Fourteen Iona alumni traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, in March on the second Iona in Mission trip exclusively developed for alumni. Coordinated by Steve Hill of the Office of Mission and Ministry, and moderated by Jack Breslin, Ph.D., associate professor, Mass Communication, the trip featured ten days of immersion with four non-government organizations (NGOs) along with cultural, historical and nature trips.
The experience was hosted by The Edmund Rice Justice Desk, which is based in Cape Town and affiliated with Edmund Rice International. The desk’s director, Jessica Dewhurst, will be presenting the Brother Cornelia lecture on September 18.
The group visited and assisted four Cape Town NGOs involved in healthcare, education, human rights and justice advocacy. At each site, the participants received a briefing on the group’s mission, then shadowed the workers, which involved meeting those they helped including healthcare patients, students and exiting prostitutes. There was also time for reflection and prayer.
The alumni also toured historic sites, national parks and a game park.
In reflecting on this experience, group leader Monica Jesby ’15 said, “I originally applied for the Alumni Immersion Trip because I had such incredible experiences on my undergrad immersion trips. My experience in South Africa was incomparable and the most amazing time of my life. The fourteen of us quickly became a family. Throughout our stay, we met incredible people and immersed ourselves in the day-to-day life there. We partnered with The Justice Desk and learned how to advocate for human rights. I would highly recommend this eye-opening and rewarding trip.”
For more information on the Iona in Mission alumni trip to South Africa, visit the program’s webpage at iona.edu/IonainMission for updates this fall.