RPCV-NJ raises funds to support current Peace Corps Volunteers from New Jersey with Peace Corps Partnership projects, as well as selected projects around New Jersey.
2017 Funded Projects:
Cooperativa José Cortes Cordero, an employee cooperative of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce
The University employee cooperative is collecting money through its members, faculty and administrative personnel to distribute and help families in the nearby community. All money will go directly to the 20 employees of the University and their families who lost virtually everything as a result of Hurricane Maria.
The request for donations comes by way of Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Mr. Lamberto Vera-Velez (Paraguay, 1969 – 71) who overlapped with our own RPCV-NJ members Barbara and Art Lee. Lamberto is a retired professor of the Graduate School of Education at Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce and his wife Angie is a member of the Finance Committee of the Cooperative. After his service in Paraguay, Lamberto helped run Peace Corps Training in Puerto Rico. He is also a former resident of New Jersey having studied at both Montclair State University where he obtained his Masters in Education and Rutgers University where he obtained his doctorate in Urban Education.
Friends of Afghanistan/Growing Peace in Afghanistan (GPIA)
The Bamyan Weaving Project of the Friends of Afghanistan/Growing Peace in Afghanistan (GPIA) is intended to help the weavers of central Afghanistan by supporting the purchase of wool and its transformation into barak, a fabric that has been made for millennia in Afghanistan and Iran but is expensive because the method of weaving, using ground looms, takes much time and labor. One of the GPIA members, an RPCV from Afghanistan, is himself an experienced weaver and entrepreneur and he has sent a more advanced loom to Bamyan; the project intends to use this ground loom to train local weavers in the more efficient production of barak and to purchase wool from local sheep farmers to provide to the weavers for production of barak, which would then be sold locally. Once production ramps up, GPIA expect to begin marketing the product in the west.
NJ PCV A. Porkus
The Michele Sylvester Scholarship established in 1993 in memory of a former PC Senegal volunteer is designed to help close the gender gap in education so that more girls may continue their education in middle and high school. The scholarship provides money for school inscription fees and school supplies to 9 girls selected on a combination of academic standing, scholastic enthusiasm, and financial need. Candidates are interviewed and required to write a future planning essay. and complete a capacity building activity with other candidates. The volunteer is asked to follow up by proctoring the essay writing and group activity and making certain that the scholarship funds are used only for the students’ school needs.
1. Peace Corps Partnership Program
NJ PCV M. Elton
Project: Ethiopia Primary School Latrine Construction
Funded: $623.82* (approx. 29% of overall funding goal of $2,952.45)
Description: The project will assist the Oromia Primary School to construct a news functional and safe latrine as well as conduct an after-school educational program to teach at least 30 students proper hygiene and environmental sanitation.
*The amount of funding is consistent with the amount donated to another PCPP project this year.
2. Friends of Ecuador
NJ RPCV Alan Adams
Project: Mushuk Yuyay School Program (Healthy Children Healthy Futures)
Amount: $400.00 (this is an on-going project so there is no fixed budget)
Description: This is a school breakfast feeding/nutrition education program in the remote Canari region of Ecuador. Money goes towards providing breakfast to students and a part-time nutritionist. Students also learn how to plant traditional foods, such as quinoa, amaranth & barley using demonstration plots for better long-term nutrition.
3. American Red Cross
Hurricane Irma Support: $250
The Red Cross is providing support to those impacted by Hurricane Irma in four states (Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee) as well as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Hurricane Harvey Support: $250
The American Red Cross will be providing financial assistance to Texas households in 39 counties across the State of Texas that were severely impacted by Harvey and need help taking care of emergency needs such as sheltering, food and other critical immediate support.
NJ PCV A. Johnson
Project: Let Girls Learn “GLOW Samoa 2017”
Amount of $500.00
Funds will go towards supporting the 2017 GLOW conference that will bring together approximately 75 girls from about 15 rural primary schools across Samoa, 10 PCVs, 15 local village counterparts and 10-12 local women who will serve as conference facilitators. The goal of this conference is to increase the girls’ capacity in leadership, self-esteem, and creating opportunities. At the conference the girls will listen to speakers and participate in activities based around the three pillars of GLOW: Careers and Education, Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds, and Ending Violence Against Women and Children. Speakers will share advice and success stories with the girls to encourage and motivate them to develop their own success stories. At the end of the sessions, girls will participate in goal setting and leadership activities that will help them develop their ideas for how to take these messages back to their villages and local GLOW clubs.