Organic fertilizer workshop (with the local environmental agency) where we made bocashi.
My name is Hannah and I am a currently serving as an environmental conservation volunteer in Panamá. The community I am serving in is composed of five smaller townships nestled into the hills of Herrera. This area of Herrera is one of the poorest districts of Panamá and I am writing to seek help in the form of either donations or spreading the word.
Our community is working on a solar panel project which would bring light, safety, and security to 16 families across 5 communities. These simple 3-4 light systems would bring clean, efficient, and safe electricity into homes. With rainy season approaching quickly, we are running out of time. I am sure I do not need to tell you all just how important lights are, especially in remote areas. Not only would these solar panels provide families with the ability to cook, clean, read and converse after dark, they also will enable them to charge cell phones which serve as the only reliable way to communicate with people outside of the community. This is very important especially during the winter when entering/leaving the community is made difficult by the flooded 'roads'.
Our community has been working tirelessly to raise funds for their project. Without the adequate funds, they will be unable to receive the panels before the rain comes.
To donate, please click on the following link to the Peace Corps Partnership Program donation page.
At the February 25, 2017, Partnership Dinner, we raised $480 to support the following project in Cambodia.
"C.E.S.H.P." addresses the lack of proper hygienic bathrooms and hand washing stations at a secondary school in rural Cambodia. There is currently only one bathroom consistently in working order at the school for its 800 students. Many boys just pee outside, and there is no access to proper hand washing stations. My Counterpart and I began work on this project in November by asking students to fill out a survey where they would give their opinions on the state of bathrooms at the school. Out of 200 students surveyed, 194 agreed that there were not enough bathrooms at the school for all the students who currently attend. Additionally, 75% of female respondents answered that they had left or skipped school due to the lack of hygienic facilities.
"C.E.S.H.P." plans to construct 6 new bathrooms and 4 new hand washing stations for all students. The bathrooms will be divided by sex to maintain student privacy and ensure maximum comfort so that female students will no longer have to leave school because of their menstrual cycles.
Additionally, this project will increase community capacity by holding workshops on general hygiene practices, hand washing, and specifically women's hygiene. An NGO has already agreed to a hold a workshop on the aforementioned topics and discuss hygiene problems at the school with the staff. Then, the teachers in return will teach all the students grade by grade (and dividing groups by sex) how they can work together to improve hygienic best practices at the school. Through the construction of safe and sanitary bathrooms, "C.E.S.H.P." will increase student attendance, improve hand-washing habits, decrease class time missed, and strengthen hygienic practices at the school.
This project has been designed to expand access to education for girls in Cambodia as part of the Let Girls Learn Program. Learn more at letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov.
Your contribution increases the impact of Mr. Seasly, his fellow Peace Corps Volunteers, and their communities; and makes a brighter future possible for young women in Cambodia.
Here are a couple of photos from this years Habitat for Humanity BLITZ build of ten houses in South Miami.
Pictured are Tim O’Brien, Korea, Mark Reilly, Honduras, and Daryl Wall, Ecuador. We worked on House Ten being built in two weeks for Holly; our job was installing Insulation in the entire house. We worked hard and got a nice T-shirt, hopefully next year we can increase the RPCVSF turnout to more then 3 volunteers.
Dade County Farm Bureau selects
Mary Lamberts as 2017 Volunteer of the Year
It is my pleasure to congratulate Mary Lamberts of the Dade County Farm Bureau Women’s Committee for being selected as our 2017 Volunteer of the Year. The celebration is to be held on March 25th at 11:00am at The Women’s Club located at 17905 S.W. 292th Street, Homestead.
Mary, you are very deserving of this recognition. Please see letter attached.
Carol Harris - DCFB Women’s Committee Chair
On Saturday, January 28th, RPCVSF, the Kiwanis Club of Biscayne Bay and the Everglades National Park hosted 80 children from three homeless shelters. We missed one bus load of kids this year because their shelter did not have the funding for a bus and insurance. Hosting were 70 RPCVs and PC Invitees, 10 adult chaperons, 4 Park Rangers, and 2 Law Enforcement Rangers. We provided each child with a lunch and a goodie bag.
Click Here for More Event Photos: 18th Annual Everglades Photos
Question: Could one of these be a crocodile?
January 14th, 2017
This is Martha Wagley and you donated to my community's PCPP solar grant. I live in the Thaba Tseka District of Lesotho in a small village in the mountains, about 8 hours from the capital, Maseru. I'm a native of Washington State and have been in Lesotho since 2014.
