Peace Corps Volunteer Builds First Bathroom in Senegal School

Peace Corps Volunteer Karen Chaffraix is working with her community members in Senegal to install the first bathroom facility at a nearby elementary school. The new three-stall facility is complete with running water for hand-washing and will help prevent water contamination and disease through safe and effective waste disposal.

“Continued community participation is essential to the success of the project,” Chaffraix said. “Hopefully those involved will be empowered to undertake future projects and will contribute to improved health and sanitation for all.”

Africa Senegal health clean water sanitation Peace Corps Volunteers

Got Soap? A Volunteer in Peru put together this great tutorial on how to build your own soap dispenser! 

Materials : 2 liter soda bottle, 3 liter soda bottle, 1 “closet bolt” or other bolt (1/4”x 2”), 5 of ¼” nuts, 2 rubber washers, Africano contact glue, screw(s) to attach holder to wall. Drill & bit.

Remove bottle labels and cut off both bottle bottoms. Cut off top of the 3 L bottle, about 2” from cap, so that it creates a 2” diameter hole.

Mount the inverted 3L bottle on a wall or suspend by string as standard Tippy Tap.

Drill a clean 3/8” hole in the center of the 2 L cap. Smooth edges with steel wool or sandpaper.

Plunger assembly: Thread all nuts up to the bolt head, glue one rubber washer to inside of cap and the other to underside of bolt head (or nut), (contact cement MUST be slightly dry before assembly). Slide open end of bolt through cap hole and thread on bolt cap. 

Put the cap on the 2L bottle and insert entire unit into the 3L holder.
Fill with liquid soap (thicker the better). Coat the 2 washer contact surfaces with Vaseline for better seal.

Peru health hygenie tutorial soap


No one knows better than Peace Corps Volunteers that long-held norms and beliefs about gender can constrain female students, women’s cooperative members or female farmers – not to mention wives and mothers – from participating fully in their country’s development. In spite of the fact that women and girls are an important part of development, challenges to realizing gender equality remain 39 years after the United Nations proclaimed International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 1975, and which we celebrate this Saturday. Every day Volunteers are inspired by their female community members as they take small steps to get their fair share of education, information and decision-making.

International Women’s Day: Peace Corps Volunteers Still Addressing Inequality in 2014

No one knows better than Peace Corps Volunteers that long-held norms and beliefs about gender can constrain female students, women’s cooperative members or female farmers – not to mention wives and mothers – from participating fully in their country’s development. In spite of the fact that women and girls are an important part of development, challenges to realizing gender equality remain 39 years after the United Nations proclaimed International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, 1975, and which we celebrate this Saturday. Every day Volunteers are inspired by their female community members as they take small steps to get their fair share of education, information and decision-making.

International Women’s Day: Peace Corps Volunteers Still Addressing Inequality in 2014

International Women's Day gender equality women's empowerment iwd2014 education health community girls Peace Corps Volunteers Peace Corps

"I think their favorite part of the tour though was playing on the beach because many of them had never seen the ocean before.”

A group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Namibia recently came together in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization to lead a week-long educational tour of the country for 40 at-risk youth. The tour is an annual initiative led by Peace Corps Namibia’s diversity committee aimed at providing orphans and marginalized youth — many of whom have never traveled outside of their own community — with the opportunity to explore Namibia, develop a respect and appreciation for other local cultures, and build healthy lifestyle and leadership skills. 

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Africa Namibia at-risk youth diversity culture health leadership travel

These girls take turns sewing during Village Apprentice Day at a secondary school in Malawi. As a first-year health Volunteer Briana Scroggins arranged for her life skills class to pair with a local trade smith to teach students about basket making, sewing, knitting, carpentry, tinsmith, art, moringa tree care, baking, and jewelry making. #africa #malawi #peacecorps #latergram #sewing #knitting #crafts #art #education #health

These girls take turns sewing during Village Apprentice Day at a secondary school in Malawi. As a first-year health Volunteer Briana Scroggins arranged for her life skills class to pair with a local trade smith to teach students about basket making, sewing, knitting, carpentry, tinsmith, art, moringa tree care, baking, and jewelry making. #africa #malawi #peacecorps #latergram #sewing #knitting #crafts #art #education #health

knitting crafts sewing africa health peacecorps art education malawi latergram

Find an HIV Testing Location Near You

usagov:

Today is National HIV Testing Day (NHTD). The goal of NHTD is to help spread awareness and encourage people to get tested for HIV.

Where to Start

HIV prevention starts with education. Check out the HIV/AIDS basics and factsheets to debunk any myths, learn how to reduce your risk, discover symptoms and find out how to get help. An important and simple step to taking control of your health is by getting tested for HIV. You can download the HIV Testing and Care Services Locator app (for Apple devices) or go online to find different test and health centers near you.

