Edgewood College Program in Peru and the Americas
The Innovation Fund grant supported Edgewood College in the expansion of its service-learning and sustainable development program in Alto Cayma, Peru and enhancement of its partnership with the Universidad Católica de Santa María (UCSM) in Arequipa. The program had four goals: (1) to solidify long-term community development projects in Alto Cayma; (2) to establish an institutional endowment fund to support global service-learning at Edgewood, and increase the number of Edgewood students going to Peru; (3) to develop northbound programming with partner institution Universidad Católica de Santa María; and (4) to replicate the Peru model within other Edgewood programs in the Americas. Edgewood’s approach to global service-learning drew together students, faculty members, and global partners to collaboratively design and implement program components. The program built on the Alto Cayma communities’ strengths and then helped Edgewood partner with them to co-create lasting solutions.
Continuing the program’s focus on nutrition and the environment, Edgewood’s main project involved training women leaders to construct solar ovens. During the course of the project, ten (10) students traveled to Peru for five weeks, where they learned how to build solar ovens and improve community gardens and then trained local women leaders through workshops. The program’s results were the improved ecological and economic health of the Alto Cayma communities; the enhancement of Edgewood’s partnership with UCSM through a new northbound student exchange that will begin in 2016; the development of an endowment fund that secured support from various areas and resulted in the institution surpassing their goal of $100,000; interest from Edgewood’s School of Business in working with Peru as a site for future study abroad opportunities for business students; and an overall transformative learning experience for Edgewood and UCSM students.