I wanted to say thank you so much for donating to my school's solar power project and give you a brief report of how the project proceeded.
We started the Mokotjana Solar Panel Project in April 2016 to improve academic achievement at our school. In September, the staff developed a plan to implement new teaching practices with the help of the solar power. They identified academic areas in which paper resources could significantly improve student learning, and have budgeted for the purchase of more paper and ink - made possible by the money saved through not using a generator. They also pledged to provide paper testing four times a year, instead of just providing students with blackboard testing. We implemented the paper testing methods for the final exams this November and we are hopeful that these academic improvements will help students achieve passing scores on the national exit exams in the coming years.
As Lesotho is a landlocked country, we bought the solar system in South Africa to save money. It only took us a week to install the system and we now have a fully functioning printer, and light for security purposes and night classes. We finished installing the system on November 18th.The teachers have already begun to use the system to improve academic achievement and are excited to implement the rest of their plan during the next school year, beginning in January 2017.
We are very thankful for your donation. Without you the project would not have been possible. I have attached a couple photos of the installation (one of the wiring to the classrooms from the staff room and one of the installation of the solar panels on the roof) and the students writing the paper exams.
By Greg Zell (Nigeria 62-64)
Travel Coordinator, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc.
The group met up in Johannesburg and went straight to Tribes restaurant in the Emperor’s Palace casino complex for drinks and a bit of ceremony to initiate the 3 newbies Natalie, Ted, and Maria, plus Lisa who visited Morocco previously. Johannesburg will now be Jo'burg always. Now that they were going to be Africa hands, they would no longer say, “Johannesburg.” From now on it would be, “Jo’burg.”
At dinner, most tried the ostrich steak fillet (farm-raised, of course) with berry sauce, washed down with a splash of South African bubbly. Both were proclaimed “delicious.” Next morning was early, the first of many, for an hour and half flight to Windhoek (vind hook), the pretty capital of Namibia.
We were met at the airport by Stewart, our fantastic guide. A 34 year old native of Zimbabwe, he said he was on his way to becoming a hooligan when he decided to pull himself together, started studying wild life and went to guide school. All his younger siblings have African names. For him, his mother just liked “Stewart.” He started by setting us straight: Some of you have heard of Africa time. Namibia was a German colony. We do everything on German time. And so it was. We boarded our “safari Ferrari”, as he called it, actually an enclosed air conditioned Toyota Land Cruiser for 7 of us and Stewart. Off we went on a short tour of the charming capital. Before heading to the coastal dunes, largest in the world, we stopped at a grocery store for Stewart to fill our coolers with lunch goodies and drinks. Our lunchtime routine: Stewart would pull up under a nice tree. We all pitched in to set up the folding table and chairs, unpack the coolers, chow down, and repack. (Story Continued on our Travel page).
Over 70 RPCVS, families and kids enjoyed the weekend in The Keys
House of Pizza - Key Largo - Friday Night - September 9th, 2016
To Locate and Donate to a Peace Corps Partnership Project,
Please click the following link: Peace Corps Partnership Program
or Attend an RPCVSF Partnership Dinner
April 7, 2016 - RPCVSF held its' first Partnership Dinner on a weeknight, and the dinner was a sellout. The event raised $554 for a Multipurpose Health Building in Zambia. The dinner was held at Taste Buds of India, organized by Doris Vincent and Subrata Basu spoke on his recent experience as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Belize. Picture Above shows attendees in the process of selecting a Partnership Project.
July 29th, 2016 - RPCVSF received the following e-mail:
This will be my last update as the library has officially opened!!! It went off without a hitch. In attendence were 15 Peace Corps Volunteers, 5 village Headmen, 600 community members, The Chief, and the Provincial Officer for the Ministry of Education. We finished with about 3000 books of varying reading levels. There were acrobatics, traditional dances, rings of fire, poems, songs and many speeches. We danced, we cried and we read books! This week we had our first classes in the library and the students were thrilled! Next week we will be training a temporary librarian as the district has promised to send us a full time librarian next term!
I would like to thank you all again for your kindness and generosity. In the celebratory speeches you were thanked time an time again and asked to come and visit any time.
Sydney and the Nazilongo Community, Nazilonga, Zambia
May 19, 2016 - RPCVSF received the following e-mail:
I would like to send a warm thank you to the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida for supporting my PCPP grant in Zambia! Your contribution will go a long way in helping my community complete a brand new mother's shelter and youth education center in this rural community, and we truly appreciate it.
Community Health Improvement Project
Peace Corps Zambia