FROG recently decided to put together a press kit for a possible high-level governmental meeting in Guyana that may be happening very shortly.Â With little time to prepare, we rushed to gather the needed material for the kit, organized it the best we could and actually lucked out finding a graphic design volunteer to pull everything together in a neat packet.
If you’ve never used DesignismConnects.com for graphic design volunteers, you should check it out.Â We were able to use the service and quickly find a volunteer to work on the project.Â In less than a week and a half we were able to post the need, locate a volunteer, get her the resources and turn around the press kit.
We want to give a big shout out to Sarah Riddle and thank her for the great work she did on the press kit and on such short notice.Â You can check out her other amazing projects here – www.sarahriddle.com
You can check out the press kit Sarah put together here – FROG Press Kit
Thanks Sarah for your help, we’re incredibly grateful for the work!
Eric Hilton, of Guy 12, is featured on an Idealist.org’s podcast this month -
In this episode we hear from Eric Hilton about his new nonprofit Technically Learning.Â His organization believes “all students should have the opportunity to discover how fun and inspiring the science, technology, engineering and math fields can be.”Â Â Eric talks about how he got involved with creating educational materials, LEGO robots and the difficulty in starting a new nonprofit.
We also want to remind you of our Facebook Causes page, please check it out and join when you get a chance –
We use both our Fan Page and Causes page because of the great, but different, tools they both have.
Friends & RPCVs of Guyana
For past two years I’ve been a board member of the RPCV group Friends & RPCVs of Guyana (FROG) and as nonprofits go, it takes time to build up membership, fund raise, continue outreach and develop our programs but I’m confident that we’re progressing at a solid pace.
There’s plenty of room for FROG to grow and I’ve begun to spend more time thinking long-term about the future of our organization.
How can we make our work more sustainable?
How can we better integrate into the nonprofit community in Guyana?
How can this community effectively work together and share it’s collective resources?
Guyana is a small country but with a large number of NGOs, nonprofits, community groups, volunteers and activists operating within the country. At any one time, there are thousands of people on the ground planning, organizing, volunteering and working toward the collective goal of bettering people’s lives. Thinking of our work within this context keeps bringing me to the conclusion that we’re operating without the most basic tool, collaborative mapping.
Obviously it’s the responsibility of each organization to archive their activities and projects, successes and failures, resources on the ground, for the sake of organizational memory and building upon their work. But it’s the collective responsibility of the NGO community to share with each other what will ultimately benefit the people they’re serving.
One mapping tool that strikes me as incredibly powerful is the Google Earth Enterprise system. This system allows mapping and sharing large amounts and varying types of data sets for making better organizational decisions collaboratively.
How does this work?
Google Earth Enterprise helps organizations with imagery and other geospatial data make that information accessible and useful to all employees who need access via an intuitive, visual, and fast application. Visualize, explore and understand information on a fully interactive 3D globe or 2D browser based maps. Enable your workers to collaborate, improve decision-making, and take faster, more informed action based on geospatial information.
Using this system, organizations in Guyana will quickly learn where overlapping projects exists, where resources are lacking and where they are redundant, which villages volunteers should be sent and what they need to focus on while there. Organization can compare a wide range of data sets to draw conclusions that may have otherwise been missed. Combined with tools like FrontlineSMS, InSTEDD and Ushahidi, crisis management will be more effective. Local data sets combined with UN data, information from the World Bank and other sources will help both the NGO community and the Guyanese government with “big picture” planning and outreach.
As this system, and those like it, mature, there will continue to be success stories and wider implementation of mapping technologies. Long-term, I realize this idea may be bigger than FROGs capacity, but it’s a direction we’ll push for regardless.
Friends &Â RPCVs of Guyana would like to take a moment and thank J. Aramathea, art director of Deitrick &Â Associates and The HALO Foundation, for the volunteer work she’s done with our organization.Â During her hours away from her work and volunteering with The HALOÂ Foundation, J. Aramathea has been working on updating the FROG logo so that we can use it in a variety of ways.Â The new logo can be replicated on stationary and letterheads to items as large as posters and barndoors if we needed to.
I’d also like to take a moment to highlight her work with The HALOÂ Foundation, which recently launched The 93 cents for Flight 93 Campaign, which is dedicated to building a memorial for Flight 93 of September 11.
(via NPCA email)
Despite limited funds to work with, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs today took a major step forward to provide the resources for a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps.Â In its “mark up” of programs within the International Affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2010, the subcommittee agreed to recommend a $450 Million appropriation for the Peace Corps.Â This decision was announced last night on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews by Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey.Â Click here to watch the program.
