Alternative Learning & Service Opportunities

ALSO program

Faith Cannot Lie Dormant

What is the also program?

The ALSO program seeks to nurture each student’s understanding of compassion, empathy, and awareness of need in the world and to provide service and learning opportunities to respond to, and reflect, on that need.  

ALSO is implemented as a year long, cross-curricular program that culminates in a designated ‘ALSO Week.’  During this time, every student travels to an off-campus location to participate in alternative learning and service opportunities with the purpose of exploring and reflecting on issues of service, compassion, poverty, and social justice.  A key component of this program is the attention given to examining one’s own personal faith and values.

ALSO Learning Goals:

  • Developing a heightened awareness of need in the world, locally and globally. 
  • Deepening compassion and empathy for others. 
  • Undergoing cross-cultural experiences. 
  • Serving and being served.
  • Critically reflecting on faith, values, privilege, and poverty. 
  • Considering opportunities for pursuing social change through acts of peace, justice, and service.  
  • Engaging with personal and corporate experiences of faith as a source of energy and guidance for ongoing work.

ALSO PROGRAM LOCATIONS:

Prairies

The Saskatchewan ALSO week is filled with diverse opportunities to learn and serve. 

RJC partners with a variety of local organizations where students and staff volunteer their time helping various projects. This might include help with spring cleanup, blanket making, work with food banks. 

Students also have the chance to learn more about big concepts like Indigenous-Settler reconciliation efforts in Canada, resettlement of new Canadians, and peace and justice issues.

Each day students are given opportunities to journal and reflect on the ways in which the work and learning they do connects with the curricular goals of their classes.

Okanagan

During ALSO week students travel to Oliver, BC to volunteer and serve with the Okanagan GleanersThe group spends the week learning about food security by working with the Gleaners, an organization that processes discarded, raw vegetables into a dry vegetable product that is made available to people across the world.

Appalachia

RJC partners with the MCC Appalachia Build program in Kentucky, USA. Appalachia Build is a home repair program for low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly, widowed, or disabled. The type of work we do includes roofing, siding, replacement windows and doors, ramps, porches, flooring, plumbing, etc.

However, Appalachia Build is more than a home repair program; it’s also a relationship ministry. The group spends time interacting with the family they’ve been assigned to serve. Students will forge friendships that can last a lifetime and learn lessons that will strengthen their faith, build character, and
enrich their life.

 

Guatemala

The ALSO trip to Guatemala is organized around themes of solidarity and interconnectedness, vocation and service, and resilience and resistance. For over 20 years RJC has partnered with MCC Guatemala and the Semilla Anabaptist Seminary

Students travel to Guatemala City, Lake Atitlan and Chichicastenango. In each community students connect with community organizations, women’s cooperatives and other development groups.

Students are hosted for a three day homestay with and organization called ANADESA. Additional Guatemalan experiences include exploring local cuisine, visiting local markets, and exploring the city of Antigua. 

 

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

– Mathew 25:35-36