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UC students work on El Salvador housing project

by Dawn Fuller

Working with the UC student group called Serve Beyond Cincinnati, students traveled in El Salvador in December 2010 to take part in a housing construction project coordinated by the Fuller Center for Housing (a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide) and its partner, Homes from the Heart (dedicated to eliminating world poverty).

“We did a lot of digging,” says Allison Ng, A&S ’11, who was a senior University Honors Scholar at the time. The 15 UC student volunteers dug ditches for septic tanks and water pipes, laid the foundation for a home and created a sandbox for neighborhood children.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to go on this trip,” she adds. “As much as I’ve learned in the classroom, there are certain things that you can only learn from experience.

“Hearing stories of the people who lived there and seeing the way they live there made me even more grateful for everything I have. At the end of the week, we donated a lot of our work clothes and shoes to the people who had been admiring what we were wearing all week. When we left, some of the neighborhood kids cried.

“I know we didn’t save the world in 10 days,” she says, “but it made me feel like we had some small impact on someone’s life, even if it was just putting a smile on their face for a few days.”