Learn & Serve: Fall 2013 Retreats Wrap-Up!

It’s been a busy fall for Learn & Serve at SIFAT!  We have had so many wonderful groups from across the southeast come to our campus in Lineville, AL for L&S programming.  As we slow down for the winter season, we wanted to share a glimpse of this past season with you!

During Fall 2013, we had 1,903 participants experience a variety of Learn & Serve retreat programs.  This is a 37% increase from participation in Fall 2012 Retreats!  Here are a couple of highlights from our fall retreat groups:


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Learn & Serve: Goodbye Summer!

As summer ends and school is starting back, Learn & Serve (L&S) would like to thank all of our participants for making L&S Summer Experience 2013 such an amazing program! During our seven sessions, we had 393 participants from eight states across the southeast and midwest.

During each of the seven week-long sessions of Learn & Serve summer experience, youth and their leaders took over the SIFAT campus. When the final groups left, our staff immediately felt like something was wrong…it was too quiet!


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Training – Field Study: Water, Water Everywhere

 Our May Field Study was held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, participated this year. She has been blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.

One of the subjects covered during the Field Study was the need for clean water. Alabama Water Watch, a water quality monitoring program covering all major river basins of the state, came to educate us about water quality. We watched informative videos and learned about the need for clean water globally. We then had the chance to test the water here at SIFAT.

Clean water was one of the main topics covered during the Field Study.


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Training – Field Study:

Our May Field Study is currently being held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, is a participant this year. She will be blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.

We had the pleasure to spend some time with Dr. Larry Winiarski, inventor of the rocket stove. Larry, a man of few words, is brilliant beyond belief. He dedicated numerous hours, months and years to come up with a solution to build better stoves in impoverished countries. After many years of hard work, he found a solution. He came up with a model allowing smoke to blow away from the stoves, so people aren’t forced to inhale dangerous fumes.


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Training – Field Study: A Night in the Slums

Our May Field Study is currently being held on SIFAT’s campus May 12-25. Sarah Murphree, SIFAT co-founder Sarah Corson’s great-niece, is a participant this year. She will be blogging about her experience and giving readers a glimpse of what types of appropriate technologies and community development topics are being presented, as well as a look into who some of the participants are.  A 2012 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Sarah recently directed and produced two short films, one taking first place in the 2013 Nashville Film Festival. She is currently working on her third film, a documentary about Camp Koinonia.

 

Tonight was a night I shall never forget. It was my first time to experience the slums at SIFAT. The Slum Experience is a program offered at SIFAT where high school students, adult leaders and college-aged staff experience life in the slums. During global training, we get a taste of this. Tonight was that night. Addison Shock, Learn & Serve director, divided us into families and led us down the wooded path to the slums where we would stay for three hours. We had no knowledge of where we were going or what to expect. This is how the majority of people enter the slums. People don’t choose to live here. Often times, they come across the slums in search of a place of safety. People never expect to stay here long, but with little knowledge of what else is out there and where to go, sometimes the slums seems like a diamond in the ruff.

 

SIFAT’s Urban Slum simulates what life may be like for an estimated one billion people in the world.


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