Projects

2020

AUGUST

MOLDOVA: Empowering Women through Skills Development

NJ EPCV Alyssa Gurkas (project was pursued by A. Gurkas following her evacuation)

Funded: $500

The community room at “Mihai Viteazul” will be used to host seminars, meetings for community assemblies, and trainings for students. The funds will be used to purchase a smart board, computer, speakers, printer, paper, markers, flip-chart, notebooks, lunches for seminars. The community has already contributed 15 desks and chairs for the community room and will purchase a laptop and an additional teacher's desk. In addition, the library has agreed to let the middle school use their space for the programming workshops and faculty's seminars on basic computer skills. These funds will also enable the faculty to improve their technology skills through weekly trainings and 4 seminars including Digital Tools in the Classroom, Modern Methods of learning, and teaching.

 

FEBRUARY

GHANA: Girls Empowerment Program and Extension:

NJ PCV Jasmine Miller

Funding: $500

The girls club would meet once a week at the local school and provide a safe environment for girls to learn about themselves, build self-confidence and gain leadership skills.

Due to the evacuation of PCVs in midMarch 2020, this project did not take place. In August the Board agreed to apply this funding to a Peace Corps IssueFfund: the Ruppe Gender Development fund.

 

BENIN: Constructing Safe Classrooms

NJ PCV Maxwell Lieblich

Funding: $500

The funds would be used to build classrooms in a village school that serves 18 forms (grades), 828 students and 80 teachers.  The middle/high school serves multiple villages.

Due to the evacuation of PCVs in midMarch 2020, this project did not take place. In August the Board agreed to apply this funding to a Peace Corps Issue Fund: the Education fund.

2019

$5,200 ($1,000 for PC Park approved in 2019, paid in 2020)

PEACE CORPS  PARK & COMMEMORATIVE

Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation

Funding: $1,000                                                                                                                                                        In 2014, a bipartisan Act of Congress authorized the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF) to build a commemorative work in the heart of Washington, DC, to recognize the historic significance of the establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961 and to honor the timeless, enduring American ideals on which the Peace Corps was founded. http://peacecorpsdesign.net/commemorative/

 

LESOTHO: Support for Secondary School Students

NJ PCV

Funding: $350

 

SENEGAL: Mentoring Successful Scholars

NJ PCV

Funding: $500

 

PERU: Developing Women Entrepreneurs

NJ PCV

Funding: $500  

 

MOROCCO: Digital Library and Computer Project                                                                                             NJ PCV Raashnie Gopalrai

Funding: $600  

The project aims to augment the Library Project at the local school in Essaouira, Morocco by supplying the school with more computers. The middle-high school has about 900 students from ages 10-18 years old. The vision of our Computer Project is to expand and enhance the existing technology curriculum within our school by increasing the amount of available, functioning computers per student and to install these computers with updated, educational programs. Donations will go to purchasing approx. 15 more computers.

 

ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVAL PROJECT- Phyllis Noble Memorial Oral History Fund:

Digitization of original interviews recorded on cassette

NPCA Affiliate Group

Funding: $500

In the oral history project, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers interview other Volunteers about their Peace Corps experiences. Volunteer interviewers cover all costs incurred, including supplies, procuring appropriate equipment and travel expenses to conduct interviews.

Recordings are archived in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, a unit of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Donations to the Phyllis Noble Memorial Oral History Fund, established in 2017, will cover costs of digitizing the 520 interviews recorded on audiocassette tapes from 1999 to 2015 (total cost estimated at $30,000). After these recordings are digitized and go online, the Fund will be used to promote and expand the RPCV Oral History Project.   https://www.peacecorpsoralhistory.org/cpages/home

 

PC DOCUMENTARY FILM:  A Towering Task                                                                                              RPCV Alana DeJoseph, Director                                                                                                                 Funded: $250 (See $250 donation from 2018 for total of $500 combined).  Additional donation made in response to email fundraising campaign dated 5/18/19.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             The Peace Corps documentary “A Towering Task” endeavors to be the first comprehensive documentary about the Peace Corps and will look back at the history of the agency, its leaders, and current state through interviews both in the US and internationally. The title of the film comes from John F. Kennedys state of the union address where the stated: “The problems are towering and unprecedented – and the response must be towering and unprecedented as well.”www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com   

 

