Media Release – Two solidarity projects promoted by professors and students from two universities in Argentina and Chile have been distinguished with the Uniservitate Award 2022 in the Latin America and Caribbean region. The awarded experiences correspond to social impact initiatives carried out by the Catholic University of Córdoba in Argentina and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. These projects will receive 5,000 euros each and their promoters will be able to participate in the III Uniservitate Global Symposium, which will take place in Rome from October 26 to 30. This meeting will bring together the winners of the 7 regions that make up the global network of universities of the Uniservitate program.
The Uniservitate Award recognizes projects of Catholic higher education institutions that use the pedagogy of service-learning in solidarity. That is, those that combine theory and practice to engage students as agents of social change while carrying out projects to improve their communities. Students from the Catholic University of Córdoba in Argentina incorporated the “Socio-housing Service (SHS)” into the stable program of the Architecture degree program, with the aim of implementing pre-professional internships in vulnerable neighborhoods for surveys, participatory design, and assistance to the self-construction processes of the communities involved, as well as specialized interdisciplinary training spaces in the field of social habitat, among others. Students from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile implemented the “Model of transformative training and social commitment: strengthening community solidarity services. Diagnosis and design of social interventions”. The initiative corresponds to two minimum courses of the professional output in “Community Social Psychology” at the School of Psychology UC, which are related to the practical work associated with the service learning experience.
In addition to the two winners, the Uniservitate Award has granted two mentions in the Latin American and Caribbean region to projects of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia) and the Universidad Rafael Landívar (Guatemala). This award is an initiative within the framework of Uniservitate, one of the programs promoted by the Latin American Center for Solidarity Service Learning (CLAYSS). CLAYSS is an international NGO based in Argentina that seeks to disseminate solidarity service-learning throughout the world and at different educational levels.
“From Uniservitate we are very pleased with the reception of this first call for the award. We think that the meeting in Rome will be very enriching. There will be people from all over the world. And, in addition, the projects are very varied: they touch on topics ranging from education to the environment and are approached from very different points of view (technology, psychology, social sciences…),” said the director of Uniservitate, Nieves Tapia. In the first edition of the Uniservitate Award, 200 solidarity experiences from the five continents participated. In total, the distinguished projects (two awards and two mentions in each region) will receive a sum of 84,000 euros destined to give continuity to the projects or to initiate others.
In each of the regions, the winners were selected by a jury made up of leading figures in the field of education. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, the members of the jury are José Ivo Follman SJ, Ph.D. in Sociology (UCL-Belgium), and Secretary for Social and Environmental Justice, Brazilian Province of the Society of Jesus.; Chantal Jouannet Valderrama, psychologist from the Universidad de la Frontera and Master in Educational Policy from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado de Chile and Director of the Centre for Teacher Development UC, leading the implementation of online classes for undergraduate and master’s degrees; Enrique Ochoa, BA in Political Science (University of Buenos Aires-UBA), with a postgraduate degree in International Relations and Negotiations (University of San Andrés and FLACSO Argentina), Since the creation of CLAYSS, he has been in charge of the International Relations of the organization; Daniela Gargantini, PhD in Architecture, researcher-teacher at the Catholic University of Córdoba (Argentina) and regional coordinator of the University Social Responsibility Network (RSU) of the Association of Jesuit Universities of Latin America (AUSJAL); Gladys Jiménez, PhD in Physical Activity and Sport Sciences from the Faculty of Education Sciences, University of Granada and member of the Sounding Board of the Observatory of Social Responsibility of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile; Leticia López Villarroel, master’s degree in education with a specialty in teaching-learning processes and is currently Director of the Center for Solidarity and Philanthropy at the University of Monterrey. The jurors evaluated the various projects presented, taking into account their quality, replicability, and ability to inspire other initiatives.
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Uniservitate is a global programme for Service-Learning promotion in Catholic Higher Education Institutions (CHEIs). It is an initiative of Porticus and is coordinated by CLAYSS. Its objective is to generate a systemic change through the institutionalization of service-learning/community engagement as a tool for higher education institutions to fulfill their mission of offering a comprehensive education to new generations and involving them in an active commitment to the problems of our time. Uniservitate’s global network is present in 26 countries on 5 continents through partnerships with more than 30 universities and higher education institutions.
About Uniservitate Award
Uniservitate Award awards service-learning projects in Catholic Higher Education Institutions. It aims to recognize the best experiences of each region, this means, those that better respond to the real needs of their social context from a successful synthesis of education and compromise with the community. The award’s objective is to make visible good educational and solidarity practices to inspire new initiatives so that the social impact is greater. The Uniservitate Award is organized by the Global Uniservitate Program, under the coordination of CLAYSS (Centro Latinoamericano de Aprendizaje y Servicio Solidario) and Porticus, in adhesion to the Global Compact on Education.
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