Types of Programs

Service Learning

Rustic Pathways service learning programs intersect critical global citizenship education with international development. Service learning programs are distinguished from other types of programs by the pre-trip and post-trip curriculum that Rustic Pathways provides and facilitates for schools.

For years, we’ve evaluated our student and community impact – if students experience the expected personal growth on programs and whether our service projects meet the needs of the community partners they’re designed to benefit. In 2018/19, we partnered with Dr Kearrin Sims, a critical development scholar at James Cook University, to research best practices in international service learning. The results from Dr Sims’ research is guiding our programming from 2020 onwards.

We have also aligned our work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Service projects at Rustic contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goals such as improving access to education, protecting and preserving the environment, and ensuring access to basic human needs such as clean water and adequate food. Not only do our community service outcomes contribute to the 17 goals the UN is working to address by 2030, but everything we do as an organisation is guided by those core principles.

This is the general framework we apply when developing our service-learning programs:

Below is an example of how this framework manifests for participants in our Life in the Bateyes program in the Dominican Republic:

  • Students investigate the social, racial, and economic issues that have resulted in substandard living conditions for this community of Dominican and Haitian sugarcane workers.
  • Students prepare for travel, then act by assisting with construction projects to build new homes for these families and create an educational activities camp for local children.
  • Students participate in facilitated reflections during their travels, thinking critically about how to support transformational changes in their world and advocate for poverty alleviation.
  • Students demonstrate their learning to their school community and become involved in local policymaking related to poverty through our Rustic Life program.
  • Students are supported with further investigation and action by Rustic Pathways Foundation, which contributes to ending poverty, one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Please contact us at rustic@rusticpathwys.com.au for further information and sample programs.