Nancy Fitzimons Alvarado is the Founder and President of Bricks to Bread International, in which she created after her Peace Corps service in Costa Rica. Bricks to Bread has continued to work with active Peace Corps volunteers at their sites to build bread baking ovens and offer courses to local women to help them start and manage their own businesses. In the absence of volunteers who were recently evacuated, Bricks to Bread will work with local community representatives, including a retired local baker, to have them lead project training retreats over the next eight months.
2020: The Child Hope Foundation, Uganda
Kendra Smith (RPCV Uganda) has nominated her former counterpart, James Betungura and his foundation, The Child Hope Foundation – Uganda (CHOF-U). CHOF-U was founded in 2016 with the mission of providing support to orphans and vulnerable children and their caretakers in Mbarara, Uganda. Community-based organizations, such as Child Hope Foundation, provide community support through elementary education, provided nutritious meals, health service referrals, HIV/AIDS guidance & counseling, and socioeconomic services. This grant will purchase supplies for two initiatives: 1) Furnishing the center and 2) Initiating a vegetable garden. Currently the foundation’s center does not have enough chairs for every child. They also plan to buy tables, mattresses, books, and toys for the center to provide an improved learning environment. Another portion of the grant would go towards buying seeds and gardening equipment to use on their two-acre plot. By starting a vegetable garden, they can use the produce to cook nutritious meals for the children and sell any remaining produce.
2020: Dandabu Project, Sierre Leone
Jesse Allers-Hatlie, an RPCV from Elko, MN, received a grant award to assist with upgrades to a middle school in the small village of Dandabu, Sierra Leone. Jesse was instrumental in helping build the school during his Peace Corps service from 2011-2013. He created The Dandabu Project on his return to Minnesota to continue supporting the school. The grant will cover improved classrooms by allowing for bigger windows for more ventilation and light, and repaired desks and blackboards all necessary as class sizes increase. Communities in the area of this school (the only middle school within a 10-mile radius) have been part of the planning process and will be involved in the renovations.
2020: EOS International
Local non-profit organization EOS International is working to increase people’s access to safe drinking water by installing treatment systems for rural community drinking water systems in Nicaragua and Honduras. Our MNRPCV grant will help EOS’ Women Leadership Development in Rural Community Water Board Program. Specifically, the grant will be used to support the recruitment and training of women water board leaders and community leadership trainings. EOS International was founded by MNRPCV member Wes Meier, who served in Nicaragua.
2020: One Village Partners
OneVillage Partners will improve the rice processing system for a small community in Madina, When asked what the community of 1,088 needed most, they explained the need to automate some of their local rice processing, which takes an enormous amount of time and manual labor to harvest, clean, and mill the rice. Our MNRPCV grant will support the purchase of a rice milling machine and the construction of a storage facility for the community’s products. The mill will use solar energy and the community has contributed generously towards to project. The installation of a rice mill will greatly reduce the work of women, children, and other residents who spend significant time every day manually processing rice. OneVillage Partners was founded by MNRPCV member Jeff Hall, who served in Sierra Leone.
2019: Primary School Toilets for Health and Hygiene in Zimbabwe
Randee Edmundson (Tanzania 2007-2009) is continuing to support the community he served, where the local primary school has only 12 toilets for its 765 students. This school is already under-served and is struggling with a 1:127 student to teacher ratio! This $1,000 MNRPCV grant will find the construction of two new sites and will add 8 additional toilets. The work will be accomplished with major in-kind support from the community.
2019: Empowering Rural Napalese Women
Christina Licari Benin (2016-2018) will be traveling with a small group from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School to various locations in Nepal to collect qualitative data collaborating with a local grassroots organization, Women Acting Together for Change (WATCH). Her role in this project will be to research and understand the social, environmental and economic facets influencing the agriculture systems to identify the needs and interests of rural women engaged in agriculture.
In Nepal, most citizens are involved in some level of agriculture , Even so, Nepal struggles to produce adequate food for all its citizens, resulting in wide-spread chronic malnutrition and stunting among children. With the recent surge of male citizens working abroad, women have become increasingly more involved in agricultural practices. However, women often do not have the same access to land, seeds, water and training that their male counterparts do. The communities in which WATCH works have expressed enthusiasm in having support for agricultural involvement among women.
2019: Makka Clinic Project, Makka, Sierra Leone
The nearest Primary Health Unit to Makka (population 810) is located 3 miles along poorly maintained roads. As a result, the community has poor access to healthcare and increased chances of maternal and infant mortality. Due to lack of accessible healthcare services, women frequently utilize untrained birth attendants for medical attention or risk “on the way” births in emergency situations. With funding from third party donors, OneVillage Partners will construct a six room health clinic that will serve the community and particularly pregnant women, by providing immediate health care services as well as a place for safe and hygienic infant delivery. OneVillage Partners will construct a six room health clinic in Makkam Sierra Leone that will serve the community and particularly pregnant women, by providing immediate health care services as well as a place for safe and hygienic infant delivery.
2019: Cooking and Baking Skills Training and Certification for Women School Canteen workers
Starting 2016, ILI Learning Institute, our small community organization in the Philippines, has been working with village schools in the town of Tuba, Benguet in the areas of culture preservation and life skills development for young people. Throughout the project implementation, the parents, teachers and the community have always been supportive through their volunteer works to improve the school facilities and learning. This year, the Parents Teachers and Community Association (PTCA) of Piminggan Elementary School planned to build a small school canteen to serve home-cooked, locally produced foods for about 250 school children and 500 community members in the area. This is to provide an alternative, nutritious food option to the processed foods and snacks that most families buy for their children from the city and town markets.
2019: Safe Drinking Water Expansion in Nicaragua & Honduras
Unsafe drinking water is one of the greatest single threats to human health. Waterborne diseases are responsible for over 840,000 deaths worldwide, most of them children. EOS International’s safe drinking water program focuses on rural populations in both Nicaraguan and Honduras, which are Central America’s poorest countries. In these countries, people living in rural areas have the highest poverty rates and survive on little more than US$1 per day. There are approximately 11,700 rural community drinking water systems in Nicaragua and Honduras and more than 85% of these systems have been found to be contaminated with harmful bacteria.
EOS International will install water treatment systems in at least 60 new villages impacting an additional 50,000 people total throughout the program. They will provide community water quality and testing services to over 1,000 rural community water systems, ensuring over 550,000 Central Americans have access to safe drinking water on a continual basis. Scale SMART Center initiative in collaboration with WaterAid combining knowledge management and social enterprise to improve sustainable access to low-cost water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions, with an emphasis on reaching marginalized communities with simple, market-based, affordable, and repairable technology solutions. Expand chlorine distribution points to ensure all rural communities have access to chlorine tablets.
2018: Agricultural Productivity in Pejewa, Sierra Leone
OneVillage Partners, in conjunction with the community of Pejewa, improved the community’s agricultural productivity. This was accomplished by the following activities: providing trainings on agricultural processes, developing agricultural inputs through seed loans, and improving access to proper storage for agricultural goods. Read more...
2012: Girls’ Empowerment through Reproductive Health
Emily Kjesbo-Johnson, PCV Uganda 2011-2013
This project helped educate Ugandan women and girls about women’s health issues through materials development and teacher education. Girls learned about the menstrual cycle and made reusable menstrual pads (RUMPs.) Watch Emily’s video to learn more about this great project!