By Pam Barrett
December 20, 2005

Wake Forest students to serve the poor in India, South Africa and Vietnam

Thirty-three Wake Forest University students will live out the spirit of Wake Forest's motto "Pro Humanitate" (for humanity) and spend a portion of their holiday break overseas serving the poor and disadvantaged in India, South Africa and Vietnam.

This year, Wake Forest's City of Joy Scholar Program will take 11 student volunteers to Calcutta, India, Dec. 26 through Jan. 8 to help the Missionaries of Charity change beds, bathe patients, clean wards and feed and comfort the sick and dying. Many will also help in orphanages and with handicapped children.

From Dec. 26 to Jan. 9, 11 Wake Forest students will travel to the Kayamandi Township of South Africa through a program called Mission of Good Hope in conjunction with Stellenbosch University. They will provide computer training for disadvantaged local citizens.

Eleven other Wake Forest students will travel to Vietnam Dec. 26 through Jan. 9 to work with Peacework Ambassadors. The students will help build a school in Ben Tre Province near the Mekong Delta in partnership with local people.

This is the eleventh year Wake Forest has sponsored service trips. The trips are student initiated and student led, but faculty or staff advisors do accompany them. Wake Forest's international service trips began in 1994 through the efforts of a Wake Forest student who had dreamed of meeting Mother Teresa and working among her Missionaries of Charity.

To prepare for these service trips, all students have attended weekly team meetings during the fall semester that focused on different cultural aspects of their trips, attended a team retreat and participated in service projects and fundraising efforts.

The India and South Africa trips are sponsored by Wake Forest's Student Development office and the Volunteer Service Corps. The Vietnam trip is sponsored by the Pro Humanitate Center and the Lilly Grant. Several students from each trip also received financial support from the Rosser Family Fund.