Direct Service, Education and Reflection

Direct Service without Education and Reflection

  • Frustrating

  • Reinforces harmful stereotypes

  • Can exploit community

Education without Direct Service and Reflection

  • Shallowly academic

  • Becomes rote

  • Cynicism and complacency with status quo

Reflection without Direct Service and Education

  • Shallow, empty

  • Feels overly touchy-feely

  • No context for effective follow-up

Deeply impacted by the model of service used in the national Alternative Breaks Movement through Break Away, the Volunteer Resource Center believes education and reflection are essential components of quality service.

Education provides the service partners with the opportunity to engage with a full understanding of social and environmental issues, including the root causes. Without education, service can reinforce stereotypes, exploit communities, and become frustrating for all service partners.

Reflection offers the opportunity to integrate the often deeply impactful experience service and education provide. Time spent in both individual and group reflection promotes a community able to dialogue on complex and emotionally-provoking social justice issues. Without reflection, service partners are often left without community or an avenue of expression for the deep experiences that occur through direct service.