My name is Rebca and I’m a 4th year social work student at the University of Calgary. My reasons for being a part of the NOLA program have a lot to do with my future goals. One of the reasons I got into social work is to do both individual and community development work. I wanted to get a degree that would allow me to work with people both here in Calgary and on an international level.
Now, getting back to NOLA. This opportunity couldn’t be more perfect. I get to go to New Orleans, a place that is so rich in culture and also a place that is filled with resilient people. New Orleans has struggled greatly before Hurricane Katrina and continues to struggle now with issues of food security and education. I am passionate about education because I feel it gives children the ability to further themselves and to gain different types of knowledge. I am also passionate about food security because it helps address a basic need for all people. Above the basics however, it leads to a healthy community. Education and food security go hand in hand for me. Who ever heard of focused hungry students?
I do have some experience around food security and education. When I was fresh out of high school I went to my parents home country of Ethiopia, where both education and food security are huge problems. I started a non-profit to help one of the poorest communities in the capital city of Addis Ababa. The program sends children to school along with ensuring that they have three meals a day. I am very passionate about children. I believe that with out the children and youth there is very little future for any community, city and /or country.
Some of my goals for the NOLA trip are to become more aware of the resources that are currently in place as well as the lack of resources. I want to see how accessible the resources are for the people who need them. Most of all, I am looking to have face to face discussions with the people who live in New Orleans. I want to hear the stories of students, residents and people who are running programs. I’d like to learn from them.
Overall, I am so, so, so, so excited to be going to New Orleans I can’t wait to get my hands dirty and learn all about Our School at Blair’s Grocery. I hope to keep you all updated on my experiences down there through this blog. Ta ta for now. See you from New Orleans : )