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Solidarity youths

The Catholic University of Argentina (UCA, in its Spanish acronym) has been working in vulnerable communities since 2010, when they began with projects in the 1-11-14 poor neighbourhoods and, more recently, in the Rodrigo Bueno neighbourhood specifically. In this case, the service-learning project focuses on urban and social inclusion. Neighbours and students get together to dialogue: some explain their needs and ideas, and others listen carefully to then contribute with answers and possible solutions. It is possible thanks to training in basic and practical marketing, which enables the inhabitants of the neighbourhood to start up or improve their businesses. Most of the students of Journalistic Communication and Digital Communication degrees carried out online monitoring and consultancy to the neighbours during the pandemic and later when it was possible to access the neighbourhood, in person. Those who want to give visibility to their businesses —as is the case of Elvis Pereyra García and his wife, owners of the restaurant Peruvian Nikkei— receive advice from students taking the 4-month theoretical-practical seminar that the UCA has been running since 2014 with the clear intention of applying what they have learned in real contexts: social engagement, dialogue with organisations and neighbourhood leaders equally giving and receiving. "This is not a voluntary service since it is an activity where undergraduate students get training, there is a pedagogy of learning and service in which students use their knowledge when they go and talk and practise the culture of encounter, which is not always linear, of course, and is complex (...) it is in that contribution where students can get something positive while society enriches as well," said Juan Cruz Hermida, director of Social Engagement and Extension Department of the UCA in an interview with the channel Orbe 21.  
To learn more about the project, please visit the Programa Emprende on the UCA website.