July 28, 2005 -- In December of 2004 a tsunami in the Indian Ocean destroyed the lives of 250,000 people and traumatized millions. What we often learn
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, after a tragedy such as this, is that the human spirit is enormously resilient and encourages us to ask the questions "Is there something of value that can be learned here? Is there a story to be told?, Can we be of true service to those affected?"
“ Absolutely, on all counts. ”
School for International Training (SIT) says, "Absolutely, on all counts." SIT’s mission is to create effective intercultural leaders under the best of circumstances and extraordinary ones under less than ideal conditions. This is why SIT has partnered with Sarvodaya, Sri Lanka’s largest non-governmental organization, to offer this unique degree program for those students who want to manage the academic rigors of a demanding curriculum with a challenging experiential learning component. Educating and training new leaders in relief and development efforts is a specialty of the Sustainable Development degree program at SIT.
According to the United Nations, as reported by IPS News, five months after the tsunami, there are 700 NGOs operating in Sri Lanka. According to Oxfam, "The problem on the ground is that many agencies, in their haste to spend and with their lack of experience and knowledge of the context, just want to get on with reconstruction without consulting local communities." SIT is partnering with Sarvodaya, the most respected development NGO in Sri Lanka to offer a 12-month, service-learning-based M.A. degree in Sustainable Development with the intention of making a direct, meaningful contribution to the recovery effort. Under Sarvodaya’s guidance SIT will begin to replenish the supply of development professionals while contributing thousands of hours of para-professional work to the local communities. The SIT/Sarvodaya program will take students into the field with Sri Lankan Development professionals and into the communities and lives of those families affected by the tsunami. This effort will result in the application of best practices in development knowledge to the demands of the worst humanitarian crisis in our lifetime.
The candidates for the program will already have background in humanitarian related fields including several years of relevant experience. They will have tested themselves in intercultural situations and be comfortable living under very demanding circumstances. Pending a minimum of 15 students, this program will run from January 2006 to December 2006 and it is important that participants understand the demanding requirements of a full time on-site program such as this. The program is limited to 25 participants and is accepting applications now at http://www.sit.edu/srilanka
The School for International Training (http://www.sit.edu) was established by The Experiment in International Living in 1964 as a graduate degree-granting institution spawned from the original Peace Corps Training Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. Based on an experiential model of education
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with an emphasis on personal reflection for the purpose of creating transformational learning, SIT recognizes that there is no better lesson than considering what one learns in the classroom by applying it in the field.
Given its focus on intercultural interactions, SIT embraces its obligation to ensure that its learners are effective in cross-cultural settings and that they understand their citizenship responsibilities transcend local and national boundaries. SIT Study Abroad provides undergraduate learners with a distinctive international education in over 40 countries worldwide — including more opportunities in the developing world than any other program of its kind. Today SIT awards master’s degrees in Language
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Teacher Education; International Education; Sustainable Development; Conflict Transformation, Social Justice in Intercultural Relations; Management; Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management; and NGO Leadership and Management. SIT Study Abroad provides undergraduate learners with a distinctive international education in over 40 countries worldwide-including more opportunities outside the United States than any other program of its kind.
Please review http://www.sit.edu/srilanka for details.
Contact: Dean John Nirenberg (802) 258-3216