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The SJU in Peru program aims to help young people think in terms of common global needs and interests that are just and fair. The interdependence and interconnectedness of the global north and south provides a landscape for lifelong lessons that students will take with them in their future learning.
We chose to offer this program particularly to students in their first and second years of University. By sharing their experience in the SJU and UW communities following the program, they can contribute to raising the awareness of other students around global social justice issues. The program thus challenges participants to become agents of change, beginning in the SJU community.
At the centre of this program is the goal of facilitating the experiential backdrop necessary to begin understanding patterns of consumption and waste; the disparity between the global north and south; an understanding of who the players are and how involved/uninvolved they are; the exploitative arrangements built into the marketplace; and, gender inequalities.
It must be emphasized that the purpose of this initiative is not to simply provide an outlet for students to travel and participate in a “feel good” overseas experience. Rather, the goal is to have students actively engaged in a project that can bring about a greater sense of awareness and understanding around issues facing the Global South—issues that touch many disciplines—food production and availability; poverty; education; and the rights and freedoms of all people.