ECUADOR: Building Community Through Reading

NJ PCV Patricia Healey

Funding: $500

This project addresses the need in the community for a permanent location for children and parents, separately and together, that operates 24/7 in a more densely populated, centrally located area of the town. The operation of a new space will allow the organization to continue the programs already in existence and substantially expand the reach; programs such as Children’s Literacy, Rainbow Days, Escuela Para Padres, family meetings, Gender Clubs, music and theater. The first objective is to provide a safe, accessible, permanent location where all the current programs can continue. The second objective is to expand the reach and scope of the organization in order to provide more children, their parents and other community members with opportunities for youth and community development. By having a permanent space, many activities can be scheduled on the weekends or later in the evening when more parents and community members are available. The final objective is to train the adults of the community more fully in the areas the children are learning during the day. This would include themes such as self-esteem, teamwork, communication, gender roles, leadership, and planning.

 

BENIN: Leadership Through Food Security Camp

NJ PCV Daniel Greenberg

Funding: $500

As the economy of Benin is largely based on agriculture, it is extremely pertinent for students to learn about best environmental and agricultural practices. The Leadership through Food Security Camp will be held over 6 days in June 2019. This camp aims to bring together students from all areas of Benin and train them on a variety of topics related to leadership, gender equality and food security. They will serve to inspire the students and can provide guidance so that the students can address food security in their own village, as well as showcasing female financial independence.

 

BENIN:  Water Project  

NJ PCV Maxwell Lieblich

Funding: $500

 

MOROCCO: Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) & Boys Respecting Others (BRO) Camp

NJ PCV Margaret Blackburn

Funding: $500

Camp to be held in a small village in the southern Tata Province of Morocco. Throughout Morocco, harassment and gender inequality are challenges for youth and the importance of gender, empowerment, and equality work is important in Moroccan communities. Worldwide Peace Corps Volunteers are using the GLOW and BRO curriculums to help youth in their communicates improve their self esteem, leadership skills, goal setting, and learning about health relationships. The main goal of this camp is to help improve the participants’ behaviors and to help them learn new ways they can communicate and interact respectfully.

 

AFRICA SURGERY

NJ RPCV Tom Johnson (Sierra Leone 1989-91)

Funded: $600

In 2003 NJ RPCV Tom Johnson founded Africa Surgery, a non-profit organization providing health care and surgical services to needy people in Sierra Leone.  For about 5 months a year Tom lives there working with international and local medical programs and facilities that provide diagnoses and treatment on a wide range of issues. When not there, he coordinates activities from Morristown, NJ, with help from some in-country assistants, including Mohamed Mansuray in Freetown and Foday Tarawalie in Makeni.

2018

$4,022.58 PCP/Other Projects + $2154.50  Raised through RPCVNJ Indiegogo Campaign

AFRICA SURGERY                                                                                                                                                     NJ RPCV Tom Johnson                                                                                                                         Funded raised through RPCVNJ Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign: $2154.50                                               Tom Johnson has been continuing his service to Sierra Leone where he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  Through the non-profit organization, Africa Surgery, Inc. (ASI) www.africasurgery.org that Tom established, he works to make free medical care and surgical treatments available and to provide supplies to doctors and material support to needy people in Sierra Leonean. The funds raised were used for surgery for Frances Kabba a young child to remove a benign growth in her jaw.

                                                                                                                                                                            PC DOCUMENTARY FILM:  A Towering Task                                                                                     RPCV Alana DeJoseph, Director                                                                                                                 Funded: $250                                                                                                                                                    The Peace Corps documentary “A Towering Task” endeavors to be the first comprehensive documentary about the Peace Corps and will look back at the history of the agency, its leaders, and current state through interviews both in the US and internationally. The title of the film comes from John F. Kennedys state of the union address where the stated: “The problems are towering and unprecedented – and the response must be towering and unprecedented as well.”www.peacecorpsdocumentary.com                                                                                                                                                                                                                 THAILAND: The GLOW/BROS (Girls Lead Our World/Boys Respecting Others and Self)                      NJ PCV: Pablo Doster                                                                                                                                    Funded: $500                                                                                                                                                   The GLOW/BROS (Girls Lead Our World/Boys Respecting Others and Self) camp is a product of two years of work between the Peace Corps Volunteer, the Sub-Administrative Organization (SAO), and two community schools in the Prachinburi province in Thailand in an effort to address the growing rate of teen pregnancy and to promote gender equality, youth leadership and self confidence instead through the development of GLOW/BROS clubs in the two schools.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     MUSEUM OF THE PEACE CORPS EXPERIENCE www.museumofthepeacecorpsexperience.org     Funded: $100 plus second contribution of $900 established RPCVNJ as a Charter member of the Museum. The Committee for the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience was founded by returned Peace Corps volunteers in 1999 in Portland, Oregon. As a 501(c)(3) private, non-profit organization, the Committee has an established record of artifact acquisition, professional exhibitions and modest fundraising and are currently working towards raising initial funding for the establishment of a brick and mortar museum and are in the process of creating a virtual museum page to get people involved.   

