UALR students spent spring break going “off to the market,” the theme of Heifer International’s 2015 Beyond Hunger educational event.
The Beyond Hunger initiative was held March 21 at Heifer Village and included interactive events for attendees, information about how to help end hunger and poverty, and opportunities to learn about why family farmers are an important part of the solution.
The public event, coordinated through the UALR Office of Academic Advising and Heifer International, was fully designed and implemented by current UALR students.
The partnership between the UALR Office of Academic Advising and Heifer International emerged from a desire to connect students with a global service-learning experience, a component of The First Year Experience course at UALR.
It represents the first time that Heifer International has worked closely with an outside volunteer group to fully design and implement a project, according to Interim Director of Academic Advising Kim Tran.
“These kinds of projects provide UALR students with a real-world experience on how to present to stakeholders, how to design and implement projects, and, most importantly, to learn about one of the many global challenges that affect our global community,” she said.
The event is part of the effort leading up to Earth Day 2015 celebrations at UALR, which will include a Coleman Creek cleanup on Saturday, April 4, and a variety of on-campus Earth Day activities on Wednesday, April 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
More about the Beyond Hunger initiative
Students met for several weeks during the fall to develop and design the theme and coordinate activities and crafts that fit Heifer’s criteria of being educational, appropriate for a variety of ages, and low cost.
The planning committee presented their proposal and afterwards, Heifer International agreed to use all the activities suggested.
The group consisted of Renee Eccleston, Aaron Harris, Chelsea Jackson, Christi Kim, Enatha Ntirandeku, Helen Ward, Desiree Williams, and Sydney Williams.
Students continued the project into the Spring 2015 semester, raising donations for items used in the “International Marketplace,” preparing materials for crafts and games, and building a photo booth and prize station.
The implementation committee included Jairius Black, Devante Brown, Keenan Halk, Keenan Henry, Rejenea Henry, Carol Morris, Chris Morris, Jordan Rendeluk, Danielle Scholes, and Mikayla Uyokpeyi.
Several students volunteered their time to work booths at the Beyond Hunger event, including Robert Arruejo, Devante Brown, Daniel Perez del Basto, Jordan Rendeluk, Helen Ward, and Desiree Williams.
Activities included a “Milk to Market” relay race where participants learned about the ways dairy cows can benefit impoverished farmers and the “Fishing for Funds” station demonstrating aquatic agriculture. There was also a photo booth and petting zoo.
At the end of the day, the students met with Tran, Heifer Village Coordinator and UALR Alumna Ellen Brown, and Heifer International Global Education Manager Lori Ducey to talk about what they learned from the project. Many commented on how inspirational it was to see their ideas for the project grow into realities.
Heifer International is headquartered in Little Rock and since 1944 has partnered with more than 105.1 million people in countries around the world to improve their quality of life.