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Host an all day workshop which will accommodate 100 youths between the ages of 7 to 16,both males and females. Sessions in the three disciplines of Karate, Dance and Capoeira will be offered , each running for 3 hours. The youths will be introduced to the basic principles of these art forms and also the benefits pf having the training.
By giving them a first hand experience of these art forms, we hope will spark their interest in becoming a full time trainee and also to become a member of Youth Empowerment Group Guyana (YEGG). YEGG is always on the quest to integrate young people of these communities into positive activities ,as we believe there is a major shortage of youth focus within and in surrounding areas. Once they become a member of our group they would have the choice of being a part of many other programs that may suit their interest.
During the Friday and Saturday preceding the event, our volunteers were scouting going door to door to get children registered for the workshop staged for the 9th March 2013.By foot wearing their t shirts and identity cards, they visited houses along Laine Avenue, West and East front Road and the surrounding areas. Much progress was made as many children were at home during the hours we visited. We distributed the consent forms that
were to be signed by the parents and briefed each parent and child on the expected activities.
On the day of the event, we were scheduled to begin at 10:00am but had a late start at 11:30 awaiting arrival of more children. Our first session was dance which ran for one hour. After which the media arrived to carryout interviews with facilitators and participants. Youth Expressions and NCN news were present to do so. The second session was karate, which ran for one hour and thirty minutes. We then break for one hour so that the children could enjoy the refreshments. Sessions in capoeira began shortly after the hour and a repeat of the sessions
of half an hour were carried out to accommodate those who came late. All sessions were commenced at 4:00pm and remaining snacks were distributed.
A record of the participants were made and further registration for permanent classes were made just before they left. We also requested a feedback from the children about their experiences and their eagerness to inform their peers were evident.
Challenges and Successes
Our biggest challenge which resulted in the postponement of the program altogether, was a change of location and time. The event was scheduled for the 2nd of March, but was put off to the 9th of March because we were informed that we had to change venue due to some unforeseen circumstances. However, regardless of the short coming, the rescheduling served as a booster when it came to gathering youths. There was more time available so we were able to meet our target of 100+ children.
It was also a bit challenging accommodating more children than expected in terms of snacks. We were equipped to cater for 100, but were faced with the task of providing for a little over including the trainers and volunteers, but that was easily overcome by the eagerness of the parents present .They provided the extra snacks in a jiffy.
Last, is the issue of not acquiring the photographs expected from a volunteer? It appeared that they were misplaced and could not be retrieved, so we resorted to using images taken by mobile phones as reference .Which is a bit disappointing.
Personal Experiences and Stories
Due to the high level of professionalism displayed, the success of the project was nothing but a tiny task. The instructors were pleased with the performances of the participants as they felt empowered by their achievements. The children all gave a general response of fulfillment, gratitude and much anticipation of the next event.
Personally I’m happy with the works done that day and one thing I learnt whilst carrying out one aspect of the workshop, dance, is that it doesn’t matter what age or caliber of people you associate yourself with and offer your knowledge to, once the outcome is the same every time that’s all that matters , success.
Guyana Peace Corps Volunteer, B. Ryan Dunn K. Komeh has concluded her FROG sponsored health project encouraging women to actively take control of their well being and bring to life a new exercise class in the community.
Several months ago women with children 5 months to 5 years agreed to participate in weekly Monday sessions geared to the health/nutrition of their children. Out of these sessions these same women expressed the desire to tackle their own health. Therefore, it was suggested that we form a group that would address these issues; beginning those initial steps that would lead to healthier lifestyles for ourselves. Since there are no gyms or health facilities in Mahdia an aerobics class seemed like the best way to begin. It is fun and can be done in a private space without onlookers.
Over the course of three months twelve women all with young children met every Friday from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM for floor aerobics with an experienced teacher. Each woman was given a mat and a water bottle upon payment of the registration fee of $500 dollars. Depending on availability a 20-30 minute nutrition/diet session was held either at the beginning or end of the aerobics sessions.
