Toward the end of their Lima residency, Georgetown McDonough Evening MBA students embarked on a trip to the outskirts of the city to help build a wall for a local daycare. The project was jointly executed with Techo, a nonprofit that helps alleviate poverty through work in small infrastructure projects by volunteers and community members. This was the third time Georgetown McDonough partnered with Techo to implement a community service project during the Global Business Experience.
Meagan LaBossiere (MBA’18) was one of the students who participated in the project. She said the experience lived up to the school’s mission.
“I find it vitally important when developing ethical leaders that these types of community service events be woven into the fabric of our curriculum,” said LaBossiere. “Taking deliberate steps to increase exposure to those less fortunate will instill a sense of awareness that will serve to ground our future decisions as global leaders.”
Jason Myers (MBA’18) also found value in the experience.
“I was glad that GBE incorporated the community service project into the residency abroad, as it helps students better understand the country they are visiting,” said Myers. “You have the opportunity to experience the business culture, food, and hospitality of the country, but a volunteering event really makes you feel like part of the culture in a way the other experiences cannot,” he said.
Students worked during a Friday morning to help build an eco-wall for a local daycare in the “Las Colinas” community, located in the Callao district. The community had previously been working on the project through terrain preparation and local fundraising efforts.
“I remember thinking how crazy it was that the wall we were building was to keep the children from falling down a big hill onto a busy road,” Myers said. “In the United States, you take something as simple as a playground fence for granted.”
On site, Techo member Jussara Zapata helped students and community members execute the project.
“Georgetown students were very involved in the community activity,” said Zapata. “Despite the language barrier, they showed a great attitude and were friendly with the locals.”
“Having us come into their community was a big deal for the locals,” said LaBossiere. “After the event, the community prepared a meal for us to enjoy as a way of thanking us, despite it being obvious that their resources were limited. Despite us being the ones who were volunteering, I feel like the community gave us more than we gave them.”
Georgetown McDonough students left Lima humbled, inspired, and happy to have helped the local families in Callao.
“The people in Las Colinas were very nice and hospitable,” said Myers. “Working alongside them to help make their community a better place for the kids is a great memory I will have forever. Peru was such a great country to visit, and the opportunity to leave it a better place was very rewarding.”
“I commend the school for fostering community service in their students,” said Zapata. “It is important for business students to experience challenging realities in other countries to enact change, as they may not be familiar with these kinds of environments in their home countries or they may not be present in the same magnitude.”