Quick Contact

Ronald Porter
Acting Director of Service-Learning

Eckerd College
Office of Service-Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

porterrk@eckerd.edu

toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512

Service-Learning

Service Learning

Berlin: Spring Break 09

Berlin

View photos from Berlin

During Spring Break, 13 students traveled to Berlin, Germany to learn about the issue of Arab/Muslim immigration in Europe. After 9/11 and other European terror attacks, Islamaphobia has become a common prejudice in Western countries due to their misunderstanding of the religion. In Germany specifically, the "majority of the minorities" are from Turkey and practice the faith of Islam.

We stayed in Kreuzberg, a multicultural district of Berlin that is predominately Turkish. The agency we volunteered with was the Berliner Studentenverein, an NGO that offers tutoring as well as the opportunity for children with a Turkish background to learn about their national heritage through the study of Turkish history, language, philosophy, culture, religion, and literature. We helped them organize their personal library by categorizing and cataloging hundreds of books. One day we helped the students that were receiving tutoring for English. Alongside our volunteering, we were able to learn about the present political and social situation involving Muslims in Germany. We heard from Burhan Kesici, of the Islamische Föderation in Berlin, about the role of Muslims in European politics. And a social perspective from Mohammad Imran Sagir from the NGO Inssan, meaning "humanity" in Arabic, which works to promote coexistence and diversity through dialogue so as to realize the common ground that exists between Turks and Germans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We had the opportunity to visit the local mosque, where we learned about the basic tenets of Islam and that there are many more similarities between the major world religions than we had realized.

Of particular importance to our learning experience was our visit to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in northern Berlin. What had happened at this camp, just 70 years prior to our visit, showed us the true limits of hate. The fundamental goal of terrorism is to create divisions amongst social groups, so as to foster hate and revenge. But in our fight against terrorism, we as non-governmental entities must promote coexistence. Our experience taught us that for all the disagreements we might have over politics, religion, and culture, we have much more in common, starting with a shared humanity sharing a diverse world.

View photos from Berlin

Reflective Service-Learning Portfolio

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Current Calls to Action

Edible Peace Patch Project
Looking for something fun to do this summer? The Muscular Dystrophy Association is looking for volunteers for their summer camps! The camps will take place in Brandon, FL, June 21-27, and in Apopka, FL, July 12-18.
Interested? Contact Paula Orandash for more info at (727) 577-1700.
AIDS Walk Tampa Bay 2014
What are you and your friends doing to change the course of HIV in the Tampa Bay Region? By walking, donating or volunteering this year, you will help to provide much needed resouces to the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP).
The 12th annual AIDS Walk Tampa Bay will be held at Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday, September 6th. Registration starts at 8 a.m., and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

Notes from the Field

Servant Leaders blog
Service-Learning Interns blog
The service-learning student interns are increasing service involvement at Eckerd, becoming successful service leaders and helping students create a community around the values and challenges of servant-leadership.

Service Learning Profiles

Alumni Profiles

Read individual profiles of how involvement with Eckerd Service-Learning changed the lives of current students and alumni.  Learn more.