In the beginning, class attendance was slow but, by the end of the course women had to be turned away due to space constraints.Â The majority of the exercises performed were designed so that the women could perform them on their own. In fact, women were encouraged weekly to do this.Â By the end of the sessions all women noted an increase in energy levels and all women expressed interest in continuing exercise after official class ceased.
Currently, steps are being put into place to have a year round class open to all women living in the community. In the interim the women are keeping up on their own.
CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES
When implementing this project there were few challenges due to the excitement of the women. Those that arose had to do with logistics. For example, finding a venue that would accommodate the number of personâ€™s involved and agreeing on a day and time that worked for the women and the instructor. In addition, once that class was underway it was frustrating to have to turn persons away from the class. In fact, several persons joined who were not initially expected. Issues with the current in the interior often proved problematic.Â Sometimes current was available and sometimes it was not. At several points the time of class had to be altered to accommodate a change in a key personâ€™s schedule. However, if for whatever purposes class was canceled there was always a make-up class the following Saturday.Â The women often expressed the need for more classes during the week. However, the schedule of the instructor would not permit this addition nor the budget. However, the women were encouraged to meet on their own to exercise. This happened once or twice but all women expressed the fact that it was easier to exercise with the instructor there. This was cause for some alarm because the point was for the women to gain enough confidence to continue you on long after the instructor had finished with his class.
Initially, there were to be meetings twice a week. One strictly for the aerobics and the other geared to nutrition. The women found it difficult to attend these separate meetings about nutrition so in the end they were canceled and all nutrition lessons came on the tail end of aerobics classes.
Successes of the course were many. However, the most telling would be the amount of persons who wanted to join the class and the state of the women when the course officially ended.Â Upon commencing with the course the captain of the group and myself were approached by six additional women who wanted to join. Unfortunately, only two were able to be accepted due to the space of the venue. In addition, the instructor said that he would offer classes after this class had officially ended and all of the women expressed intentions of attending.Â In addition to the excitement over more classes all of the women who participated reported back increases in energy and more flexibility. Overall, the class went extremely well, persons were sad to see it end and had learned a great deal that they could and expressed interest in doing until the initiation of the next class.
The second of Rachelle Hall’s projects conducted in White Water, Region 1.
The youth sports group of White Water consists of separate boys and girls teams. The sports played include cricket and football, but additional activities are often integrated, although they are not played competitively with other villages. The youthâ€™s ages range from 7-17 years old and can be seen practicing their favorite sports during rain or shine, everyday after school.
The FROG grant would assist the Sports Club to repair/purchase various sports equipment that are needed/require maintenance and would help the teams purchase material to create team jerseys to wear during their competitions with neighboring villages (they are currently one of the only teams left, competing in â€œstreet-clothesâ€? attire).
Additional goals will include incorporating health talks involving topics that the youth will be able to personally pick out, and to create an environment where they can discuss these subjects freely. These efforts will help to strengthen the clubâ€™s members through boosting self-esteem and engage them in positive after-school activities.
Under new management by the newly elected Coach, a sports team of 15 boys and 15 girls was constructed. This was a task in itself as the teams were always loosely regimented, previously. Monthly meetings were implemented with a total of three meetings where the sports teamâ€™s future was discussed.
It was decided that the team members most wanted team uniforms to play in. They thought this would inspire team spirit and unification. It also would give them pride in their team when playing against opposing teams. The team decided they would rather have an outside source create the uniforms, as the womenâ€™s sewing group did not have the patterns. The teams came up with their top three favorite colors and style of uniform. Woodpecker Products was chosen to construct the uniforms in Georgetown where they were able to make the uniforms in the teamâ€™s first choice of color.
They also chose to see me on an individual basis, instead of having big group health teachings. They thought this would allow them to receive health information confidentially, on topics they chose. These topics included adolescent development, family planning, STI prevention, and maintenance of body injury.