Eighteen months ago, the National Peace Corps Association launched the MorePeaceCorps Campaign anticipating an opportunity but realizing that a coordinated and sustained effort was necessary, Inspired by the indefatigable spirit of Peace Corps pioneer Harris Wofford, led by the enormous energy of our Campaign Coordinator Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 01-03), supported by Donald Ross (Nigeria 65-67) and his team at M+R Associates and fueled by the countless contributions of volunteer advocates across the nation, we all went to work:Â writing letters, making phone calls, hosting MorePeaceCorps House Parties, organizing constituent meetings with lawmakers, submitting letters to the editor and op/eds, taking part in a National Day of Action, marching in parades, attending rallies and much, much more..
It is very important to recognize that much more work remains, But today’s action is an historic step forward!Â It is your historic step forward.Â Congratulations!
The father of a British IT consultant who was kidnapped in Baghdad two years ago has learnt his son may be freed within the next 48 hours.
Graeme Moore shared his news after a senior member of the Shia militia group that seized his son, Peter, with his four bodyguards in 2007 was freed by the US military.
The release of Laith al-Khazali is in line with demands by the group, Asaib al-Haq, which say his freedom, and that of other rebels, would be in return for the Britons.
It is not clear whether the release of Laith was part of official or covert efforts to free the five Brits, but a friend of Peter Moore said it represented a â€œhuge boost of hope.â€?
Appearing on an internet broadcast, the friend, Amber Foley, also said she was â€œvery downâ€? in May, when two years passed since the 32-year-old was abducted.
Her speaking out came on the same day that Graeme Moore was quoted as saying that he understands from Iraqi officials that his son could be released imminently.
â€œWe have always been told that Peter may be the first one to be released,â€? he told the Independent. â€œI heard this afternoon that this may take place within two days.â€?
Amy Potthast writes: “The reason getting an invitation to Peace Corps becomes such a problem now is the way the nomination process works. If you arenâ€™t familiar, it may help to know that after you apply and interview, you can get nominated to join the Peace Corps from your local recruiting office. Then your application travels to the headquarters office in Washington, D.C., where your placement officer considers whether you are a good program fit for a specific country assignment, and invites you. (In the mean time you undergo a medical and dental examination to be deemed physically fit to serve in a developing country where medical care isnâ€™t always on par with that of the United States.) Sounds easy, right? Well the problem is that Peace Corps regional recruitment offices throughout the country race against each other once, quarterly to get all their applicants nominated through an online systemâ€”and because the number of applicants has far outnumbered the openings, within 15 minutes of opening the online process, one day every three months, the generalist slots all get taken up. If generalist positions made a small percentage of Peace Corps openings, the problem wouldnâ€™t be so dire. But generalist positions make up about half of openings. Not only that, but the generalist contribution to Peace Corps is important. The power of the Peace Corps is that it not only provides needed technical assistance to developing countries, but it also transforms people who donâ€™t necessary have a lot of prior international or development experience, who may otherwise never have the opportunity to live oversesas for that length of time, and to learn another language. “
A MOST unusual document landed on your correspondentâ€™s desk recently: a financial report from a rainforest. Iwokrama, a 370,000-hectare rainforest in central Guyana, announced that it was in profit. It added, more intriguingly, that rainforests had entered the â€œglobal economyâ€?.
Iwokrama is part of the largest expanse of undisturbed rainforest in the world, which overlies the Guiana Shield. It has a unique history. In 1989 the president of Guyana had the foresight to give the forest as a gift to the Commonwealth for research into global warming. Today it is administered by an international board of trustees, who have devolved the day-to-day management to the Iwokrama International Centre. It is this centre that has been working to exploit the forest sustainably.
Edward Glover, one of Iwokramaâ€™s board of trustees, says that it became clear more than a decade ago that the forest could not rely on donor funding to survive, so it had to look elsewhere for finance. The centreâ€™s first job was to identify the forestâ€™s assets and to exploit them. It seems to have perfected its art. Today the centre makes money in areas such as ecotourism, timber-extraction, forest-products such as honey and oils, bio-prospecting and forestry research. Its results for 2008 reveal that it made a surplus for the first time that year, with revenues of $2.4m and a profit of $800,000. The previous year it had lost $200,000. Revenues from timber were up by 44%, ecotourism by 26% and training by 22%.
There should be more money to come. Eighteen months ago, it sold a licence for the measurement and valuation of the forestâ€™s â€œecosystem servicesâ€?. This is not to say that the forest has actually sold these rights, but that an investment company, Canopy Capital, based in London, has bought the rights to create a financial deal for the forestâ€™s services.
Ecosystem services are what a forest provides merely by existing. A standing forest can generate rainfall, prevent flooding, regulate the soil, provide biodiversity and store carbon. These benefits are received by everyone in society, but no one pays for them. Such environmental services are often termed â€œexternalitiesâ€? because they are not included in the price of the forest. When forests are traded in a traditional way, their price usually depends only on the value of the timber and the land on which it grows. No account is taken of the broader services to society. The result is that forests are being cut down because an incorrect price is put on them.