EVENT DATE: Jul 08, 2012
As some of you may know, several years ago I served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Paraguay. While the photo on the left may suggest otherwise, I only spent part of my time stealing food from Paraguayan children. I also had the opportunity to become part of a beautiful country and participate in several impactful development projects in my community of Encarnacion. Six years after completing my service, my interest in the country continues beyond my futile attempts to find a Paraguayan bar in NYC to watch the national soccer team play.
On July 8th, 2012, I will be participating in the New York City Triathlon. This may or may not seem like a particularly challenging physical feat, but as part of the training process, I've replaced my egg, ham & cheese McMuffins in the morning with a cup of Chobani's low-fat yogurt. I figure that if one man must go through so much pain, at least some good should come out of it.
Hannah Freedman (in the second and third photo) is from Clemson, South Carolina and a graduate of Duke University. Upon graduation in 2010, she joined the Peace Corps and began her service in the town of San Pedro del Ycuamandyyu, where she has been dedicating her time to youth development projects.
Currently in her second year of service, she has spent the past several months planning a community center targeting the poorest families and children in her barrio. The center is expected to be fully self-sustainable- meaning once off-the-ground, it will not require additional outside funding (e.g. charities, foreign donors, annoying triathlon runners). The services offered by the center, which will be voluntarily provided by members of the community, will incude the following components:
- Health: Local university agronomy students will maintain a 16x18 vegetable garden and a 100-hen chicken house, which will be used to teach mothers how to prepare healthy and low-cost meals for their children. I have encouraged integrating bacon, but Hannah has communicated to me that a pig farm is not part of her plan
- Entrepreneurship: Courses in cooking and sewing taught by local professionals will provide the familes opportunites to generate additional income
- Education: Retired teachers have committed to providing courses in reading, math and health education for both youth and adults
Thus, the funding would go largely to one-time costs in the amount of approximately $3,438 Hannah has left to raise for the supplies, including the following:
- Watering system for the garden
- Gardening and maintenance tools (hoes, shovels, rakes, etc.)
- School appliances, including books, educational toys, and desks
- Basic infrastructure for the center, including fans, paint, shelving unit
The project is being co-managed by the faculty and students at the local university Universidad Nacional de Asuncion, who will continue when Hannah's service ends in December. The plan is to have the center launch by September, so that she can ensure things are running smoothly before she leaves.
How to donate
To donate, just click the link below, where you will be taken to the project page on the official Peace Corps agency website:
Please be sure to to donate in my honor, which will allow me to (i) keep track of how much I have raised personally and (ii) thank you afterwards. Of course, if you are uncomfortable doing so but still would like to donate, please feel free to do so anonymously as well.
I will be updating the meter on this page periodically to keep in sync with the meter on the Peace Corps page to ensure that those interested are in the loop of how close we are to our goal.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Hannah at email@example.com (her access to internet is limited, so she may take a few days to respond). For even more details on Hannah's project, feel free to check out her personal site at https://sites.google.com/site/centrocomunitariosanrafael/home
Thanks for your time!