Immediate: The youth in White Water love to play sports, rain or shine. Keeping them active in a team-building group that promotes healthy lifestyles will steer the members to continue in activities that promote well-being.
Long-term: There are other youths that are currently interested in the sports team but have not made an active membership. As they begin to see the positive outcomes for the participants it will further their desire to join.
All of the sports teamâ€™s goals and objectives were met, except the first. All the funds were used for the team jerseys, per vote by the team. However, there was not enough money to purchase/repair sport equipment. The womenâ€™s group, however, supports the team with a donation of $3,000 GYD per month for items in need of repair. Health issues were discussed with the youth on an individual basis and no prize money was needed for participation.
As it was difficult for the group to always meet as a whole, quite the opposite happened when the members would visit me in the Health Hut on an individual basis. I saw a lot of the participants open up and ask questions related to their chosen topic. They were eager to learn without the embarrassment that would have inevitably taken place if the subjects were discussed in front of the group.
1. What have you been up to since you finished Peace Corps?
Working with Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres – MSF)
2. What do you miss most about Guyana and your Peace Corps experience?
Without a doubt my community – I have visited twice and it felt like going home and reconnecting with people with whom I had grown close in a family sort of way.
3. How did your experience in Guyana affect your post-Peace Corps experience?
The PC experience was a stepping stone – I had always wanted to work overseas and this gave me the experience I needed on my resume. I have really enjoyed keeping up with RPCVs – it is a special and unusual bond.
4. Describe a challenge you worked to overcome while in PC Guyana.
The cross culture experience was without difficulty as I had grown up in a similar culture. Social isolation was probably the most difficult part of the experience in the beginning
5. In 5 words, describe your Peace Corps experience.
Gratifying, satisfying, frustrating, peaceful, worthwhile
6. What is your favorite Peace Corps Guyana memory?
Sharing major life events with people – births, weddings, school achievements, deaths – it was a privilege to be integrated enough where I was included and could participate in, at times intensely, personal experiences
7. What was the hardest part of readjusting to post-Peace Corps life?
Realizing that the Peace Corps experience doesn’t really enhance your resume in many ways – although after 6 months it finally paid off. In the short term – adjusting from being a very active member of a community and returning (not to original homebase) and having to rebuild a life from scratch where it was a struggle to realize a sense of purpose.
8. Which lessons from Peace Corps have you applied in your post-Peace Corps jobs/life?
9. What advice would you give a future or current Peace Corps Volunteer (Guyana or otherwise)?Of the countries of service, in my estimation, Guyana is one of the easier ones to work in. Advice: the PC experience is what you make of it, it is a good idea to look at why you want to do the PC and what you want to gain from it – believe in those things and let that carry you through the tough times.
10. Would you do Peace Corps again? Where, when and why?
NO! as an older volunteer – it was very difficult to enter into a situation where I had to prove myself – which may be a culture set up by the CD – but I entered the Peace Corps with 18 years of professional experience, more education than most of the national PC staff and suddenly I felt I had to prove my value and commitment…I almost left because this was so disturbing. But I realized that as an older volunteer I could work ‘under the radar’ and fill a need in the community and essentially pay no attention to the PC administration.
I would however strongly recommend the PC – especially for those who have little travel experience and centric view of the world. In this way the PC opens your eyes and sets up the possibility for appreciating the world and the plight of the underserved, the disparity between the haves and the have nots, the income gap…we are all better off for having this opportunity. But it is not all about what one can get out of the experience it is an amazing opportunity to learn the giving side! Giving yourself, through grass roots efforts contributing to a community in some way! Completing the service in a community is incredibly meaningful especially from the community perspective – so often in the beginning I was asked ‘why do you give up everything you have in America to live here. You have no comforts. You separate from your family’.
Are you a Guyana RPCV who would like to be featured in our RPCV Highlight? Email me at email@example.com.
