Education, Training, and Livelihood Centered Projects.
BUILDING BRIDGES WITH RWANDA - Gashora, Rwanda: Developing World Connections volunteers who choose Rwanda will make an important gesture of international solidarity. By visiting the people and witnessing the legacy of genocide, volunteers honour the country’s effort to rebuild for a sustainable and peaceful future. Participants work to build community infrastructure.
We work in partnership with Building Bridges with Rwanda in the community of Gashora. Gashora is 45 minutes from the capital Kigali and the Sector population of about 20,000 people. During the 1994 Genocide, the District of Bugesera was the epicenter of the genocide. In recent years, the Government of Rwanda has implemented many development projects in the district including irrigation projects, new schools, health centers and water projects to bring new hope to this area and create sustainable livelihood. The current project in Gashora is to continue the construction of Covaga Innovation Centre that will become a hub of innovation and economic development.
Currently, members of Covaga weave baskets and bags from pampas grass; however, when the facility is completed, the cooperative will begin the production and export of quality woven furniture from the water hyacinth plant. In December 2011, the vegetable and fruit garden project was launched. It will be developed with the support of Rwandans and international volunteers as a foundation for food production and nutrition where residents of Gashora can replicate its best practices into their homes as kitchen gardens.
COMFORT THE CHILDREN - Maai Mahui, Kenya: Through a philosophy of responsible altruism, CTC International shares in the lives of local communities, building mutual understanding and sustainable change. Programs include environment, community, economy, education and health initiatives. CTC was started by Zane Wilemon, a young Texan who had traveled to Kenya on a mission trip in the 2000. CTC became a reality when Zane committed to helping disabled children in the community of Maai Mahiu, a truck stop community 1.5 hours west of Nairobi. Prior to CTC, children with disabilities were secretly confined to their homes and out of lack of acceptance, were rarely exposed to the outside world. The CTC programs accommodate between 12 and 20 severely disabled children in a loving learning environment. The mothers of the children work at the CTC centre, making canvas bags and school clothing, which is sold to support the care of their children. CTC has established strong relationships in Maai Mahiu and facilitates our groups’ efforts throughout the community.
Volunteer Experience Schedule KENYA
DWC - Tangalle, Sri Lanka: This is where the very first Developing World Connections volunteers went. The first volunteers were in groups about five weeks after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. Over the period from January 2006 to March 2008, Developing World Connections Volunteers constructed the entire Ketakalawatta village which includes 24 homes, a community centre, two shops, a playing field and playground, and a small worship shrine. The homes that were constructed were placed in the names of the wife or mother and were designed to enhance a sense of dignity for tsunami victims and local poor, who most often came from homes that were considerably less liveable. More than 60% of the trees were saved during construction and electricity, safe drinking water, septic systems, a concrete road and drainage ditches from the front to the rear of the property were installed.
A village committee was formed that is responsible for the common property, including the community centre and shop rentals. The community centre is used two afternoons per week for English and dance classes for Ketakalawatta and surrounding area children. These classes are funded through Developing World Connections and include computer classes in a new, small lab in the community centre.
Volunteers assist with the construction of homes and sustainable development facilities in the Tangalle region in the south of Sri Lanka. Efforts now focus on the building of a trades training facility to help ensure the locals develop the technical skills they need to secure their economic future. The project includes 4 buildings approximately 2700 sq. ft. each which will be used for the training of 3 trades: woodwork, metal working, and coir production. The fourth building is a classroom and an additional smaller building will be used as a showroom and office.
YOUTH TOUCH - Sikar, India: Youth Touch is a non-profit organization working in northern part of Rajasthan, India. It aims to bring a meaningful and sustainable change in the lives of less fortunate people of India especially in the fields of education, health and hygiene, housing and livelihood to help them to help themselves. Also, it focuses on creating better understanding between the communities and helping to achieve mankind's age-old dream of "Universal Peace and prosperity".
Volunteer Experience Schedule INDIA
RISE ABOVE FOUNDATION - Cebu, Philippines: Volunteers work with host partner, Rise Above Foundation to construct a livelihood centre for single women, primarily those who have been recently released from prison. Although Philippines has a diverse mix of wealthy and very poor, the latter are given very little opportunity and are not supported by social welfare programs. Many young women turn to prostitution or theft to provide for themselves and their siblings and/or young families. The livelihood programs run by Rise Above are providing opportunities for those taught prior to and after release from prison, to create products that are desired by the foreign tourist market and are exported to markets created by Rise Above and their many European volunteers. Without the livelihood centre, the women work from their very small homes, which are typically located in slums with no electricity.
Volunteer Experience Schedule PHILIPPINES
EQUITABLE CAMBODIA - Chamcar Bei, Cambodia: Equitable Cambodia is an international, non-governmental organization that was formed to build bridges between the world’s people and Cambodians. It works to raise awareness, facilitate exchanges of many kinds and to support creative endeavours that affirm our common humanity. It believes that sustainable development and human rights are interdependent and interrelated, and its work encompasses each of these facets. The organization's mission is to bring people together to overcome poverty, injustice and inequity in Cambodia. Their programs are primarily in Phnom Penh but started a rural community development program outside of Phnom Penh near Poipet in Northwest Cambodia. After five years and successful implementation of their program, they moved rural community development to Chamcar Bei, near Kep on the south coast of Cambodia.
Volunteer Experience Schedule CAMBODIA
IFEJANT - Lima, Peru: By volunteering with IFEJANT, volunteers can feel good about directly supporting children while challenging their western ideals around ‘child labour’. An important distinction is made between “child labour” and “working children”; working children choose to work and demand their right to be recognized and protected. Volunteers paint schools and work on the construction of classrooms and bathrooms. The schools offer working children alternative education that fulfills national curriculum requirements while providing more relevant income generating training. Further, the schools provide flexible hours that do not conflict with work hours.
CEPRONAM - Jaen, Peru: CEPRONAM is the acronym for the Center for the Rights of Women and Children. This non-profit organization, which is located in Jaen in northern part of Peru, is a grassroots organization serving working children and supporting human rights in the barrios in and around this beautiful city close to the Amazon region. Cepronam runs two schools for children who work and who's parents cannot afford to put them into public school, as well as a small orphanage out of their office with a maximum of ten girls in care at any given time.
Volunteers help build projects that provides the opportunity for working children to continue their primary education. A kitchen/dining room has been built at one school, and the next project will be to build a new school to replace the other existing one as the current building is made of adobe, which has been deemed unsafe to use.
Volunteer Experience Schedule PERU
OPEN WINDOWS FOUNDATION - San Miguel Dueñas, Guatemala: Open Windows is a dynamic children’s educational center with a library, computer center, and more, in the town of San Miguel Dueñas. The executive director of Open Windows, Teresa Quinonez, is a lifetime resident of ‘Dueñas’, who after moving to the U.S. for many years, returned with her employer to establish a facility that would provide education to both children and adults. Most of the beneficiaries of the program are those who were forced to leave school early to work in the fields to help support their families. Open Windows currently provides 1,500 children in the community with important educational services and programs to help improve their life options and to increase their self- sufficiency. Volunteers will assist in the construction of needed infrastructure projects such as “youth-safe” houses and will work on painting, minor electrical and plumbing projects, and concrete repairs at Dueñas public and rural schools.
Volunteer Experience Schedule GUATEMALA