The Four Pillars
Global Outreach is built on the pillars of community, spirituality, social justice, and simple living. The pillars are an interconnected framework that allows the students to build their experience on a multi-dimensional platform that addresses their individual growth and the growth of the community as it relates to the greater world community.
To achieve a meaningful experience, we ask each participant to live simply and in community with the other participants, to examine the causes of social injustice, and to appreciate the experience of our various world cultures. We hope that upon returning, the participant retains this new perspective and shares it with his or her own community. We ask each individual and team to adopt and respect the four pillars of Global Outreach, which have been created for this purpose.
Global Outreach teams are formed around the principle of communal living. Each team is assembled several months prior to the project’s travel dates and during this time the team works to achieve solidarity and interdependence through team meetings, reflections, and a retreat. During the project, the community shares meals, living space, and expenses, and similar struggles and successes. In addition to developing community with the immediate team, the GO! community seeks to immerse itself in the fabric and culture of the host community. Upon returning from their project, GO! communities are encouraged to maintain their team dynamic through further reflections, team activities, and communication with the host community. Participants are also asked to refrain from blatant separations of small groups from the community (i.e., cliques) or any action that results in a breakdown of the community.
Global Outreach, as an inclusive organization, welcomes all beliefs and promotes respect for and acceptance of the beliefs of team members and religions encountered at a project’s destination. In promoting inclusiveness and respect, GO! encourages dialogue about religious and spiritual differences. It is both a physical and a spiritual journey and each participant is asked to partake in team reflections to assist each other in understanding the various ways in which we process the emotionally and physically challenging aspects of a Global Outreach experiences. Reflection also serves as a vehicle to combine faith and action. It is important to share your spiritual growth and to understand the spiritual nature and growth of your community.
Global Outreach communities learn about various issues of injustice and seek to address the causes of injustice that are rooted in our society. Many projects learn about issues such as inadequate housing, disparities of wealth, HIV/AIDS services, hunger, environmental sustainability, immigration, and atrocities of war. Through examining issues of poverty and injustice, Global Outreach communities come to an enhanced understanding of their role in the greater world community.
Global Outreach communities are asked to live simple lifestyles that promote personal relationships over material possessions, ultimately allowing for a more in-depth cultural immersion. For some, simple living might entail limited access to water for bathing which addresses the water crisis in many of our host communities. For others it could be a simple meal to better understand the lack of equal food distribution. Simple living allows the Global Outreach communities to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and to obtain deeper personal relationships while spending their energy focusing on their community.