RPCV Phillip Chan, Guy 15, was a repeat recipient of a FROG Grant. He returned to Guyana during his spring break from Jefferson Medical College with 5 of his classmates to continue on the work he started last year in St. Monica. Here is a summary of his project report…
The purpose of the trip was to build upon our previous work providing St. Monica residents with a cleaner source of drinking water.Â Our group was composed of six Jefferson Medical College students (three first-years and three second-years).Â We wanted to expand our project by installing additional rainwater catchment tanks in the neighboring village of Karawab as well as focusing on educating the community about proper water treatment and hygiene.Â We had maintained contact with village leaders since last yearâ€™s trip and wanted to follow up on our promise to duplicate the water collection system installed at St. Monica Primary School with a similar, smaller scale one at Karawab Primary.Â Plans had actually been made to complete this expansion last year but were limited by time constraints during our short time in-country.
Prior to our trip we held local fundraisers here in Philadelphia while consulting with consulting with contacts on the ground in Guyana.Â These included the tushao, Thomas Charles, St. Monica Primary Headmaster Nicholas Courtman, and Karawab Primary Headmistress Eve Samuels.Â In addition, we also received support from Peace Corps Response Volunteer Nicole Baker, who was briefly posted to St. Monica in January of 2010, and Drs. Andrea Thorpe and Karen Schneider.Â Dr. Thorpe is a member of the Rotary International Team which implemented a large-scale rainwater-catchment tank distribution in Kabakaburi (neighboring community on the Pomeroon) and who has been working with her organization to continue these efforts in St. Monica and Karawab during the summer of this year.Â Dr. Schneider is the leader of a Johns Hopkins medical team which works on the Pomeroon each year conducting large clinics for the main Amerindian communities, and thus has a good working knowledge of the health challenges and outcomes of this patient population.
We flew into Guyana on the morning of Sunday, March 21, and finally arrived in St. Monica late the following day on Monday, March 22.Â On Tuesday we started work at the school, conducting health outreach sessions on the importance of water treatment.Â We engaged the students in â€œfield experimentsâ€? to collect various water samples and utilized light microscopy to conduct basic wet mounts of our slides.Â At the request of Headmaster Nicholas Courtman, we also worked alongside the school faculty, assisting the secondary division students with their Secondary School Research Projects (SSRPâ€™s), required for the completion of their studies this academic year.
Splitting our group into three pairs of teachers, we spent the morning and afternoon teaching Math, English, Science, and Social Studies.Â While in Philadelphia, we had collected 4 used laptops for donation to the school, and were able to set these up using the schoolâ€™s existing solar array to supplement our teaching with appropriate computer programs (Excel, Word, digital encyclopedias, etc.).Â These activities formed the basis for our daily work at the village, and we continued them for the remainder of our time in St. Monica.
On Wednesday, the group traveled up to Karawab with the tushao to ensure the delivery of the water tanks and proper construction of the water tank trestle at Karawab Primary.Â We also conducted afternoon training sessions with Karawabâ€™s secondary division students on the prevention of HIV and other STIâ€™s, and a computer education class with the Karawab Primary School faculty using two of our donated laptops, which remained with the teachers for their further use at the school (like St. Monica, Karawab also has a solar panel array to power these computers).Â We concluded our Karawab trip with the handover of 100 lbs. of childrenâ€™s books collected in Philadelphia, providing a seed source for a new school library at the primary school (previously they had no extra reading books on hand for the students).
Position Title: HIV Prevention Technical Advisor
Division: Research and Development
Reports to: CEO
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Date Drafted: 15 March 2010
Desired Start Date: 1 August 2010
Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is an international NGO that uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to stop the spread of HIV. Through interactive HIV prevention and life skills education, GRS provides youth with the knowledge, skills and support to live HIV-free. Since 2003, more than 300,000 youth have graduated from programs run by GRS and its partners in 18 countries. GRS aims to graduate 1 million youth by 2014, rigorously evaluating our modelâ€™s success, scaling through implementing partnerships, and using soccer to enhance our impact.
