Archive for the ‘Volunteerism’ Category

Teaching trip to help kids in Nepal

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

SHANE DESIATNIK/Blue Mountains Gazette
2011 June 22
When Katoomba resident Adele de Vries applied to teach English in Nepal through charity organisation FaceNepal, she had one special request.
“I asked them to be placed somewhere very remote,” the 25-year-old said.
“They ended up sending me to the Helambu region to teach at a school which they reckon has classes of up to 50 kids and very little resources — it will be from November until the end of February.
“I’m a bit nervous but I’m also looking forward to it.
“I’m really hoping it will also help me appreciate what we have here in Australia.”
Adele, who works part time as a chef at Katoomba Golf Club and teaches on a casual basis at local schools, recently completed a Master of Teaching degree at the University of Western Sydney and felt determined to donate some time to teach disadvantaged children overseas as a way of immediately giving something back.

For full story click here.

Categories: Volunteerism Tags: , ,

The Peace Corps Experience

Scott Allan Wallick
I started my Peace Corps application in July 2001. After meeting with a Peace Corps recruiter, I was told I would be going to Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, or Thailand. I wavered between Mongolia and Nepal.
A couple weeks later, when I came home from work, my invitation letter from the Peace Corps was waiting for me. Nepal it would be. I was excited. I read about Nepal and Hinduism. I started this blog. I still had months before my departure.
I mention this because folks considering coming to Nepal with the Peace Corps were reading about events happening in Nepal at that time I was there and were alarmed about the security situation—from a perspective in the US.
The Peace Corps office in Washington, DC, thought best to quiet those raising alarm. I didn’t raise any alarm. I just wrote about work, life, et cetera, for my friends and family back home.
One final note. Some of the people with whom I worked were extraordinary. Others were, well, less than extraordinary. Peace Corps/Nepal is a wonderful yet flawed organization. Peace Corps volunteers, called PCVs, are amazing and lazy.

For full story & his experience in Nepal click here.

Categories: Volunteerism Tags: , ,

Witnessing Social Impact

2011 Aug 27
I WAS born in Brooklyn. My father was a small-business man and we never had much money. He supported the family, moved us to Merrick on Long Island, when I was 11. He just recently died at age 96. He was still driving and playing golf right to the end. He was the only guy I knew who at age 90 could shoot under his age. I guess that taught me something about perseverance.
I went to the University of Michigan as an engineering student in 1960. I was standing outside the student union building when Senator John F. Kennedy made a campaign speech that essentially announced his plan for the Peace Corps. He talked about how students could provide service for the country. It was a seminal moment for me.
After I graduated, I worked as a computer programmer for I.B.M. for two years. By then, the Vietnam War was in full swing and the draft had accelerated. I didn’t agree with the war and was interested in finding alternatives. I.B.M. applied for a deferment for me twice but the application failed.
I went to work at M.I.T.’s Instrumentation Labs on a project designed to create a rescue vehicle for lost submarines. I thought this job would keep me out of the draft, but M.I.T. hadn’t put in the proper paperwork and I got called in for my physical. The day before my physical, I broke my ankle playing tennis and, of course, my draft board didn’t believe a word of it. I had to provide X-rays. I had tears in my eyes from the pain, but a smile on my face.
I applied to M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management, where I met professors who were focused on applying management concepts to public sector issues. At that time, social programs were run by dedicated people, but very few had management backgrounds and many places were inefficiently run. My work with these professors piqued my interest in building an institution that could assist these organizations and change the world.
I started John Snow Inc. in 1978 (Dr. Snow is considered the father of modern epidemiology because he traced the source of a cholera epidemic in the 1850s). We had a very clear vision of what we would be. It would not be about making the most money but having the most impact.
My goal was to attract talented people who had that passion to focus on primary care, women’s health, child health, and to do great work. I wanted an organization that was less hierarchical, more collegial, more empowering for employees.
I also run a nonprofit called World Education, which focuses on literacy. What motivates me is going to the field, either in the United States or overseas, and seeing the people whose lives we affect.
I remember visiting a rural village in Nepal in 1998. We drove seven hours to get there, and at 8 o’clock at night, there were 30 women in a Nepali literacy class. After the class, several of the women came up to me and said, “This has changed my life.” It had changed the way they related to their children, the way they accessed health care, their relationships with their husbands and the community. Education can do that — just ripple through the community. It’s incredibly moving to witness that.

For full story click here.

Categories: Volunteerism Tags: , ,

62-Year-Old Runs 62 Miles

2010 Oct 10
This is the 13th year Dr. Tom Clinton, director of First Love International Ministries, has run his age in miles. This year he ran 62 miles. Converted to the metric system, that’s 100 kilometers; so his goal was to raise $100K in pledges, which he did.
Clinton started the run around 2 a.m. Saturday. We caught up with him at the finish line, 14 hours later at Rock Cut State Park.
“I’m very tired and feeling wasted but inside I’m feeling exuberant and very joyful over all that happened today,” says Clinton.
Money raised from the run will help house and feed orphans in Nepal, India, Kenya and the Philippines.

For full story click here.

Categories: Volunteerism Tags: ,