The Africa Regional Hub had a remarkable and active participation in the 26th International Service Learning Conference, that was held on the 23rd– 25th August 2023 at the Autonomous city of Buenos Aires in Argentina. This event served as an important platform for the Africa Hub to engage with global Service Learning practitioners, researchers, and projects, reinforcing our commitment to advancing Service Learning initiatives in Africa. The Conference centered on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a global call to end poverty and protect the planet. Each participant could discuss the importance of each goal and exchange experiences with colleagues from different regions worldwide through a panel discussion and spaces specially prepared for that purpose.
Other major Conference highlights include:
Visit to ‘ONE WORLD, ONE HEALTH’ Service Learning Project:
As part of our engagement during the conference, we had a visit to the ‘ONE WORLD, ONE HEALTH’ Service Learning Project at the Margarita Barrientos Foundation. Currently, the project involves twenty chairs of the Faculty of Veterinary and more than ten UBA careers, including Psychology, Anthropology, Social Communication, Art, Agronomy, Graphic Design, Clothing Design, Dentistry and Sociology. The services offered include care for pets, and education on the prevention and treatment of animal diseases. Students participate through supervised pre-professional internships, workshops of the Rural and Urban Sociology chair, or as volunteers. This project exemplifies the power of service learning in addressing complex global challenges, and it provided us with valuable insights into successful implementation strategies. The visit allowed our delegation to witness firsthand the positive impact of service learning on the community and reinforced our commitment to similar initiatives in Africa.
VI Service Learning Researchers Symposium:
The VI Service Learning Researchers Symposium took place at the School of Dentistry – University of Buenos Aires. There were panel discussions on the Research status on Service- Learning in the World. The panelists included members from CLAYSS, Global Compact on Education Observatory and the UNESCO Chair in Community – Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education. This symposium allowed an exchange of insights, best practices, and innovative ideas with fellow researchers from around the world.
Participating in the 26th International Service Learning Conference was a significant milestone for the Africa Regional Hub. It enabled us to strengthen our network of international collaborators, share our region’s unique perspectives and challenges, and gain inspiration from successful global service learning projects. The Africa Regional Hub is dedicated to leveraging the knowledge and experiences gained during this conference to further advance service learning efforts in Africa. We will continue to foster partnerships, support research initiatives, and promote service learning projects that contribute to the well-being and development of our communities.