 

THE GAMBIA: PCPP project “Explore Your Country-Girls”                                                                  NJ PCV: Keeley Ffrench
Funded: $500                                                                                                                                                   Explore Your Country for Girls 2018 will bring up to ten female students from rural and semi urban areas of the country into the capital city for a five-day educational training. With the support of teacher counterparts and PCV, the participants will be selected by their respective schools administration and they (student participant, teacher CP and PCV) will travel together into the capital city.
The objectives of the training include but are not limited to: (i) expose participants to educational and professional opportunities located within the capital city, (ii) equip them with the skills to pursue higher education and careers, and (iii) educate them about gender roles and barriers to education.

 

GEORGIA: Girls Ecological Camp

NJ PCV: Dana Wise

Funded: $500                                                                                                                                                        The goal of this project is to provide access to outdoor education to girls ages 14-19 from the Adjara region at an overnight environmental camp at a National Park in Georgia. By the end of the camp, 16 teenage girls will learn new skills related to first aid, photography, fishing, boat safety, leadership and team work. Learning these new skills will increase the capacity and confidence of these young women.

 

ZAMBIA: Reusable Menstruation Pad Making Workshops                                                                      NJ PCV: Sara Pauwels                                                                                                                      Funding: $500                                                                                                                                                                  The Northwest Reusable Menstruation Pad Making Workshops will be based in individual volunteer’s communities, where they will use the materials provided to teach women and girls in their communities how to create reusable menstruation pads. The attendees (women and girls) will also learn about better hygiene, health skills and leadership skills.

SWAZILAND: Youth Leadership Summit for Boys Reaching Out (BRO) Project                                         NJ PCV: Sara Butter (Community Health Volunteer) of Short Hills, New Jersey.                                   Funding: $700                                                                                                                                                         The Youth Leadership Summit is a four night youth summit with the mission of developing young male leaders in Swaziland by providing them with the tools to develop leadership skills in areas such as facilitation, effective communication, and role modeling, and confidence to conduct respectful relationships.

 

2017

$4,025 PCP/Other Projects

SENEGAL: The Michele Sylvester Scholarship                                                                                                   NJ PCV A. Porkus                                                                                                                                       Funding: $560.93 (Balance needed at time of RPCVNJ contribution)                                                                  To help close the gender gap in education by providing scholarship money for school inscription fees and school supplies for girls in each participating middle school.

ETHIOPIA: Ethiopia Primary School Latrine Construction                                                                              NJ PCV M. Elton                                                                                                                                         Funding: $623.82                                                                                                                                                To support gender development through a female latrine, water and sanitation and garden and nutrition. 

SOMOA: Let Girls Learn “GLOW”                                                                                                                          NJ PCV A. Johnson                                                                                                                                    Funding: $500

ECUADOR: Mushuk Yayay School Program (Children’s Healthy Future)                                                   NJ RPCV Alan Adams                                                                                                                                      Funding: $400

AFGHANISTAN: Friends of Afghanistan/Growing Peace in Afghanistan (GPIA)

NJ RPCV John Bing

Funding: $400.00

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.

PUERTO RICO: Cooperativa José Cortes Cordero, an employee cooperative of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce

(former NJ resident) RPCV Lamberto Vera-Velez (Paraguay 1969-71) via NJ RPCV Barbara Lee      Funded: $985.55                                                                                                                                               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.

2016

$3,000 PCP/Other Projects

TANZANIA: Let Girls Lean | Shinyanga HIV Education Conference                                                       NJ PCV N. Hasan                                                                                                                                 Funded: $549                                                                                                                                                                            In the Shinyanga area,  students who tested positive HIV  were numerous. Over 300,000 adolescent girls  annually were therefore likely to be kicked out of school or forced to drop out due to cultural pressure.  The HIV Education Conference  allows for 30 students to learn and discuss how HIV/AIDS affects their community, will equip  students with confidence to make healthy choices and promote gender equality in regards to HIV/AIDS in the community.  A group of 39 students( boys and girls) from different schools would attend the  3-day conference and later reteach their lessons to the students back home.

