2016 Aloha Grant Recipient
Anna M. Alden
Literacy Support (April 2016)
Peace Corps Response Volunteer, Anna M. Alden, worked in Guyana with the Step By Step Foundation School for students with autism. The Step By Step School is one of only two small schools in Guyana that provides services to students on the autism spectrum and with other pervasive development disabilities. It is a registered charity in Guyana and is listed with Guyana’s National Commission on Disabilities.
The Aloha Grant was awarded to the Foundation in late April 2016. The grant was allocated to provide literacy and organizational assistance to the 7 tutors currently teaching at the Step By Step School near Georgetown, Guyana. All budgeted items were purchased in June 2016. These items included a cassette player to enable students to listen to stories aligned with their programs of study and also for playing music for gross motor activities. Grant monies were also spent on reams of paper, accordion files, and plastic drawers for the organization of teaching supplies. Materials of all kinds are in very short supply at the school and this grant was gratefully received.
This Youth Leadership Camp will invite 48 Mongolian adolescents to participate in a three day camp intended to empower youth in the community to become leaders and role models. We hope this camp will teach youth that their voice and contribution is vital to the improvement of their communities. During camp, youth will develop leadership and life skills, such as communication, emotion management, and empathy, through art, sports, and various experiential learning activities. Camp activities are designed to improve youths' critical thinking, self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and create plans and goals for their future. By developing these various skills, youth will be more self-aware, learn how to create stronger positive connections with others, and be able to resist peer pressure to engage in risky behaviors. This camp is intended to be sustainable and serve as a real model of youth participation. Six Mongolian young adults will work alongside Peace Corps Volunteers as junior counselors. Counselors will learn different methods of positive interaction with youth and how to collaboratively develop student-centered lessons. They will also gain basic case management skills through their monitoring and evaluation of campers' progress. In addition, campers will be offered the opportunity to serve as counselors the next year. These youth will become peer mentors and practice the skills they learned to teach more youth. This way, camp can continue on without Peace Corps Volunteers in the future.
The basic idea behind this project is to improve the overall sanitation practices and services for the small annex of Los Angeles located within the district were I am carrying out my service. Recently, the district government has installed their first ever sewer system. Even with such a great civil project being completed by the local government their still exists one major problem in that the majority of the residents of this annex will not construct new bathrooms that will be connected to the system for numerous months and/or years to come due to economic, social, and/or educational reasons. These residents will continue to use their same sanitary practices that include various types of latrines (many of which are full to capacity) and just plain using the bathroom behind their houses in an open field. Obviously, these sanitary practices are much less hygienic than using a real bathroom connected to a sewer system. The goal of this project is to help families construct ½ bathrooms (sink & toilet) that will then be connected to the sewer system. There will also be an educational component to the project that will educate people on hand washing/germs and the proper way to maintain and use their new bathrooms.
Financing for this project will come from three different sources; each family will pay 50% of their total bathroom cost and the other 50% of the costs will be covered through my grant and the local municipality. The grant I have applied for is a donation based grant that has a total value of $3,100. This equates to roughly 34 bathrooms. The municipality has agreed to fund all of the families that sign up for this project once my grant money has been exhausted. The official Peace Corps website is where you can make a donation. Thanks for taking the time to read this and supporting the community of Los Angeles.
Our objective is to construct a basketball/volleyball court for the community of 30,000 in Cambodia. The court will be used by the high school’s volleyball, the local community residents, and a yet to be formed boys and girls basketball teams at the high school. The court will allow the high school volleyball team to conduct practice sessions on courts similar to the ones provincial high schools use. With the help of the high school sports teacher, I also plan to start intramural boys and girls basketball teams at the high school and, eventually, a school team that can compete with other high schools within and outside of this province. We will also try to organize a basketball tournament between the Peace Corps Volunteers who have basketball teams at their high schools. In addition, training will be provided to high school staff in coaching and refereeing to ensure community participation and the sustainability of the basketball team.