Here’s a summary of our project history. Click the points on the map for details, or scroll past the map to see the details below.
This was the first time we volunteered with a formal non-governmental organization. Sarah worked alongside the local nurse who was the only healthcare provider for the 4 villages in which La-Esperanza supported. She also successfully implemented a records keeping program which accumulated heath details on every school aged child within the service area. Brett was part of the english teaching team while also initiating a physio-therapy program for a boy with cerebral palsy. Upon return to Canada they hosted an event to raise awareness for the people of Nicaragua while also collecting $5, 500 to be donated directly to La-Esperanza Granada.
This was the first independent initiative by Sarah and Brett. While living with a local family we hosted C.P.R. and health promotion classes for a group of new mothers as well as First – Aid sessions for men working within the community. As the disastrous earthquake occurred less than a month later, we could only hope that the knowledge shared resulted in an ability for the students to positively assist others. In Nov. 2011 we were part of a team who hosted an event to raise awareness of the ongoing needs of the Haitian population while collecting $14,000 for the family and community in which we lived.
While studying Spanish in the Andes we encountered an organization named Arte Del Mundo (art of the world) which built a communal library and ran after school programs for local children and youth. Along with interacting with the children we hosted a C.P.R / First – Aid class for the organization’s volunteers as well as local adventure sport guides; we also engaged in training sessions with the Ecuadorian Red Cross. Throughout our stay we were able to financially support a major event organized by Arte Del Mundo which was delivered to the community as a whole.
Here in the amazon region of Peru, in cooperation with local educators and health providers, we conceptualized a health promotion initiative which delivered education surrounding hand washing, teeth brushing, sexual health, and First – Aid / C.P. R. We were able to deliver a session to every student and staff within the education system and were the first people to talk openly about sexual health in the history of the town. Upon our departure we were able to leave a financial donation offered by individuals in Canada which ultimately funded volleyball nets and soap dispensers for the school.
This was the first time we engaged in a volunteer mission as part of a delegation which, along with ourselves, included 4 other nurses, a physician, and a pastor. As part of the health care team we participated in a session of child health checks aimed at providing a cross – section of heath needs in the community before discussing such needs with a group of local community action volunteers responsible for disseminating health information throughout the community. We also lead a session on the technique of abdominal thrusts to counteract an incident of choking. These are only a few activities encompassed within our visit however we feel the relationships built and the message of solidarity were the most important aspects to the trip.
Dharmashala is the summer home of the Dalai Lama which in turn attracts a large population of Tibetan refugees who have escaped the persecution by the Chinese government. Brett taught an english class and participated in conversation groups with people of varying proficiency all having their own reasons for learning the language. Some wanted to tell the world what was happening in their home land, some wanted to translate Buddhist teachings, and others simply required some way to communicate with the local Indian population. Dharmashala also happened to be the same place where the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Institute is located which is where Sarah studied the foundations of yoga therapy.
Although we did not work directly with Yego Rwanda we did have an opportunity to meet with local survivors of the 1994 Genocide and listen to their experiences. This single event was the driving force behind our acceptance as the chair of fundraising on the board of directors for a support group in Canada called Yego Edmonton which successfully raised $16, 000 to support ongoing projects in Rwanda.
Here is a fantastic way to learn how to teach english while getting paid for your effort. The ACT TESOL course is like no other as you put into practice all of the lessons being taught in your training all the while gaining the experiences included with living and working abroad. Sarah and Brett recently returned from a business trip where partnerships were made with between School of HEART and ACT TESOL where both companies will work together to provide the life changing experience of teaching internationally.