Saint Louis University-Madrid offers its students the opportunity to live out their identity as men and women for others. This solidarity challenges people to make the world more loving and more peaceful.
Driven by his desire to help children as well as a firm conviction in the importance of education, environmental science student Manuel Rodríguez Alonso is currently living in a rural village in Kenya, where he volunteers at the St. Vianney Education Center. The center provides education, food and shelter, basic health care and recreational activities to vulnerable children.
Rodríguez Alonso’s duties at the center vary every day, depending on the needs that arise. One of his first projects was to construct a pipeline to bring water to the school compound. He also assists with the daily work of maintaining the center’s self-sustained farm and teaches English and Science. He is also now involved in the construction of a girls’ dormitory. Through his work at the center, Rodríguez Alonso has helped serve orphans, children with special needs and those from low income families.
When asked about his impressions so far, he commented, “I’ve learned a lot… When you come here, it’s like entering into another world. But it’s a good experience, and I’m very happy to be part of a project that brings education and love to people that need it the most.” When he completes his stay in Kenya, Rodríguez Alonso plans to continue his environmental science degree on the St. Louis campus.
The spirit of service is part of what makes Saint Louis University and its Madrid Campus distinct. Hundreds of students like Rodríguez Alonso volunteer, doing their part to give back to others. While studying on the Madrid Campus, students teach English, work with the elderly, and serve sandwiches to the homeless, just to name a few of their projects.