The HIV Prevention Technical Advisor (HPTA) serves as Grassroot Soccerâ€™s public health specialist, responsible for: ensuring the quality of GRS Global programming; advising the development and design of programs, tools, curricula, and evaluations; developing GRS as a leading organization in youth HIV prevention; and strategically guiding the organization to achieve its goal of reducing HIV incidence among young people worldwide.
The HPTA will be responsible for a variety of tasks including:
1. Liaise with research advisors in the fields of public health, education, and sport-fordevelopment and ensure their input is incorporated into GRSâ€™ programs
2. Conduct literature reviews to inform grant writing, program design, curriculum development, and valuations
3. Ensure GRS staff and volunteers are sufficiently informed about the HIV epidemic
4. Obtain feedback on programs from beneficiaries and stakeholders through focus groups, site visits, and M&E data
5. Speak/present on behalf of GRS at national and international conferences, workshops, and meetings
6. Build relationships with relevant partners, donors, and other stakeholders
7. Assist in technical aspects of grant writing and program design
8. Advise the development of new curricula, ensuring interventions are based on sound theory and research and are appropriate for the targeted audience
9. Manage curriculum development consultants as needed
10. Review and approve all curricula and communications tools before implementation
Monitoring and evaluation
11. Provide technical assistance to M&E Officers in South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
as well as implementing partners in other countries (including Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, and Lesotho)
12. Develop strategic frameworks (e.g. logic models, conceptual frameworks, etc) for workplans, grants, and M&E plans.
13. Recruit, select, and manage evaluation consultants and research partners carrying out program evaluations
14. Conduct routine data quality assessments and build internal data management capacity
15. Oversee development of M&E tools and processes to track outputs and outcomes.
16. Design, implement and publish relevant research that informs GRS, other implementers, and the fields of HIV prevention and sport-for development
â€¢ Passion for and commitment to Grassroot Soccerâ€™s mission;
â€¢ A Masters Degree or higher in public health, education, or a related field;
â€¢ 5+ years experience in research, evaluation, curriculum development, program design, program management, advocacy, and/or health communications;
â€¢ At least 1 year of field experience working in health, education, or research, preferably in Africa;
â€¢ Interest and expertise in HIV prevention and/or youth development;
â€¢ Action-oriented, critical thinker who challenges the status quo and insists on results;
â€¢ Excellent writing skills, including grant writing and manuscript composition;
â€¢ Excellent communicator who can translate research into action across the organization;
â€¢ Track record of launching and implementing innovative ideas and programs;
â€¢ Experience with qualitative and quantitative program evaluation methods;
â€¢ High emotional intelligence and ability to work effectively with diverse groups;
â€¢ Computer literacy, including excellent Microsoft Office skills (particularly Excel and Powerpoint);
â€¢ Applicant must be a team player capable of working independently in a fast-paced, multi-cultural environment.
The tasks listed above are not an exhaustive list of all duties, but do comprise of the essential job functions. Grassroot Soccer reserves the right to change and update job specifications at any time it deems necessary.
If interested, send a CV and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23 April 2010.
\"All You Need is Love\" On December 7th, 2009, Starbucks invited musicians from all over the world to sing “All You Need is Love” at the same time to raise awareness for AIDS in Africa. Musicians from 156 countries played the famous Beatles song, including school children from Guyana (at 2:36.) Enjoy!
|U.S. Peace Corps swearing more Guyana volunteers|
|Tuesday, 30 March 2010 04:11|
|PEACE Corps Guyana will, at 10:00 h today, swear in its 22nd group of volunteers at a ceremony in the Theatre Guild Playhouse, Kingston, Georgetown.
This 33 arrived in the country last February 7 and had been engaged in an intensive eight weeks training programme and a release said they have been assigned within the Health, Education and Information Technology (IT) sectors, joining 54 of their colleagues providing service in nine of the 10 Administrative Regions of Guyana.
The release said, during the period 1966 to 1971, 160 such volunteers served the Peace Corps in this country.
Subsequently, in 1993, the Peace Corps was invited to return here by then President Dr. Cheddi Jagan and, in 1995, the first group arrived.
