Nineteen students from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Qatar did volunteering work in Nepal and Thailand this summer as part of the university's global service learning programme.
Partnering with Habitat for Humanity Nepal, a non-profit organization that helps build and renovate houses for those in need, CMU-Q students spent 10 days building a house in Central Nepal for a needy family, the university said.
The NGO worked in partnership with the women-led co-operative partner 'Amardeep Mahila Utthan Bachat Tatha Rin Sahakari Sanstha', in Bharatpur.
Habitat for Humanity Nepal country representative Aruna Paul said, "The houses of the Nepalese here are made up of mud floor, thatch, tin roofs and stone walls without any ventilation.
"There is no proper sanitation or potable water facilities. The students from CMU-Q teamed up with local people and worked hard to build a shelter for one family here. The contribution that the students made has dramatically improved the quality of life for this family." A second group of CMU-Q students travelled to Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand, where they spent two weeks working in rice fields, building foundations and exploring the Thai culture.
The student-led trip required students to pitch their ideas to a judging panel, with the team lead chosen based on their ideas and leadership skills. The winning student this year was Amalan Roshan a junior in business administration.
Service learning is at the core of the university’s mission towards the holistic development of students who are prepared to make a difference in their communities.
Students are encouraged to incorporate community service into their educational experience by joining student clubs, volunteering for service trips and participating in sustained commitment programmes, CMU-Q said.