HAMDEN, Conn. – Jenny Mears (Vernon, Connecticut) and Nadya Gill (Toronto, Ontario) of the Quinnipiac women's soccer team have created memories for a lifetime in the summer of 2015. Mears took a trip to Nicaragua with QU's 301 program while Gill traveled to Kenya with the organizations, "Me To We" and "Free The Children".
For Mears, each year, students travel abroad during school breaks to take part in humanitarian service projects, organized by the Albert Schweitzer Institute. Undergraduates can choose to spend a week in Nicaragua, helping build houses and a variety of other hands-on service projects. Mears had the opportunity to work with an orphanage in Leon; work in conjunction with Alianza Americana on top of a cathedral in Leon; help host a clothing drive; and work on a church in Granada.
"It was an incredible trip and I will keep the lessons that I learned with me for the rest of my life!" Mears said. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to gain a new perspective and give back even a fraction of what they all gave me."
Gill returned from a life-changing experience in Kenya, Africa. She traveled to the region with a group of youth through the organizations, "Me To We" and "Free The Children". While in Kenya, the group was able to further the construction of a desperately needed surgical wing at the local Baraka Health Clinic. Once the surgical wing is complete, the facility will be equipped to serve locals as a fully-fledged hospital.
Furthermore, the group was able to experience first-hand what a typical Kenyan woman would have to go through venturing to collect water for her family - known as a "water walk". Among other things, the group learned how to bead beautiful pieces of jewelry and complete a session of weapons training with a pair of Maasai Warriors.
"We lived in tents for three weeks, which gave us the opportunity to interact with locals who lived in close proximity to the campground and appreciate the beauty of the environment around us," Gill said. "As a group, we played with the kids attending some of "Free The Children" schools such as Emori Joi Public School and at Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School. This trip was truly been a touching and eye opening experience."
The Quinnipiac women's soccer team is set to return for preseason on Aug. 6 with practice slated to begin on Aug. 7. After three preseason scrimmages, the Bobcats open the 2015 campaign against Holy Cross on Aug. 24 at the QU Soccer Field.
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