Throughout 2019, volunteers provided greatly needed services to families in all corners of the globe, aided by Global Volunteers donors, institutional collaborators and corporate supporters. Following are highlights from a landmark year of volunteer-assisted development.
Labor Projects in South America
In March, an exclusive team of Medtronic employees committed a week to upgrading FUNDAC’s second two-story early childhood development center in Calderón, Ecuador. The all-woman team painted the exterior of the building, and tiled the dining room. The women, who worked alongside parents and a local mason, completely renovated the space. Then in July, a large team of families and individual volunteers transformed the beloved “Center Number One.” After years of sharing a crowded city corridor with a public market, the early childhood center was upgraded from top to bottom – including a new exterior wall, fencing and mural at the entrance.
In Peru, the Sagrada Familia community received a generous Global Volunteers alumni donation to build a new pre-K classroom. In May, a hardy volunteer quintet assisted local craftsmen to break ground and lay the structure’s brick walls in just two weeks.
Reaching Children’s Potential in Tanzania
The Ipalamwa General Clinic was fully registered by the ministry of health in August, enabling pregnant women to obtain pre-natal checks and new mothers to bring their children for monthly assessments of their growth and well-being. This also enabled staff to launch an official family planning program. Further, children and adults receive life-saving vaccinations, including oral and injection polio vaccine, human papilloma vaccine, measles and rubella vaccines, bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) for tuberculosis (TB) disease, DTP-HepB, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, and rotavirus vaccine.
At the same time, the RCP Program was extended to two new villages, including three additional caregivers to provide full outreach to families throughout Ukwega Ward. Also in August, a Parent’s Club was launched to secure enthusiasm and commitment to RCP goals. The 21 members of the club meet weekly and share best practices for using RCP Program technologies, and discuss health issues, parenting, child growth, and other social–economic issues. Early data collected and analyzed by Global Volunteers collaborator St. John Fisher College reveal that 50% of children enrolled in the RCP program for a year saw an improvement in height-to-age measurements as a result of these innovations, with a significant number improving from severely stunted to stunted or stunted to not stunted. These preliminary developments compose the foundation for replicating the RCP model in other wards in the Iringa District in future years.
Partnerships Expansion and Donations
Critical resources were provided to community partners in 2019 by Global Volunteers’ sustaining donors and collaborators. In June, an alumni $150,000 matching grant enabled us to raise more than $300,000 toward ongoing community program expenses, such as shipping two donations of fortified meals from Rise Against Hunger and 1,000 EarthBoxes provided at cost by Novelty Manufacturing to feed RCP families in Tanzania.
Through our formative partnership with ZERO TO THREE, generous staff and donors funded a project to provide colorful, playfully illustrated early-learning books to our programs in Tanzania, Peru, and Ecuador.
Program Developments and Milestones
The summer of 2019 marked the 20th anniversary of Global Volunteer’s partnership with the Blackfeet Nation of Montana. To date, more than 2,500 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds, and from across the world have shared their skills on nearly 170 Montana service programs. Across the globe, our new Nepal Service Program engaged 49 volunteers on four teams, beginning in March with the added excitement of the Holi festival. This development partnership strategically extends Global Volunteers’ service commitment to children and adults in a critically under-resourced area of the world. Meanwhile, two additional partnerships were established in two very different communities: Española, New Mexico and Castelvetrano, Sicily.
Volunteers of all ages and backgrounds become part of our partner communities’ stories – directly contributing to sustained projects that define children’s future. Simply stated, you supply a most valuable part of the endlessly renewable volunteer resource focused on creating, nurturing and sustaining the well-being and human potential of children worldwide.