Scouts Around the World
When I interviewed for the Bonner Service Leaders Program at Siena during my senior year of High School, I learned about the Global Service Internship for the first time. Being able to spend five weeks doing service abroad was enticing and was one of the reasons I joined the program. Fast forward to three years later, I am now preparing to participate in the Global Service Internship.This May, I will be traveling to Botshabelo, South Africa to live and volunteer at the orphanage for children who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. While I am there I will have the opportunity to complete numerous tasks including; teaching the children English, working in the community garden as well as working with the people within the community.
One of the projects I am the most excited to work on is connecting a Girl Scout Troop from my hometown to the Orphanage. Junior Troop 1431 are fifth graders at Sunrise Drive Elementary School and are currently working on their Bronze Award. They will be reading the book, “Only One You”, by Linda Kranz, to every class in their school, and with the help of the art teacher, creating a painted rock pathway in the school courtyard, which will be based on the illustrations and message in the book. The art teacher will be working with every student in the school to each create a unique painted rock fish, similar to the illustrations in the book. The message that they hope to spread with this project is, “There’s only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place”! Each “rock fish” will be unique, but together, they will make a complete pathway. I will be taking this project over with me to South Africa. I will be reading the book “Only One You” to all the children at the orphanage and will be doing a craft with the children. Another cool thing is that the girls are making little felt fish for me to bring over to South Africa to give out to the children. Even if we do not have the resources to fully make the rock path, they will have a little reminder of the book. I am hoping that reading this book to all the children will allow them to celebrate their uniqueness, and know that they are each special and important!
Last year, I was fortunate enough to study abroad for an entire semester. During those four months, I experienced many new cultures and became more confident in myself. I am hoping that going to South Africa will take me out of my comfort zone again, help me learn more about myself and have a life-changing experience abroad.
Alyssa Lofaro ’19