                                                                                                           

MADAGASCAR: Let Girls Learn/ National GLOW Camp- Empower Malagasy Girls to Catalyze Change!                                                                                                                                                                 OH PCV B. James

PANAMA: Eco-Stoves for Rural Panamanian Community inside Forest Reserve                                 NJ PCV: Jack Curry                                                                                                                                         Funded: $500                                                                                                                                                    For Rural Panamanian Community inside Forest Preserve   The object of this project is to build 25 EcoStoves  to lower the need for firewood and to improve cooking efficiency. Each family will be taught how to build a stove. Trained workers will be paid to build stoves-a 2- day process. The stoves will be evaluated.

PERU: Let Girls Learn | Soup Kitchen for Low Income Female Students                                                NJ PCV P. Jimenez                                                                                                                                             Funded: $500                                                                                                                                                       In Cutervo, Peru the St. Teresa of Calcutta  mothers’ Committee wanted to provide snacks and lunch for 60 students who lived  very far from the school. They wanted to build a dining area and  a simple kitchen. P aula helped to organize the project and to also construct  a garden to raise vegetables and fruit to improve their diet. Her photos of the process were amazing

MADAGASCAR: Give Access to Reading in Rural Madagascar                                                          

NJ PCV Olivia Prentzel

Funded: $250

This National GLOW Camp project took girls from 100 girls from 20 communities  and 20 women chaperones to the capital city of Antananarivo for a week to involve them in games and activities to develop leadership skills, healthy habits, encourage them to go on for higher education and work.  Most of the girls had never been away from home so this was a real adventure.

 

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Latrines Project                                                                                                      NJ PCV R. Wright

Funded: $250

The lack of latrines or any sanitary out housing in the community led to people use their backyards as places to defecate. The community had formed a committee to promote a healthy condition by planning to build 16 new pit latrines with the help of two local masons who would be assisted by the families who would receive the latrines.  The newly trained builders would  pass their new knowledge and experience to other families  so they could build their own latrines.

 

MOZAMBIQUE: Books for Africa

PCV Jacki Crowell who served in Ankazobe, Mozambique as an English teacher 2013-2015

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in Africa. Most families have no access to libraries or books.  Jacki wanted RPCV-NJ to raise money to buy  English books  for the English Center  she established at the high school so the students studying English would be able to learn more easily and improve their second language skills.

2015

$3,000 PCP/Other Projects

CAMBODIA: Let Girls Learn Fitness

NJ PCV  A. Wasserman

Funded: $500

Initiative at their school by setting up a weekly yoga club taught by a Karma Yoga to transform the students’ self image and to develop their bodies and leadership skills. This would be the first female club in the community.

 

MADAGASCAR: Tree Nursery reforestation project

NJ PCV A. Maurie

Funded: $500

To provide 1500  fruit tree saplings to local villages, schools and religious community groups. Training for the local people will include bookkeeping, marketing, computer literacy, and product expansion.

 

TONGA: Camp GLOW project for 25 high school girls.

PCV Rene Fern (originally from NJ, prior two years in FL)

Funded: $500

PCVs run a week-long sleep away camp designed to empower the girls  by covering topics such as leadership, rights of women and children, sexual harassment, nutrition, food sanitation, and being informed.

 

TOGO: Latrine Project

NJ PCV Anna Williams

Funded: $1,000

Built latrines

 

PEDALS FOR PROGRESS (P4P)

NJ RPCV David Schweidenback

Funded: $500

2014

$2,000 PCP/Other Projects

SENEGAL: Local Girls Camp                                                                                                                               NJ PCV Ellington Arnold

Funded: $500

Original Project was to help fund a school wall and garden at the Kadji Middle School/College in the village.  The wall will keep out the herds of animals as they wander and keep out the dust storms and local traffic. Food grown in the garden will supplement the diet of the students and fight malnutrition.  This should also encourage more students to stay in school and get a better education.

The wall project was fully funded by the time we got back to him with the $500 so unfortunately it was too late for these funds to be used.  However, this particular PCV asked if we would consider moving the funds to a different project, more specifically a girls’ empowerment camp in Senegal.

