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Lasallian University Student Leadership Program in Brazil

Lasallian University Student Leadership Program in Brazil

Two students from Bethlehem University participated in the annual International Association of Lasallian Universities Student leadership program that was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July. One of the students wrote the following reflection.

Participating in the Lasallian Leadership and Global Understanding Summer Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2023 was a transformative experience that will forever hold a special place in my heart. As a Palestinian student proudly representing Bethlehem University, I found myself surrounded by around 40 students from around the world.

Our time at UniLasalle Rio de Janeiro spanned two weeks. Each day was filled with engaging activities and enlightening sessions, that enriched my understanding of various aspects of life and leadership. We delved into the story of John Baptist de La Salle, exploring the significance of Lasallian leadership in today's world. And other discussions about life in Brazil, reflections on spirituality, and issues of racism, inequality, and indifference that resonate globally. also, the significance of understanding our identity and the collaborative partnerships required for a world marked by peace, prosperity, and dignity, while nurturing a healthy planet.

One of the most impactful moments was when we participated in a community service project at the Pe Pequeno community. Our collective efforts to renovate and paint a space for the association didn't just enhance the physical surroundings but also allowed us to connect with the families and children in the area. This experience taught us that we can have a positive impact on people's lives, regardless of our diverse backgrounds and languages.

The weekends brought us opportunities for explorations. We ventured into the heart of Rio de Janeiro, opening our eyes to its rich culture. The downtown visits and interactions with local culture through museums and streets provided a deeper understanding of the city's soul. The soccer game and the visit to the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain and the inspiring Christ the Redeemer statue marked everlasting moments.

This whole experience wasn't easy, but it was absolutely amazing and something I won't forget. The people who organized the program treated us like family and created a comfortable atmosphere.

This opportunity made me realize how important it is to get along with people from different places, and it's given me a boost to do good things as a student, no matter where I am.