MBAs Put Jesuit Values in Action in South Africa
Georgetown McDonough MBA Evening Program students visited a migrant community in Yeoville through the Jesuit Refugee Service (JSR) and the Jesuit Institute, as part of their social responsibility Global Experience in South Africa in July. Since South Africa had opened up its borders post-Apartheid, Yeoville has become one of the largest areas in Johannesburg for immigrants and refugees from many different African countries including Congo, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon, Somalia, Rwanda and Kenya.
“Thanks to the collaboration with the Jesuit Refugee Service, many of us were exposed to opportunities that allowed us the ability to leverage our educational experiences in a way to help those who are not as fortunate to have the opportunities we have as Georgetown students.” explained Christopher Dynan (EP’14).
JRS supports migrants by providing support to displaced people in both the community and in refugee camps. JRS also creates urban programs that provide training and grants that enable refugees to start their own small businesses such as hair salons, convenience stores, and tailoring shops. During their visit, groups of two or three students went around and met with some of the refugee business owners to learn more about their experiences and way of life, when possible, they applied some of the business lessons they learned at Georgetown to advise the business owners.
“My experience with the Jesuits was rewarding on a number of different levels,” said Brent McNally (EP’14). “Spending the day in Yeoville was insightful and reminds you that every day there are people who are struggling to make ends meet.”
“Yeoville truly reinforced that idea that as someone who holds a degree from Georgetown, it is our obligation to honor that degree by making efforts to improve the world for those who are less fortunate,” added Christopher. “To me, that is living out the Jesuit ethos that underlies my educational foundation at Georgetown.”
-- Joan Lim