How to get Involved

You can help raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing by bringing one of the national campaigns to your community. You can join various national campaigns such as Testing Makes Us Stronger and Let’s Stop HIV Together that are supported by the Centers for Disease Control. On Twitter, use the hashtag #NHTD to show all of your followers that you are observing National HIV Testing Day. For more information and to learn more about events planned throughout the year please visit blog.aids.gov.

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The photograph shows the mothers and children cheering with the fresh glasses of soy milk we just made. Malnutrition is a tremendous problem among the people here, most of whom are of Lencan descent, one of the indigenous populations of Honduras. My coordinating NGO, World Vision (counterpart at far left of photograph) and I work with the women to find local and nutritious foods they can make for themselves and their families. Soy, one of these local products, only costs 10 Lempiras ($.53) a pound, and is therefore more cost effective than other products, mainly meats, with the same protein content. We begin every class with a charla (presentation) over the importance of nutrition and different nutritional elements available in local foods and then cook a few different types of food from local ingredients, soy milk and soy chorizo being examples.

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Lauren Roberts

The photograph shows the mothers and children cheering with the fresh glasses of soy milk we just made. Malnutrition is a tremendous problem among the people here, most of whom are of Lencan descent, one of the indigenous populations of Honduras. My coordinating NGO, World Vision (counterpart at far left of photograph) and I work with the women to find local and nutritious foods they can make for themselves and their families. Soy, one of these local products, only costs 10 Lempiras ($.53) a pound, and is therefore more cost effective than other products, mainly meats, with the same protein content. We begin every class with a charla (presentation) over the importance of nutrition and different nutritional elements available in local foods and then cook a few different types of food from local ingredients, soy milk and soy chorizo being examples.

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Lauren Roberts

(Source: collection.peacecorps.gov)

nutrition health Honduras eating locally soy soy milk malnutrition World Vision

Angelina’s Smile



Angelina comes running up after school yelling ‘Sister Johanna, Sister Johanna!’. I smile and can’t help laugh as she looks up at me in her faded school dress. She smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and grabs a stack of nets to carry on her head to help. We’re in the middle of a net distribution as part of Ghana Health Service’s ‘Roll Out Campaign’. 
As we distribute and hang net in every household, one per married couple and one for every two children, Angelina runs back and forth from where we store the nets, making the process go a little quicker. She’s one of my most favorite people in my village but her name can be deceiving. Asking for a coin to buy a water sachet because she’s thirsty, she comes back smacking on a piece of bubble gum. My counterpart George Atoanan and I try to scold her but end up laughing instead! Even though she’s devious, she our little helper for the day and puts a smile on our face.
I’ve visited with her family since the campaign and see that the treated mosquito nets are still hung and I can rest assured she’s sleeping safe every night. Because she’s healthy and malaria-free, she can continue to smile her mischievous smile every day.



- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Johanna Twiford

Angelina’s Smile

Angelina comes running up after school yelling ‘Sister Johanna, Sister Johanna!’. I smile and can’t help laugh as she looks up at me in her faded school dress. She smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and grabs a stack of nets to carry on her head to help. We’re in the middle of a net distribution as part of Ghana Health Service’s ‘Roll Out Campaign’. 

As we distribute and hang net in every household, one per married couple and one for every two children, Angelina runs back and forth from where we store the nets, making the process go a little quicker. She’s one of my most favorite people in my village but her name can be deceiving. Asking for a coin to buy a water sachet because she’s thirsty, she comes back smacking on a piece of bubble gum. My counterpart George Atoanan and I try to scold her but end up laughing instead! Even though she’s devious, she our little helper for the day and puts a smile on our face.

I’ve visited with her family since the campaign and see that the treated mosquito nets are still hung and I can rest assured she’s sleeping safe every night. Because she’s healthy and malaria-free, she can continue to smile her mischievous smile every day.

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Johanna Twiford

Stomp Out Malaria malaria malaria buzz World Malaria Day health Africa Ghana global health disease prevention

Peace Corps Health Volunteer Danielle Dunlap and Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Katie Woodruff team up while making neem cream during a demonstration in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Neem cream is a natural mosquito repellent made from inexpensive local resources, including leaves of the neem tree, shea butter and soap, that helps prevent mosquito bites which can transmit malaria.

Peace Corps Health Volunteer Danielle Dunlap and Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Katie Woodruff team up while making neem cream during a demonstration in Cape Coast, Ghana.

Neem cream is a natural mosquito repellent made from inexpensive local resources, including leaves of the neem tree, shea butter and soap, that helps prevent mosquito bites which can transmit malaria.

Malaria malaria buzz Ghana Africa Stomp Out Malaria health global health neem neem cream mosquitos malaria prevention shea butter

"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

"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

(Source: collection.peacecorps.gov)

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Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 
Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 
The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 

Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 

The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Morocco youth girls gender HIV AIDS AIDS-free generation N Street Village trigger warning: rape stigma Skype Washington DC global health health victim blaming HIV-positive HIV+ students school education


"I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you. Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.” 

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar

"I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you. 

Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.”

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

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