Since then, more than 400 American volunteers have served the people of Guyana, the release said.
It added that, on accepting the invitation to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, they agree to stay for a two-year tour.
The late U.S. President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps in March 1961 to provide human resource and technical assistance to developing countries that have requested this kind of support and it is pleased to provide this development aid to the people of Guyana.
The Peace Corps extends its gratitude to the Government and People of Guyana for the hospitality and opportunity it offers the volunteers to assist in achieving the nationâ€™s development aspirations, the release said.
The Peace Corps website recently featured Ashley Benson, who served as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Guyana. Working through the Catholic Relief Services, Ashley provided 6 months of much needed support to the “Program on Abstinence for Guyana”. Working with the goal of prevention in mind, Ashley found the experience to be rather rewarding. ” With this opportunity, “Ashley wrote, “I was able to include topics regarding not just the message of abstaining from sex; rather, abstaining from anything that could affect you in a negative or unhealthy way. This broader message developed into a 15-session curriculum encompassing topics such as self-esteem, goals, healthy lifestyles, discrimination, peer pressure, violence, sexuality, volunteerism, and much more.” Click the link above to learn more about Ashley’s experience.
Congratulations to Philip Chan, an RPCV from Guyana, who won our hearts – and our first small grant – with his proposal to assist a small villiage in Guyana in their effort to obtain clean drinking water.Â Please take a moment to read his magnificent project report below.
PROJECT REPORT FROM PHILLIP CHAN
(Slightly abridged by FROG)
The purpose of the trip was to implement a small scale clean water project in the Amerindian village of St. Monica.Â The decision to conduct this project was based on ongoing communication I had with my village since COS-ing regarding the rise in gastrointestinal complaints (vomiting and diarrhea) reported at the health post and village concerns about the increasingly polluted waters of the Pomeroon.Â Prior to the trip we conducted research on applicable clean water applications, including portable filtration systems, Life Straws, water purification packets, and river bank sand filtration.Â We consulted with the local Philadelphia chapter of Engineers Without Borders (regarding the river bank sand filtration method) and with Dr. Andrea Thorpe of the Miami Chapter – Rotary International.Â We also invited a guest speaker, Dr. Christiaan Morssink-president of the United Nations Associations of Greater Philadelphia to come to our school and give a lecture on water security in the developing world.Â Dr. Morssink had previously lived in Suriname, where he was head of the Department of Planning and Project Management in the Ministry of Health.Â Ultimately, we settled on rainwater collection as the application for use in our project, primarily for three reasons:
- Turbidity and conductivity data collected by a 2006 CDC team to the Pomeroon indicated rainwater as the cleanest natural source of water in the region.
- Village leaders identified rainwater collection as the desired source for clean water in the community, and already possessed resources to support the set up of a rainwater collection system on the central village compound (including four 450 gallon rainwater tanks).
- In conjunction with Rotary International, a successful larger-scale project to set up rainwater tanks had already been conducted in the neighboring village of Kabakaburi.Â Assessment plans to expand this project to St. Monica and Karawab were already underway, and our efforts would complement those of the RI team.
We arrived in Guyana on the morning of Sunday, March 22, and arrived in St. Monica the following day on Monday, March 23.Â On Tuesday we traveled with the tushao to Karawab at the request of Dr. Thorpe, who wanted to collect population and resource data for expansion of Rotary’s clean water project to this community.Â We were also planning on setting up a second water tank stand at the Karawab village compound, near the primary school and health post.Â However, due to time limitations we were restricted to setting up a single water tank stand at the St. Monica compound.Â Wednesday and Thursday were devoted to clearing the work site area and gathering materials for the stand, including 384 BMs of lumber donated from community members, representing nearly half of the necessary resources for the project.Â Construction commenced on Thursday, and was completed the following afternoon.Â Friday evening we had a sendoff dinner and party at the village community center.Â Paiwari was shared.Â I danced the Worm.