For more photos, click here.
Lilian Dube, assistant professor of theology and religious
studies, has expanded her efforts to educate University of San Francisco students about HIV/AIDS
conditions in Africa by leading an international service-learning program to
Dube, who helped to galvanize USF student involvement in
campus multivitamin drives for HIV/AIDS health clinics in Zimbabwe in recent
years, piloted the USF in Zambia Today initiative last summer with seven African studies students. This year, the
number of participants doubled and included crossover from the School of
The month-long service-learning program takes students to
the cities of Lusaka and Livingstone, and the Copperbelt Province, focusing on
the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Before their travels, students study the history and
dynamics of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and volunteer with Project Open Hand in San Francisco to deliver meals to seniors
and the seriously ill – including HIV/AIDS patients.
“The course is an effort to humanize
education and equip USF students with the knowledge, skills, and unique
experiences needed to be men and women for others in the communities they serve
and learn from locally and globally,” said Dube, who is a native
Zimbabwean and U.S. citizen.
In Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, USF students take courses at
the Jesuit Centre For Theological Reflection and
study the causes behind the country’s 14 percent adult HIV/AIDS infection rate.
In Kitwe, in Copperbelt Province, students take classes at
Zambia Catholic University, examining how
extreme poverty, gender disparity, and politics contribute to the HIV/AIDS
epidemic. USF students also work with a local nonprofit, Friends of the Street Children playing with, teaching, and learning from homeless children, many living with
In Livingstone, home of Victoria Falls, students work with
the Kwenuha Women’s Association as part of the Zambian Corridors of Hope HIV/AIDS Prevention Initiative, studying the impact of
tourism, gender imbalances, and the extreme poverty that pushes women into
“Sitting down and talking to people who have suffered so
much, going through things I could never imagine myself surviving, broke my
heart and left me devastated,” said Kaitlyn Gentilin. “But then, I also heard
about those same people – sex workers, street children – rising above the
situation to find hope and a will to live and love.”
Gentilin, a nursing major and African studies minor, said
the trip helped her see medicine in the wider context of community and society
and to realize that solutions that might work in American hospitals might not
work in Zambia and other places.
“After this trip my world is so much bigger,” Gentilin said.
“I will take this with me wherever I go in nursing, whether it be San Francisco
or Africa – whatever God has in store for me.”