Mizzou Alternative Breaks (MAB) is a service program designed to cultivate active citizenship through domestic and international service experiences. We aim to help students gain a wider perspective of the world and grow within their community.
Within Mizzou Alternative Breaks, we use our principles in everything we do. Keeping in mind the detrimental effects poorly enacted service can have on a community, we lean on our 7 principles to ensure our site leaders and participants offer the best service they can.
Serve, Don’t Help
Mizzou Alternative Break trips are service trips. There is a subtle, but crucial difference between helping someone and serving someone. We don’t go on these trips to help poor, sick and helpless people. We go to humbly serve them. We share our gifts with them and they share their gifts with us. It’s a two way street on an equal plane, an exchange between two groups of people that brings positive change to everyone.
With everyone you come into contact with, be sure to communicate love first. Regardless of language, values or cultural differences, it’s easy to share love and use that to communicate on common ground. A smile can accomplish more than we know.
This Is It
Throughout the week, live fully in every moment. Appreciate the people around you and the unique immersive experience you’re having. Realize that this isn’t some “other world” outside of Mizzou, but the same world with the same amazing people. When you’re on your trip or living back on campus, know that this is it.
This week is a rare opportunity to step outside of the lives we’re used to living on campus. Make the most of it by unplugging from attachment to technology, the internet and the habits we get into. Leave the phones in your bag when you volunteer all day. Enjoy a more simple life, free of distractions and full of concrete experiences.
Flexibility goes a long way to making a trip work. Be open and respect what is asked of you and your trip. Embrace whatever comes and creatively bend to fit into it. Don’t be afraid to change your priorities, your perspective or your values based on your experience.
Poco A Poco
This Spanish phrase means “little by little.” We aren’t going to change the whole world in one week, but we do have an opportunity to make a noticeable difference in a community during that time. Realize that future trips can build on what you’re doing, and that your work is the product of past volunteers. Change comes slowly, but the positive impact you make in one week is what matters.
Bring It Home
We go out on all these trips for a reason. There is a lot to learn in the world and if our students can see it first hand, Mizzou becomes a better place. After our week away, take what we’ve learned and bring it home to campus. Channel your newfound passions by volunteering here, by creating a new organization or by sharing your stories with your peers.