On Monday, February 9th PLNU students and faculty kicked off the trans-disciplinary Hello Friends! campaign on the San Diego campus. A real-world sustainable collaboration among PLNU students, faculty, and staff, Hello Friends! received second place in the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries national competition focused on water justice. The team from PLNU was awarded an implementation grant for the campaign, along with $7,500 which they selected to use for a Beauty for Ashes scholarship at PLNU to support survivors of human trafficking.
Monday’s campaign announcement launched a week of activities aimed at connecting the PLNU community and Pastor Celestin Chishibanji from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). “While listening and learning from the community in the DRC, our campaign also seeks to educate and inform the college community about global poverty, clean water obstacles, and hygiene/sanitation challenges experienced by our friends living in another part of the world,” says Dr. Rob Gailey, who directs PLNU’s Center for International Development and led the PLNU team in the project development.
Using web, social media, and daily programmed activities the campaign seeks to raise awareness about access to fresh water, hygiene and sanitation. The ultimate goal is to fund the completion of the first water well at Ep. Mutombo Primary School and Mutowa Institute in the DRC. According to Courtney Mayer, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design at PLNU, who guided her design students in design and branding, the campaign “will use a variety of technology and media: identity, print, web, built environmental space, and social media. We want to open hearts and minds and make a positive social impact in the lives of all who participate.”
During the course of the campaign, students hosted a variety of events focused on clean water access and hygiene; from soap making to a campus wide toothbrush drive. All items made and received will be delivered to the DRC this summer as a part of PLNU’s established LoveWorks program. Fundraising for the well is built into all programming and the week concludes with Friday’s community clean up at Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which borders the campus along the Pacific.
Both Gailey and Mayer recognize that, Hello Friends! clearly integrates the values expressed in the PLNU Mission. “We aspire to put faith into action by using our God-given gifts and talents and hope to see this sustainable trans-disciplinary model developed at other university campuses (and perhaps among local churches), with their own chosen linked communities, educational programming and philanthropy,” said Gailey.
For more information on Hello Friends!, http://www.hellofriendsplnu.org/