My husband, Ben, and I were Volunteers in the rural village of Mokuruanyane, South Africa from 2007-2009. I was a Community & HIV/AIDS Outreach Project Volunteer and Ben was an Education Volunteer.
My primary project was working with four women educators to develop Chrysalis Girls Club, an after-school girls empowerment program for the 75 7th grade girls in our village. In the 2008 school year, six weeks of our program were devoted to women’s reproductive health, sex education, and HIV/AIDS awareness & prevention. The girls designed an HIV/AIDS mural, and Ben worked with five male students from the secondary school to sketch the mural onto the wall of Abbotspoort Higher Primary School.
While I worked with the women educators to provide HIV/AIDS education, Ben supervised the girls in painting the mural. Ben took this photo in November 2008, at the end of our first successful year of Chrysalis Girls Club. The mural faces the main road that runs through Mokuruanyane.

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Susia Barr-Wilson

My husband, Ben, and I were Volunteers in the rural village of Mokuruanyane, South Africa from 2007-2009. I was a Community & HIV/AIDS Outreach Project Volunteer and Ben was an Education Volunteer.

My primary project was working with four women educators to develop Chrysalis Girls Club, an after-school girls empowerment program for the 75 7th grade girls in our village. In the 2008 school year, six weeks of our program were devoted to women’s reproductive health, sex education, and HIV/AIDS awareness & prevention. The girls designed an HIV/AIDS mural, and Ben worked with five male students from the secondary school to sketch the mural onto the wall of Abbotspoort Higher Primary School.

While I worked with the women educators to provide HIV/AIDS education, Ben supervised the girls in painting the mural. Ben took this photo in November 2008, at the end of our first successful year of Chrysalis Girls Club. The mural faces the main road that runs through Mokuruanyane.

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Susia Barr-Wilson

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

World AIDS Day Peace Corps Africa South Africa community development youth art HIV AIDS education health


I was helping make hamburgers and fries with some other Volunteers for some of our Cameroonian friends while visiting my regional capital. I love children here and this young girl seemed amiable enough that I could approach her. She didn’t quite get the fist bump so it turned into a one finger and thus, voila, E.T. phone home!

 Peace Corps Volunteer Janelle Walikonis
 

I was helping make hamburgers and fries with some other Volunteers for some of our Cameroonian friends while visiting my regional capital. I love children here and this young girl seemed amiable enough that I could approach her. She didn’t quite get the fist bump so it turned into a one finger and thus, voila, E.T. phone home!

 Peace Corps Volunteer Janelle Walikonis

 

Cameroon Africa youth cultural exchange adorable

erinmalay:

Today I accompanied two volunteers, who actively work with Green Camel Bell, a local environmental protection NGO. Lanzhou is not only one of the most polluted cities in China, it ranked bottom in the World Health Organization’s study as one of the most air polluted cities in the world. The idea of environmentalism is still relatively knew in China, as many people only focus on building industry and turn a blind eye to the destruction being done to our earth. 

We went to the outskirt of Lanzhou to a “rubbish place,” or rather, a dump. Here, trash is not being properly disposed of, simply being poured into a gigantic hole. As more and more trash has been dumped here, the increase in methane became so rapid to the point that trash has been repeatedly self-igniting. These volunteers previously worked with this area, bringing journalists out and having a story published, causing the local government to act. However, the local government’s solution was only temporary, pour water onto the fires.

Moving forward to continue efforts to resolve this problem, today’s focus was on taking air quality measurements, counting the number of recent self-ignited fires, and using some good ol’ photography to hopefully put together yet another story.

Though it seems few people in China seem to truly care about these devastating effects, as one volunteer said, “I care, and he cares, and you care, and that’s something.”  

(via erinmalay-deactivated20130112)

China NGO Peace Corps Volunteer air quality environment environmental awareness environmental protection health pollution polution recycling trash Lanzhou

Peace Corps Volunteers Lead Gender Equality Discussion in Azerbaijan

“The goal of the presentations was to promote social awareness as well as critical thinking in local community members,” said Wiersma, a graduate of Liberty University who has been living and working in Azerbaijan since September 2011. “We want to get the young members of rural Azerbaijan to start thinking outside of their daily scope of how men and women are seen and valued in Azerbaijan and move into what is possible for the future of their country.”

Azerbaijan gender equality education community development Peace Corps Volunteers gender women's rights social awareness culture


“Currently, community members either have to rely on the limited materials at the local community center or have to venture outside of the town to access information, including newspapers. The new library will promote self-learning and literacy through access to books and computer programs, in addition to imparting management skills to the teachers and students that will run and maintain the library.”

- Peace Corps Volunter Claire McManus, who is working with her Dominican community to build its first library

“Currently, community members either have to rely on the limited materials at the local community center or have to venture outside of the town to access information, including newspapers. The new library will promote self-learning and literacy through access to books and computer programs, in addition to imparting management skills to the teachers and students that will run and maintain the library.”

- Peace Corps Volunter Claire McManus, who is working with her Dominican community to build its first library

dominican republic library books community development education students literacy technology