Cbl 2

Community-Based Learning

"Community-based organization" is an umbrella term that includes non-profits, schools, religious and non-religious institutions united by a common place, experience or concern. Each semester Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff participate in an array of volunteer and service-learning programs to enhance the health, well-being and practical skills of our neighbors in Rome. The Rome Global Gateway, together with the ND's Center for Social Concerns, and as a key component of the All Roads Lead to Rome course, every year seeks to connect students to communities in Rome according to their interests and availability during their time in the eternal city. Students' involvement with local organizations and their interaction with people in need as well as Italian volunteers, gives them the opportunity to strengthen their ties with the local community and to leave their mark when abroad.

Current collaborations include:

  • Comunità di S.Egidio - Students join members of the Sant'Egidio community in preparing dinners and distributing them to the urban poor where they live - especially those who are elderly, without homes, immigrants or displaced - through their Meals on the Road program. This opportunity provides students with a deeper understanding of poverty in modern-day Rome and the ways in which groups, like Sant’Egidio, are addressing it. 

  • Congregazione delle suore di Carità dell'Assunzione - Students join fellow volunteers and the sisters in mentoring, tutoring and playing games/sports with school-aged children from diverse backgrounds through their After School Program. This opportunity provides insight into the concrete ways in which immigration and socio-economic issues can impact individuals and families living in Rome's periphery. 

  • Istituto Orsoline - Students assist teachers in planning and delivering lessons in English in various fields of study to middle and high school students through a Co-Teaching Program. This activity provides students with first-hand experience in and a working knowledge of issues relating to the education system in Italy.

  • Istituto Leonarda Vaccari - In collaboration with students from the Università di Roma LUMSA, students contribute to the day-to-day operations of a school for children with disabilities and special needs. This opportunity provides students with a deeper understanding of the systems in place for individuals with disabilities in modern-day Italy. 

  • Joel Nafuma Refugee Center - Students assist guests of the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center in the development of oral and written English language skills through weekly meetings and conversation. This opportunity provides students with insight into some of the challenges and opportunities that individuals living as refugees can experience in today's Italy.

  • Missionaries of Charity - students assist the sisters with the various acts of charity that keep their "Casa di Accoglienza" running (e.g., mopping floors, doing dishes, washing clothes, preparing for the midday lunch). This opportunity provides insight into the structures in place and services required of those who are sick or elderly and without a place to call home.