Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From one of the Nicaragua participants -- great post

Entrepreneurship, Opportunity, Competition, and Hope. Observations and insights in Troilo, Nicaragua

April 24th, 2013 by  under EntrepreneurshipInternationalSocial Impact,Social Value1 Comment.
Written by Professor David Kirsch
Mar 31, 2013
Over spring break, my family and I participated in a week-long service trip to Nicaragua run by the Yale Alumni Service Corps, a recent creation of the Association of Yale Alumni. I am not a Yale alumnus, and though my wife went to Yale Law School, she has had almost no connection to Yale in the 20+ years since she graduated. The principal criteria for choosing the trip were (1) it fit into our schedule, (2) it would allow our kids to spend a week with Spanish speakers who did not also speak English, (3) it would open our kids’ eyes to the realities of life in the developing world, and (4) it was time to spend spring break doing something other than sitting on a beach talking about doing something.
By all these criteria, the trip was a success, but it also succeeded in a very unexpected way. My own efforts as a member of the “business consulting” group involved meeting with and advising small business owners in the village of Troilo. While other subgroups staffed a medical clinic or put a new roof on the community center or taught in the local school (all activities with immediate, obvious and tangible benefits), I was initially concerned that our “service” was designed to occupy the few of us who were unable to contribute in any other (read: productive) way. But after a week of intensely personal conversations with a dozen local entrepreneurs, I came to see that our efforts may have been more valuable than I had expected. In particular, the experience stimulated me to contemplate some fundamental questions about the role of business in society that I elaborate upon below.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Yale Day of Service is Near You!

Yale Day of Service is in One Week.

Check out the Map of Service Sites here:

View Yale Day of Service 2013 in a larger map

Saturday, May 11th, 2013:  You are invited to join other Yale alumni and their  families and friends to give one day to make a difference in your community.
Feed the hungry...tutor children...restore a park...read to the blind...build a Habitat home...and so much more.
What do YOU want to do?
Last year, over 3,500 Yale alumni and friends came together to work side-by-side in service all over the world. At more than 245 sites in 42 states and 20 countries, members of the Yale community embodied the University's great tradition of service in giving back. Local communities were changed by the Yale alumni who live and work there.
The tradition of service is rooted in Yale’s past… but perhaps it is more relevant today than ever. There are few traditions as important to Yale alumni as service to others. We know you want to give back, not only to Yale, but also to your community.
So take a look at the many service sites available on this website and register for the one that is of greatest interest to you.And, if there is not a site in your area, or if you have an idea for another site, go to the Toolbox page or contact the Regional Director for your area to see how you can make one happen.

We hope you will be a part of this important and meaningful program. Join other members of the Yale community who come together to celebrate the many ways that Yale alumni give back!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Music in Nicaragua

It is hard to summarize just how transformative the YASC trip to Nicaragua was for our son and me.  I have tried to capture the experience in a video.  Check it out below -- and please do think about coming on a future Yale Alumni Service Corps trip.  They are wonderful experiences.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Service Corps Trip to Nicaragua

Just got back from the Yale Alumni Service Corps trip to Nicaragua. About 70 volunteers which included Yale alumni, friends, and current Yale students and faculty, heading to a small village called El Trohilo to work on a variety of projects.  Sponsored by the Yale Alumni Service Corps, the Yale Nursing School and our Nicaraguan partner, CEPAD, the trip had a number of projects.  A group of health care professionals ran a clinic that saw over 400 patients.  Andrew worked on a construction team that refurbished a community center.  A team of business consultants helped local entrepreneurs.   My son, Tyler, and I worked on the education team teaching piano.

I will share a bit more about our trip, sort of day by day (with a time delay), as I did when we went to the YASC trip to the Dominican Republic.

If you read nothing else, please know that these trips are life changing -- for the people we serve and those who go on the trips.  Please consider going on one.