Peace Corps Volunteer Fundraises For Malaria Prevention

My name sake, her mom and I

Emily McGann witnessed malaria’s reach and the devastating effects it havocked on her community in The Gambia while working as a health Peace Corps Volunteer over the past two years. But it wasn’t until she lost a fellow member in her community to the disease that she felt the destruction first hand.

Now, McGann is raising money through a Peace Corps Partnership (PCPP) grant in order to buy and distribute long lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs), or bed nets, to every member in her community to help prevent the spread of malaria.

“Malaria work has become my main focus for the rest of my service. It’s my goal to educate as many people as I can about the dangers of malaria and prevention methods,” said McGann. “By increasing malaria knowledge in the community, I hope to see future generations continue to embrace the culture of sleeping under bed nets and hopefully see malaria eradicated in The Gambia.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Volunteer Fundraises For Malaria Prevention”

Cincinnati native, Peace Corps volunteer helps Mexican community build ecotourism business

4Nearly 10 years ago, a rural community outside of Jalisco State Park in Western Mexico decided to launch an ecotourism business to supplement their income and preserve their lush forest. Various bureaucratic hurdles and prolonged construction struggles delayed the opening of the business, but the first visitors finally arrived nearly six years after the project was initiated. They needed business and marketing trainings, financial resources and someone who could offer guidance on how to run an ecotourism business.

Then, last year, they met Peace Corps volunteer Cassie Hoffman. Continue reading “Cincinnati native, Peace Corps volunteer helps Mexican community build ecotourism business”

Indiana volunteer fundraises for students to attend business conference in Nicaragua

Thomas Pearson has been serving as an entrepreneurship education volunteer in Nicaragua since March of 2014. He teaches in four different schools throughout Nicaragua.
Thomas Pearson has been serving as an entrepreneurship education volunteer in Nicaragua since March of 2014. He teaches in four different schools throughout Nicaragua.

Thomas Pearson knows that his Peace Corps service in Nicaragua is much more than the two years he spends in country. To make a true lasting impact, he is leading, coaching and inspiring the people who have the power to ignite change: students.

With the help of a Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP) grant, Pearson and other Nicaraguan Peace Corps volunteers are raising money to help send students in their entrepreneurial classes to a national business conference. The PCPP grants support Peace Corps volunteers’ projects throughout the world. To receive funding, a community must contribute at least 25 percent of the total project’s cost to ensure community ownership and long-term sustainability. Pearson’s goal is to raise $14,196.34 to send students to the conference on Nov. 16-18. Continue reading “Indiana volunteer fundraises for students to attend business conference in Nicaragua”

Peace Corps visits Western Illinois to find the next generation of international volunteers

Karen Mauldin-Curtis, right, is the program manager of the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Western Illinois. Returned volunteers Lexie Woodward (Nicaragua), Danny Ramirez (Benin), and Ella Lehmann (Ethiopia) are students in the WIU Fellows Program.
Karen Mauldin-Curtis, right, is the program manager of the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Western Illinois. Returned volunteers Lexie Woodward (Nicaragua), Danny Ramirez (Benin), and Ella Lehmann (Ethiopia) are students in the WIU Fellows Program.

Peace Corps recruiters will visit Western Illinois University Thursday and Friday, Sept.3-4, to speak with students and faculty about the personal and professional benefits of living and working in an international community. In addition, the Peace Car, an eco-friendly Smart Car decked out with the Peace Corps logo, will make its first visit to campus and will be photographed with WIU’s mascot, Colonel Rock III.

Some 358 WIU alums have served as Peace Corps volunteers since the agency’s inception in 1961. To build upon that legacy, Peace Corps recruiters Jessica Vig, Travis Bluemling, Jake Hamilton, and the Peace Car will be tailgating north of Hanson Field at WIU’s Ag Day on Thursday before the Fighting Leathernecks season-opening football game. Returned volunteers from the campus community and Macomb are urged to stop by, take a photo from the Peace Car, and meet with those considering service. Continue reading “Peace Corps visits Western Illinois to find the next generation of international volunteers”

Indiana Peace Corps volunteer builds playground for students in Madagascar

Farinas_MadagascarPeace Corps volunteer Jenie Farinas of Peru, Indiana, has given children in her community in Madagascar something that is a common part of schools and communities across the U.S. – a playground.

The playground is part of Farinas’ Project Health Kids, in which she gives primary school students an outdoor space to play while teaching them about healthy living. She built the school’s first playground while starting a school garden to give students access to nutritious foods and income generating activities.

“Project Healthy Kids is an educational program that aims to empower students and teach them about health and life skills,” said Farinas, who is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington who has been living in Madagascar since 2013. Continue reading “Indiana Peace Corps volunteer builds playground for students in Madagascar”

New athletic court will allow Peace Corps volunteer to show Cambodian youth importance of sports, physical fitness

Youb.Fatuma_Cambodia
Peace Corps volunteer Fatuma Youb leads an exercise class in Cambodia.

Girls at the Cambodia high school where Fatuma Youb works as a Peace Corps volunteer told her that they wanted to learn to play sports, but there was no place to practice.

“My high school in Cambodia does not have any sports fields, courts or facilities, despite having hundreds of students interested in sports,” Youb said. “Most of the students have to walk several kilometers away from the school to the closest volleyball court or soccer field, which are unsafe. During the raining season in Cambodia, the fields become flooded which makes it difficult for students to use for sports. Also the fields are uneven, therefore, creating a greater risk of injury.” Continue reading “New athletic court will allow Peace Corps volunteer to show Cambodian youth importance of sports, physical fitness”

Project update: Soy restaurant celebrates grand opening in Cameroon

Peace Corps volunteers and community members enjoy free samples of soy milk and tofu at the opening of Restaurant Saare Soja.
Peace Corps volunteers and community members enjoy free samples of soy milk and tofu at the opening of Restaurant Saare Soja.

University of Michigan alum Marissa Falk of Madison, Wis., has been serving as a health volunteer in Cameroon since September 2012. Falk, who used the Peace Corps Partnership Program to help women in her community create a soy café, wrote in with this update on the project’s success.

With the help of Peace Corps in highlighting my soy cooperative project and sharing it through social media channels, our grant was fully funded early this year. Malnutrition and the education of young girls are two significant obstacles in my community. Many of the women in the soy cooperative are unmarried and are the breadwinners for their families. This is especially difficult for them because many did not attend school, and thus are not qualified for jobs requiring specific skillsets. The goal of this project is twofold: to provide the women with money so they can manage both their own lives and their families’ lives, and to combat malnutrition by offering tofu and soy milk, in addition to other traditional meals. Continue reading “Project update: Soy restaurant celebrates grand opening in Cameroon”