Posts tagged community development
Posts tagged community development
“I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there.” - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss
Did you know March is National Reading Month?
Reading is definitely one of the more popular leisure activities for Peace Corps Volunteers. What were some of the books you read during your service? Did you bring home any books from your country? How many times did you read War and Peace during your 27 months overseas?
Yesterday I spent six and a half hours in a round table meeting with all possible community partners of the Linguere High School. It started out extremely well - the student government had put together a great (albeit rather dramatic - can a school really be in agony?) presentation about the problems facing the school and what they would like to do to change things. Then community member after community member came up to pledge their association’s support - the gendarmes are giving 100,000 CFA, the Association for the Development of Women is giving a ton of cement, etc. Then this one man comes up and goes, “Well, this is great and all, but why don’t we just have an NGO build us an entirely new school? That’s what they’re there for.”
He’s partly right. There are plenty of NGOs whose sole mission is school construction. But the attitude of “oh, we could do this ourselves but why bother because an NGO could do it for us” is one of the biggest obstacles that we come across in the Peace Corps. Many NGOs here provide resources of the monetary sort, while we are primarily here to work on capacity-building, and a lot of people have trouble understanding that. Not to mention that when a community has the motivation and capabilities to do a project themselves, I have a huge problem with them taking resources from an NGO that could be building a school for a community that has no resources whatsoever. (All of this rant glossing over the fact that the school is supposed to be a governmental project anyways, but the administrations of both the previous and current presidents have done nothing to fix things.)
Luckily, I think those who are most involved with the project, including Ngouille Sec (pictured above) and her sister Jamma, are pretty set on getting things done themselves. If everything goes well, by next October when classes start up for the fall 2013 semester, the high school will have at least two new classrooms. And that will be very inspiring to see.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Elizabeth Ogunwo is working with her host community in Senegal to build working bathrooms at a local primary school and establish a trash removal system in her neighborhood.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Tim McNaught helped develop a medical records database for a humanitarian health clinic in Azerbaijan. Here he is fitting a young patient with new eye glasses.
Fighting AIDS with Art
I served in Peace Corps Mozambique from September 2007- November 2009. During my time, I started a community art group within the secondary school, as a branch of JOMA (a Portuguese acronym for “Youth for Change and Action”). JOMA is a nationwide youth development organization started by Peace Corps Volunteers that uses communication mediums at the local level to promote healthy behavior among Mozambican youth, with a mission of social change.
My group in Monapo, Mozambique created over 5 murals in our community to promote awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This photo is with Momade Abdul, the group leader, helping create a mural in our local market named, “The fight with AIDS starts with us.”
Peace Corps Education Volunteer Nia Chauvin
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
“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.”
“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