Community Organization Placements

Derry Waterside Vista
Views of Derry/Londonderry

The heart of this program is the student placements with community organizations each of which, in its own distinctive way, is dedicated through its regular work to furthering the peace and community and institution building process in Northern Ireland. Students are involved extensively in the daily work and activities of the groups with which they are placed. Inevitably, students become social as well as working members of these groups, and we know from previous semesters that the students are very welcomed and valued members, involved in an adult capacity in the ongoing activities of these organisations.

As well, community organization placements provide the basis for assigned written work, as well as oral reports, to be produced in close coordination with the "Lessons Learned from the Peace Process in Northern Ireland" Irish School of Ecumenics TCD course, which will engage research and service learning skills. This will eventuate in the production of a major written report. The specific contents and organization of the assignments, as well as of the final report, will vary of course with the nature of the groups with which students are placed and with the work that they do with these groups. This will be worked out individually for each student through regular, on going consultation with the Regional Director, Denise Crossan. And, 'final report' may be - and often will be - a written document. It may as well, when appropriate, be, e.g., a performance or a portfolio or a film.

Street SignsA rich menu of placement opportunities, including possibilities for work in both studio and performing arts, will be available. For the interested student, there are a couple of good ways prospectively to explore these possibilities. One is to request, through the foreign study office, a list of 'for examples.' another, and for many perhaps better, way is to reflect a bit on your interests in, e.g.., the peace and reconciliation process or Northern Ireland or issues and topics (e.g., the arts and social change, education and community building, civil society, means to social healing, memory and the reconciliation process) to which you hope your semester in Northern Ireland will respond. Then bring a summary distillation of your reflection to share with the foreign study adviser; who will put you in touch with Denise Crossan (and perhaps others, both here and there) who will discuss with you how specific placements can respond to your interests. And, of course, please feel free to be in touch with Denise Crossan directly if ever and whenever you may wish to do so: (dcrossa1@swarthmore.edu)