World Water Day 2014: Rain water collection makes a big difference in Mexico

World Water Day Mexico Environmental Protection Agency clean water sustainability community development water resource management Peace Corps Response Peace Corps Volunteers

guatemelissa:

Today our Youth in Development team took advantage of a special opportunity to work with PC Guate’s Food Security Coordinator. With her guidance, we helped students from Segundo and Tercero Básico classes (7th & 8th grade) to make tire gardens in the afternoon.

As you can see above, we used a seriously sharp knife to cut handles into the tire and then flipped it inside-out to fill it with sticks, a piece of tarp, and a mix of soil, sand, and compost. Students chose organic seeds from a variety of native vegetables (i.e. guicoy, amaranth, onion, chipilín, chia, spinach). One example garden was made with a tire while the rest were prepared in containers the students already had at school. We were able to cut and flip eight tires for future use. 

The activity was truly fun for everyone! Our group had lots of laughs while trying to flip the tire and I believe the message was powerful for the students. By up-cycling old tires and repurposing compressed dirt from containers behind the school, they could engage in more environmentally conscious behaviors and practices. As Trainees, we are now excited to see how an activity like this - that only takes a couple hours to do - can be a great way to facilitate a segue into other topics such as teamwork, responsibility, and sustainability. 

Side note: In Guatemala, there are five Peace Corps Response Volunteers currently serving in the Food Security project in collaboration with USAID and Feed the Future initiative. 

food security Guatemala USAID Feed the Future Peace Corps Volunteers sustainability youth

sheenabeenaghana:

Cashew nursery at the primary school cashew farm - Reality, most of these kids may become farmers or inherit the land of their fathers and mothers. Might as well start easy with some hands on lessons in tree nurseries and grafting. My hope is that the school cashew farm can be a leading example in the village for other farmers. We will see!  

Ghana Africa youth agriculture cashews farming food food security sustainability Peace Corps Volunteers reblogs tree nurseries environment

freenasta:

With the help of two fellow Peace Corps volunteers, and contacts from the Department of Agriculture, we were recently able to complete a successful chicken management workshop in Calle San Rafael. This workshop gave 27 participants the tools needed to make there own chicken feed, watering systems, homemade chicken coops, and information about chicken health. It’s a more sustainable alternative to asking for fund for agricultural projects from the government, a practice that too often pervades Paraguayan campo culture.

freenasta:

With the help of two fellow Peace Corps volunteers, and contacts from the Department of Agriculture, we were recently able to complete a successful chicken management workshop in Calle San Rafael. This workshop gave 27 participants the tools needed to make there own chicken feed, watering systems, homemade chicken coops, and information about chicken health. It’s a more sustainable alternative to asking for fund for agricultural projects from the government, a practice that too often pervades Paraguayan campo culture.

Paraguay Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteers agriculture sustainability reblog volunteer projects

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.

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Madagascar Rwanda Africa alternative fuel environment charcoal deforestation sustainability sustainable energy biomass agriculture green energy Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteers recycling

Peace Corps Volunteer Allegra Panetto of Haworth, N.J., is working with a local health center in the eastern part of Malawi to power electricity in several of the health center’s rooms using solar energy. A portion of the funds for the project were raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) that helps fund Peace Corps Volunteer community projects worldwide.

"Each month, more than 60 infants are delivered at the health center. Half of these infants are delivered in the middle of the night, and because it only has lights in the labor ward and out-patient room, mothers’ pre-and post-delivery must wait in a room without electricity,” said Panetto, a Columbia University graduate. “Installing solar energy at the health center will better the lives of both the patients and staff.”

The health center serves more than 17,000 people in 35 villages near the shores of Lake Malawi. Prior to installing the solar panels in the health clinic, the staff will renovate the in-patient room and staff housing to prepare for the installation. In 2009, solar electricity was already installed in the out-patient room and labor ward.

"The sun’s power is the sustaining forces behind this project,” said Panetto, who has been working as a health Volunteer in Malawi since July 2010. “The area is a very hot and sunny, even during rainy season. The acquisition of electricity to the in-patient dorm will increase the capacity of patient attendants, nurses, and family members to care for patients – expectant or new mothers, or those suffering from life-threatening diseases.”

In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

Malawi Africa Peace Corps Partnership Program health solar energy babies maternal health infant health sustainable energy sustainability Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer host country nationals

the-sprawl:

This picture may not mean a lot to you, but it means a heck of a lot to me.
My hands down biggest project that I did in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer was to organize and run a week-long leadership camp for about 30 girls from over 5 communities. It was a hell of a lot of work and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow volunteers and the community that we held the event in. 
One of the many activities the girls took part in during the week was the planting of vetiver grass. The guesthouse that we stayed in was situated on top of an incline and most of the top soil had been repeatedly washed away leaving the actual stability of the structure somewhat in danger. I have tons of photos that I took of the area before we set the girls to work that week, planting vetiver grass- one of the strongest and most successful grasses to help with soil erosion and slope protection.
We planted that grass last summer. The second GLOW camp (based off my camp) is happening this week and my friend sent me this picture to show how the grass has grown and is continuing to grow and support this building. In this whole scenario, the word “sustainability” actually means something.
I am so proud.

the-sprawl:

This picture may not mean a lot to you, but it means a heck of a lot to me.

My hands down biggest project that I did in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer was to organize and run a week-long leadership camp for about 30 girls from over 5 communities. It was a hell of a lot of work and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my fellow volunteers and the community that we held the event in. 

One of the many activities the girls took part in during the week was the planting of vetiver grass. The guesthouse that we stayed in was situated on top of an incline and most of the top soil had been repeatedly washed away leaving the actual stability of the structure somewhat in danger. I have tons of photos that I took of the area before we set the girls to work that week, planting vetiver grass- one of the strongest and most successful grasses to help with soil erosion and slope protection.

We planted that grass last summer. The second GLOW camp (based off my camp) is happening this week and my friend sent me this picture to show how the grass has grown and is continuing to grow and support this building. In this whole scenario, the word “sustainability” actually means something.

I am so proud.

ghana peace corps sustainability vetiver grass camp glow