Peace Corps Volunteers Introduce Alternative Fuel Source to Communities in Madagascar and Rwanda
Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar and Rwanda are working to reduce the impact of deforestation by introducing green charcoal into local communities. This environmentally safe method of charcoal production serves as a sustainable alternative to wood charcoal and can generate income for local families and organizations. Green charcoal bricks are created using a combination of biomass materials such as agricultural waste, leaves, grass and sawdust. The material is chopped up and soaked in water, and then pressed with a manual ram and cylinder into a pellet and left in the sun to dry.
In September 2011, Health PCV Emily Engel from Anchorage, AL worked with her counterparts Haoua Ouédraogo and Mamouna Zida to promote neem cream production. The group created a full day workshop to reach all of the satellite villages in their health jurisdiction. During the workshop 55 women from surrounding villages learned about the basics of malaria, the business of selling neem cream and how to make the locally produced mosquito repellant.
Women in Kalsaka formed a group to produce neem cream after the workshop. They sell neem cream in small bags for 150 cfa and 200 cfa. The group is also working to produce liquid soap and hard soap as well as encouraging the women to have their own small businesses. Burkina is the second largest producer of Shea Butter in the world, so this major ingredient in neem cream is easily found in most small villages. The project is an inexpensive and popular among volunteers and communities in Burkina Faso.
The Peace Corps Trainees featured in this video were sworn-in today with the rest of their group in Nicaragua. Hear what they had to say before leaving for the experience of a lifetime. And our congratulations to all of the new Peace Corps/Nicaragua Volunteers!
Peace Corps Volunteer Teaches Students to Make Bread; Generate Income in Uganda
Peace Corps Volunteer Siong Ng recently spent two months teaching three teachers and 30 female students how to make bread to generate income for their community.
“We intend to be self-sufficient after the first school term by supporting the baking program with revenue from the sale of baked goods. Of course, we cannot bake bread without an oven. On one of the field trips to a bakery store, we saw an unused wood-fire oven and convinced the owner to donate it to our school. She did and that was the rest of the happy story,” said Ng, 62, who has been working as an education Volunteer since February 2010. Ng was previously a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mexico for three years where he worked with business owners to improve their operations.
In January, Ng started the baking program, which is held every Thursday for both teachers and students from a local primary school. Later in the year, they intend to increase the trainings to two-to three-times a week. The most recent training in early March yielded six loaves of bread and more than 100 dinner rolls. Ng taught students business skills and helped them to sell half their baked goods to the local community.
The 1st National Environmental Youth Group gathering. A three day, two night workshop to form and strengthen environmental youth groups. 22 PCVs and 45 Paraguayan youth from all over the country came together to create a network of youth protaganism in effort to protect the environment. Rock on!
Fifty years ago, 65 percent of the people volunteering to join the Peace Corps were men and 35 percent were women. Today, those numbers have flipped, with 66 percent of volunteers during the 2000s women and 34 percent men. This change, gradual over the five decades, represents women’s commitment to and confidence in international work […]
The Children’s Garden is an essential project as it will provide children with the opportunity to learn about nutrition while encouraging them to grow their own crops of which they can take home to their families.
Many children and adults currently do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables within the village. Therefore, a significant portion of the population tends to be undernourished due to the lack of diversity and essential nutrients in their diets.
Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Christina Alexander
In the photo, I was teaching two of my host sisters, Samira and Hafsa, about how in America we make wishes on dandelions. We live in the Sahara desert but near an Oasis. Here the children know every plant, herb and even weed that grows. They always want me to eat some strange seed, or smell a weird plant. Now they know another use for dandelions! Photo taken by fellow Volunteer, Jo Troyer.
Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Rachel Rubinski
“When you join the Peace Corps, you think you’re going to another country to give of yourself—but you end up receiving much more than you give,” says Anne-Claire Benoit (MPA ’12), who is doing her best to balance the scales.
During her three years in the Peace Corps in Niger, Anne-Claire formed a very deep connection with a young woman named Ramatou. “I met her on my first day in the village, and as soon as I saw her I knew we would be connected,” she declares, describing her friend as having a bubbly, happy personality and being extremely smart.