Raisa Siddique posted an articleThe Community Fund: Dancing for Safer Streets in Gagauzia see more
National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), through the Girls Education and Empowerment Fund, provide Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) the opportunity to complete projects in their host communities through small grants. As a private sector partner to the White House on Let Girls Learn, NPCA is proud to help support PCVs through the Peace Corps Partnership Program and Let Girls Learn grants.
Members of the Peace Corps community believe in supporting past and present host communities — not only in immediate necessities such as food, water and shelter, but also through initiatives like the arts. We know that Volunteers' dedication to long-term community building results in lasting relationships and impact.
Aaron Ratz, currently serving in Moldova, is a Volunteer who exemplifies this dedication; he is working to renovate a Soviet-era arts center in Ceadir-Lunga, a city of roughly 20,000.
The community has six coed schools, a vocational college, but only one arts center that serves over 400 children in a given week. As the only forum for children to participate in after-school activities, it offers classes in drawing, musical instruments, dance, singing, costume design, and many more. It is not only beloved, but is also an essential part of the community.
Because the building hasn't been remodeled for more than 30 years, the arts center is in significant disrepair. One of its most popular features, the dance studio, is used by over 75 people per week, but is dilapidated to the point that it's dangerous for children to use. To remodel the space, it will require replacing the floor, refinishing the walls and ceiling, and much more work.
Aaron and his host community have received a Let Girls Learn grant and need your help with the last bit of funding! Please give to the Girls Education and Empowerment fund today to empower girls and support an entire community in Moldova.
Amanda Silva posted an articleRPCV Camillia Freeland-Taylor helps community build school in Southern province of Zambia. see more
The Community Fund: Perpetuating a Lifelong Commitment to Peace Corps Ideals
At National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), we understand the impact Volunteers make in host communities, as well as those host communities make upon Volunteers. Both resonate for decades. The Community Fund thrives on sustaining that relationship and impact.
An example are Camillia Freeland-Taylor’s (Zambia 2013-15) efforts to support the children of her village, Magalela, who must walk nine miles and cross two rivers to attend school. Many families do not allow their girls to attend because of the two-hour walk. During Camillia’s service, a first grade boy drowned on the journey.
The village children need a local primary school to ensure their basic human right to education. Camillia worked both during and after service to meet this need.
The grant she originally received as a PCV provided the amount necessary to lay the foundation of the school. As an RPCV, Camillia sought out NPCA to purchase cement and other building materials to complete the project by plastering the school's walls, finishing the floors, building latrines, and fitting windows with glass. The Zambian government will then provide teachers.
“It’s good to have a school because our children won’t have to walk so far (usually six-eight kilometers one way), and they don’t have to worry about crossing the river during the rainy season, which is extremely dangerous. Right now we have no choice, but we are trying to change that through the new school” says Jethrow Siatubi, Magalela Village Head.
Education has a compounding effect, and the result of allowing an entire community of children access to a primary education is profound. Studies show that with each additional year of education, an individual will earn more as an adult and prevent extreme poverty. Moreover, women who receive a primary school education are less likely to lose children in the first five years of the child’s life.
“I remember one time I went to the hospital and they gave me the wrong medicine. If I wasn’t educated I wouldn’t have been able to tell the medicine was meant for someone else and for a different problem. I was able to do so because of education. I want my children to have a better education and a chance at a brighter future” remarked Julius Simombeh, a school committee member.