Monday, September 12, 2016

Two Years and Sixteen Volunteers


Fresh off the plane: June 5, 2014
Last week I highlighted the accomplishments of my Peace Corps training group in light of our work as defined by and reported to Peace Corps. Numbers of people reached in specific topics, however, only shares a small portion of our story.

One of my favorite things about the Healthy Youth program in Lesotho, is that each volunteer’s job responsibilities and activities are unique to their site. As a result, we worked in a number of areas, some overlapping and some unique to only one or two of us. Here is a sampling of the work that filled our days:

Health


  • Worked in a clinic to increase ARV adherence and infant wellness checks 
  • Weighed infants and worked with Village Health Workers in an outreach clinic
  • Started a growth monitoring and intervention program at an orphanage
  • Worked with three HIV+ Teen Clubs


Youth Development


  • Directed 6 overnight camps serving more than 425 girls and boys in six of Lesotho’s ten districts
  • Completed more than 20 Grassroot Soccer Interventions to educate on HIV prevention
  • Tutored herdboys in computer skills
  • Started and led Youth Clubs in Athletics, Gender Empowerment, Drawing, Games, English, and English Reading

PCV Stephanie and colleagues show off the produce at
the orphanage she worked with.
Photo provided by Stephanie Sales.

Income Generation to Support Families and OVCs


  • Two community-based sewing businesses
  • A farm including water accessibility for an orphanage
  • Started three chicken projects
  • An achaar project
  • Fenced a farm and orchard to protect product from cattle
  • Advised five agricultural co-operatives
  • Helped a women’s and girl’s weaving group with marketing and market development

Community Engagement


  • Planned  and led four World AIDS Day events including talent shows, voluntary HIV testing, 
  • Built a multi-purpose athletic court for one of Lesotho’s largest towns
  • Planned and led a Spread the Love, Not the Disease Valentine’s Day event with over 100 youth participants enjoying face painting, nutrition and fitness info, yoga, HIV testing, and Planned Parenthood
  • Hosted a large HIV awareness, testing, and education day for youth
  • Built a Community Building with a children’s library
  • Worked with Caregiver and OVC Support groups in four communities; building the capacity of caregivers 
  • Led a father’s support group through the Red Cross
  • Built small greenhouses with families and provided nutrition and gardening lessons to build food security

Education


PCV Eloise's students at the Khotsong Skills Training
Center, a tertiary school.
Photo provided by Eloise Williams
  • Started computer labs at 2 tertiary schools
  • Worked with a school to help it get internet access for students and teachers
  • Taught primary school classes in Life Skills, English & Creative Writing, and Dance
  • Taught Life Skills in secondary schools
  • Taught at 3 tertiary institutions





Lesotho 82 Peace Corps Volunteers and their counterparts at a workshop.




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You should choose as your life's work whatever feels the most like play.
-Harvey Oxenhorn