Handa Fellows explore communication rights and social change at WACC Summer School

Jonathan Ammons and Esteban García, RCC Handa Fellows, at the WACC Summer School

Two RCC Handa Fellows attended the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Summer School on "Communication and Religion" held July 23-31, 2016 in Manchester, Jamaica.

The Summer School focused on the "relationship between communication rights, religion, and social change" and "turning communication rights theory into tangible social change" with a "special emphasis on the Caribbean region" according to the WACC. "Seventeen students and seven teaching faculty, representing more than 10 countries, engaged in five days of discussions on the ways in which a rights-based approach to communication can make a difference in the lives of people in their communities."

Reflections from RCC Handa Fellows

Jonathan Ammons, LDS Church Public Affairs, writes:

At the end of July, I attended the WACC Summer School in Mandeville, Jamaica, held on the campus of Northern Caribbean University. The attendees represented a diverse group of countries, including Puerto Rico, Suriname, the Bahamas, Germany, India, and Malawi, among others.

The school focused on communication rights and included sessions addressing Communication and Gender, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Children's Communication Rights, and Digital Storytelling.

Overall, the summer school was a wonderful opportunity to interact with bright and accomplished attendees from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds and to explore topics of critical importance in today's globalized society. Without doubt the relationships developed there will yield valuable opportunities for collaboration as we move forward in our studies and careers.

Esteban García, media relations specialist for Bread for the World, writes:

In July, I had the privilege of traveling to Jamaica, to participate in WACC's Summer School. I was so enriched by that experience in more ways than one. I learned from the diverse presentations, was gifted many new friendships, and was touched by the warmth of the Jamaicans I met, eager to teach me about their beautiful country.

It was in coming to know the presenters – foreign and Jamaican – personally that the value of their lessons was particularly fortified. Their knowledge of their fields was matched by the passion with which they imparted what they knew. Similarly, encountering so many fellow attendees from so many different countries was unexpected, and deeply inspiring. I had the chance to explore the personal and moving experiences of new friends from India, Malawi, Puerto Rico, and beyond. And few things quite seal a friendship like bumping along a packed dirt road and singing Bob Marley songs during a blackout by the beach.

Now, two months later, I am so thankful to WACC, RCC, and my employer, Bread for the World, for allowing me to participate in this Summer School. I gained much more than the program description initially suggested, and move forward more knowledgeable and more encouraged to carry forward my own message of the power of faith to change the world.

Read more about the WACC Summer School on the WACC web site:

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