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Service-Learning or AIDS WALK Experience - Essay Example

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The community received students with a perspective of professionals who had a purpose. Young and old, youth and elderly, the community members, enjoyed seeing the students walk from one corner to another attending to the sick, advising, teaching and activating for a better health in the society. To the students, they had a chance to explore the community needs and wants, apply the class work to practical service to the community and employ their skills in service delivery. The participants arrived at the starting point on time and were issued with T-shirts with the writings, “AIDS is Real” and “Anyone can be a victim”. The T-shirts were issued to all the people who had already bought their tickets to participate in the walk. We all were required to pay $ 20 per person to acquire the ticket. It seemed that people had bought the tickets in plenty since the walk attracted more than two thousand people. Everyone seemed jovial to participate in the walk. This walk was aimed at sensitizing the public about AIDS and raise money to assist AIDS victims. The walk started at 10 am and lasted for four hours. We all walked through the city streets in unison and felt as though we were a community. The walk organizers provided all the participants with bottled water and energy drinks, in the course of the walk. This walk had incorporated nearly all the celebrities and other public figures. As we all walked and ran through the city, the national army band thrilled all passersby and the participants. The band played lovely songs that motivated people to continue walking. At the end of the walk, we all converged at the City Hall grounds where the partners and facilitators took us through ways on how we should treat AIDS victims and how we should relate to them. At the start of the AIDS Walk, the participants had formed opinions about the service, partners and personal abilities. Most of the participants thought that the service targeted a specific ethnic group and that it was a disease for gay people. Needless to say, other participants had a mistaken assumption that the partners should help reduce the prevalence of AIDS through the use of drugs alone. The participants also had the misconception that people should not interact with AIDS victims. This makes AIDS victims feel alienated from the society making it extremely difficult for them to open up and share AIDS opinions with the public. Moreover, the participants underestimated their abilities before the start of the walk. Walking 10 kilometers seemed impossible to many of the participants, but they were all surprised. In addition, most of the participants believed that they lacked personal attributes of relating well with AIDS victims. After the walk, all the assumptions held by the participants were proved wrong. Notably, we all gained personal skills on how to treat and relate with AIDS victims. In essence, the students who engage in service learning gain the practical skills and their contexts to provide back to the community the learned skills as services in response to any identified community concerns. The aim of Service learning is to attain equilibrium between service and goals of learning (seifer 1988). This objective fosters critical thinking and ensures there is a connection between theory and experience or practice. The facilitators and the partners noted that AIDS was not a disease for a particular ethnic group and that anyone can be a victim. They cleared the air by indicating that ...Show more
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Summary

Service learning or AIDS Walk Name: Institution: Service learning involves community outreach programs like AIDS Walks, service to the elderly, children and youth services, environmental organizations, underprivileged families and outreach to the homeless among others…
Service-Learning or AIDS WALK Experience
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