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31 Mar 2017 5:30 PM • The Grove Spot
23 Apr 2017 3:00 PM • Oleta River Park, 3400 NE 163rd St, North Miami (Manatee Pavilion-East Side of Park)
06 May 2017 5:30 PM • 2151 SW 17th St, Miami
13 May 2017 6:00 PM • Monserrate Restaurant, 2093 Coral Way, Miami - 305-856-8525


At the February 25, 2017, Partnership Dinner, we raised $480 to support the following project in Cambodia.

Let Girls Learn | C.E.S.H.P.: Constructing and Educating to Solve Hygiene Problems

"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



RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS OF SOUTH FLORIDA, INC. Presents


SANTIAGO, CHILE and EASTER ISLAND

AUGUST 4 through AUGUST 13, 2017


Santiago is the vibrant capital of Chile. Reflecting its colonial past and raucous history, its many parks have more statues of generales and generalissimos on horseback than any other capital I have seen. To turistas, they all look alike but the horses are grand. A highlight is a walk past La Moneda, the ceremonial Presidential Palace which still bears the scars from when the Fascist army of Pinochet removed President Allende from office by shooting him. As further punishment, the army realized it could not rig the electoral laws sufficiently to remove all the commies from the Congress so it moved the Congress out of Santiago to Valparaiso, the port of Santiago about 70 miles away. We see snow-capped Andes as we day trip to this picturesque city where we see an outstanding example of Fascist architecture, the new National Congress. Further punishment?

Easter Island was discovered by the Europeans on Easter Sunday. It is presently owned by Chile, 2200 miles away. The natives call it Rapa Nui or big island but it is a very small island; they call their language Rapa Nui; they call themselves Rapa Nui. The nearest land masses to the north and west are Tahiti and Pitcairn, home of the Bounty mutineers, each over 2000 miles away. On the island, the Europeans found moai or giant statues all facing inland. During times of civil unrest, the moai would be pulled down. Japan and Chile have spent a  lot of money in restoration. One moai faces the sea because a Chilean minister of culture wanted it to welcome tourist ships but there are no natural harbors or landing spots on the island.


One of the longest landing strips in the world was built by NASA on the island at the start of the space age for possible emergency landings. When none seemed to be needed, the strip was given to the Chilean government. Of course, there is plenty of Chilean wine to be had. This is good because it goes so well with some of the best French cuisine in the world from Tahitian chefs. France and Chile developed a strong friendship because each year they are called before the United Nations Decolonization Committee to explain what steps they have taken to give these people independence. They have taken very few because the populations are too small to support independence. When your neighbor is over 2000 miles away, you try to be right neighborly

Polynesia is the eastern Pacific from Hawaii on the north to Easter Island on the south, so far south that you will notice the sun coming in at a different angle.  Since all winds start in Antarctica with no land breaks from there to Easter Island, a breezy natural air conditioning pervades the island at all times. (In case you get on Jeopardy!, the other -nesias are: Micronesia, the northwest quarter of the Pacific and Melanesia, the southwest quarter including Australia and New Zealand.)


We shall be using the 4 star hotel option so our land package will be $1909 plus air based on a group of 10. There will be a re-proration base on the actual number of travelers.

This trip has been facilitated by South American Vacations of Holllywood Fl.

You have until Friday, April 7, 2017, to contact travel@rpcvsf.org regarding your non-refundable $500 land package reservation which we will make together. Thereafter you will make your air reservations. South American Vacations will happily assist upon request. Fare from MIA is about $1396 as of March 9, 2017. The trip leader receives no compensation.


For Details about the trip to Chile and Easter Island, CLICK the FOLLOWING LINK: Easter Island.docx



Travel Coordinator: Gregory Zell (Nigeria 62-64) travel@rpcvsf.org

This is not a fund raiser. No organization funds are involved. The Travel Coordinator is not compensated.

A program of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, Inc.


RPCVSF Hosts 80 Great Kids @ the 18th Annual Everglades Outing


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?


Cooking and Conversation Club

January 14th, 2017




Partnership & Solar

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.

Thank you,
Martha Wagley




RPCVSF Went on Safari to Namibia


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, “Joburg.


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).



2016 RPCVSF Retreat in Key Largo

Over 70 RPCVS, families and kids enjoyed the weekend in The Keys




House of Pizza - Key Largo - Friday Night - September 9th, 2016



Peace Corps Partnership Program Works !


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.


Nazilongo Community Library Nazilonga, Zambia







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.

Thank you!

Rachel

-- 

Rachel Moscato

Community Health Improvement Project

Peace Corps Zambia


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