 

CAMBODIA: Arts Festival                                                                                                                               PCV V. Lavigne

Funded: $500

 

ARMENIA: Border2Border Hike                                                                                                              PCV Rosie Jeffrey

Funded: $500

Increase awareness about children’s health and waste reduction . Two teams of PCVs would walk from the northern border with Georgia and from the southern border with Iran to the center of the country for a closing celebration.  As they each walked across Armenia they would  join with community members to conduct 6 simple  lessons through interactive seminars to teach 1,000 children about nutrition, anti-smoking, environment respect, hygiene, and food sanitation. They hope to inspire the children to take an active part in their own health and the health of the community and environment.

 

NEW YORK CITY EBOLA FUNDRAISER

Via NJ RPCV RJ Harper

Funded: $500

2013

$2,500 PCP/Other Projects

BENIN: Secondary School Computer Lab

PCV M. Huelsenbeck

 

UKRAINE: English Language Camps Resource Center

NJ PCV C. Smith

2012

$1,702.63 PCP/Other Projects

CAMEROOON: Modern Farming Training

NJ PCV A. Gunkelman

 

PC 50th ANNIVERSARY: “Images from the Peace Corps Experience” A photographic collection

The collection was displayed at several venues throughout 2010 and 2012, including Rutgers, NJIT, the Monroe Township Library, Georgian Court University, the Howell Living History Farm, and the Plainsboro Public Library.

NJ RPCV Nancie Gunkelman,, curator. 

 

2011

$4,269.19 PCP Projects

KRYGYZ REPUBLIC: Community Computer/English Resource Center

NJ PCV S. Smith

 

BURKINA FASO: Theater equipment for health education

PCV A. Buchsbaum

 

P4P (PEDALS FOR PROGRESS): Bicycles and sewing machines for developing countries

NJ RPCV D. Schwidenback

Funding: $500

2010

$3,850 ($2,750 PCP Projects, $1,100 Other Organizations)

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: Community Ambulance Project

PCV M. Emiliani

 

BOTSWANA: Computer Center Renovation

NJ PCV S. Lin

 

HAITI: Oxfam America- Earthquake Relief

Funding: $500

2009

$3,000 ($2,000 PCP Projects, $550 Other Organizations, $450 More Peace Corps)

ARMENIA: English Lab Modernization

 

TANZANIA: School Kitchen Update

NJ PCV K. Capella

 

THE GAMBIA: School Library

 

SUDAN: CHF International- stoves for refugees

Funding: $150 for 5 stoves

 

P4P (PEDALS FOR PROGRESS): Bicycles and sewing machines for developing countries

NJ RPCV D. Schweidenback

 

2008

$2,384 ($1,864 PCP Projects, $500 More Peace Corps)

MOLDOVA: Youth Resource Center

NJ PCV S. Hakim

 

EL SALVADOR: 12 Family Coops/ Training

NJ PCV A. Perrone

2007

SURINAME: Build teacher’s house in Baku

NJ PCV D. Lipton

2006

MADAGASCAR: Market Shelter in Tsarabaria

PCV T. Ventzke

2005

MALI: Construction of 3 wells in Yarome

NJ PCV M. Hamilton

 

UKRAINE: School insulation in Rivne

PCV M. Navabian

2002

MOLDOVA: Raising Breast Awareness

Funded: $1,000

PCV Angela Carr.  The project enabled the PCVs to teach over 20 doctors how to propagate breast awareness and run seminars in their communities.

2000-2001

ZAMBIA: Mabumba Maternity Ward Construction in Mabumba, Zambia

PCV Kelly Meget submitted the project, and her replacement PCV Rosemary Harlow, a retired nurse with a background in obstetrics, completed it in 2002. 

Funded: $1000

They worked in cooperation with the local villagers and the Ministry of Health to provide sanitary and modern conditions for expectant mothers when giving birth.

 

SLOVAC REPUBLIC: Cancer Awareness project

RPCV Pam Iorio who worked in raising cancer awareness in college.

With the cooperation of the doctors at St. Elizabeth’s Preventive Center in Slovakia, they started a very successful “Think Pink” campaign aimed at women under 40 years of age to show women how to examine their own breasts especially when showering to catch sign of disease. This project was also funded by Pam’s sorority Zeta Tau Alpha with $500 to educate the women in Slovakia.