Aiko Enoki and Carla Bykowski, Social Work Abroad Program (SWAP)
The Social Work Abroad Program (SWAP) is the vision of five social workers who are committed to providing international learning opportunities for US-based social work students. Participants are able to practice and exchange ideas in an international setting which promotes compassion, cultural sensitivity, effective practice, and competency.
The five social workers spearheading this program have organized student trips in the past, including those to Ghana, Guatemala, and Thailand. Most of the student participants are low to middle income women of color traveling outside of the United States for the first time. Participants return empowered and inspired to act within their communities to raise awareness about the international social issues they learned about abroad at both local and global levels.
SWAP is now ready to expand and become an official 501c3 agency with the capacity to fundraise and support students through orientations, workshops, focus groups, and scholarships in time for its next excursion to Costa Rica, set to take place during the summer of 2014. Pollination Project funding will support SWAP in filing the nonprofit paperwork as well as providing funds for website registration and logistics.