, and they’re still learning about [social justice] work,” one student says, adding that she feels motivated by activism and helping others thanks to the conversations she’s had at Corlears. “In my new middle school, for example, we will be doing a lot of service learning projects, and it’s also preparing us for helping out and continuing this work on other problems.”

Social justice education is woven throughout the curriculum at Corlears School and is a core value of our community. Learn more about the Corlears curriculum and the school’s work in social justice, equity, and inclusion education.

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