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M.A.P. trips are not about where you go. The focus of M.A.P. is connecting you in service with a justice issue 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. 2020 and the tentative sites we have organized:
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 sites are typically 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.
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 firsthand of what it means for some people to be a part of what we call America.
Whether it be a hospital or a nursing home, residents need companionship. Engage in ministry of presence with elderly and disabled: Be with them, eat with them and talk with them. Students will also perform light service work for the facilities, such as organizing food pantries.
Within our education system there are programs established to help each child receive an education while overcoming whatever obstacles are in the way to learning. On M.A.P. you could be serving as a teacher's aide in a classroom, helping with an after-school program that helps parents support the education of their child, guiding a high school student through the creative writing of a college essay or other school related work.
Everyone needs a home. Sometimes a home is lost because of natural disasters such as a flood or a tornado. Sometimes there is no home and Habitat for Humanity is there to finally help a family build one. 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/cleanup project or a new building project. No building skills required, just a willingness to learn and work hard.