M.A.P. trips are not about where you go. The focus of M.A.P. is connecting you in service around an issue of justice that interests you. When choosing your M.A.P. trip, start thinking about the following questions: What are your gifts and talents and how do you think these talents can best serve others? What is the relationship of your service week on M.A.P. and your vocation or choice of major? What is an area of justice that you either know well or want to know more about and are you willing to spend a week engaged intimately with? All of these are great questions and part of connecting you with the justice issue you are best called to serve.
The following are the Justice Issues we are focusing on for M.A.P. 2015 and the tentative sites we have organized to focus on these issues:
Much of urban poverty is dealing with hunger and homelessness within high crime, segregated, and low income neighborhoods. Learn about a diversity of responses to a very gritty reality for larger populations. These sights typically are housed in a social agency or parish that provides consistent community outreach such as meal programs, health clinics, after school programs, and/or skills training for unemployed workers.
Our nationís agricultural and rural areas are dealing with issues of justice relating to family farming/ migrant workerís rights, Appalachian poverty and strip mining, drought recovery, or eco-justice and sustainable farming. These sights are usually located in smaller towns with a good chance to connect with the local population in simple and sincere ways.
Engagement in the understanding of cultural diversity and justice issues related to racism, physical disability, civil rights, and/or indigenous rights provides a unique living and learning placement based upon cultural diversity. Living within a population of people who are directly affected by injustice is an opportunity in knowing the history first hand of what it means for some people to be a part of what we call America.
Within our education system there are programs established to help each child receive this education while overcoming whatever obstacles are in their way to learning. On M.A.P. you could be serving as a teacher's aid in a classroom, helping with an afterschool program that helps parents support the education of their child, guiding a high school student through the creative writing of their college essay, or other school related work.
Everyone needs a home. Sometimes a home is lost due to natural disasters such as a flood or a tornado. Sometimes there is no home and Habitat is there to finally help a family get a home of their own. The work of our hands and the efforts of our hearts are there to respond to whatever need is given to us whether it is a rebuilding/clean -up project or a new building project. No building skills required, just a willingness to learn and work hard.
Service in the form of medical aid is found in many justice outreach agencies. Volunteer in a medical clinic or help patients walk through initial assessments while you are working with other areas of service.