Recreation for children & youth
Conducting a Summer Camp for Children in Nigeria
In Nigeria, a group of PCV teachers decided to organize a three-week summer camp for 65 fifthgraders. To support the camp, the Ministry of Agriculture donated food, the Ministry of Health offered medical check-ups, and a local women's group provided a variety of supplies.
School grounds were "borrowed" from a cooperating school, and community members organized themselves into an advisory committee. Eight PCVs, three teachers, and the Peace Corps staff planned the activities, which focused on sports, crafts, and educational field trips. This successful program received wide radio and TV coverage, and was repeated in successive years. 20
Developing Recreational Programs for Refugee Children in Hungary
Working with children at the Csongrad Refugee Camp in Hungary, two PCVs have developed educational and recreational programs to help integrate refugee children with their contemporaries in the town where the camp is located. The World Federation of Hungarians has supported their efforts. At a fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C., attended by many members of the diplomatic community, the Federation succeeded in raising almost $9,000 to assist the Volunteers' activities.
Organizing Youth Centers in Sri Lanka
Two ambitious PCVs teamed up to promote the Sri Lankan government initiative on youth sports programs. They began by asking all the other PCVs in the country to conduct a needs assessment of their assigned communities to determine the level of interest and the best way to begin.
Using the information collected, the two PCVs designed a program to establish community development centers, using sports activities to attract unemployed youth. Coordination of the program was handled by the two PCVs, with the other Volunteers responsible for organizing their own communities and identifying counterparts to help with implementation and continued support of the program.
The promise of sports equipment, purchased with funding identified through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, was a motivating factor for the community members involved. Organized sports programs and competitions attracted the local press to highlight the activity. The program was a great success, with 26 youth and sports programs established throughout the country.
Supplying Play Equipment to an Orphanage in Burundi
In a rural community in Burundi, a PCV and the Superior Sister of the Diocese of Muyinga wanted to transform the local orphanage into a place where children could be happy. With approval from the Governor of the Province and land for a playground donated by the Church, the Sister and the PCV composed a wish list of furniture, carpet, cupboards, shelves, cribs, a jungle gym, see-saw, sandbox, balls, and educational toys for the children.
The Sisters of Charity agreed to offer limited support, but not enough to complete the activity. The PCV and the community wrote a proposal to the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which linked them to funding provided by an international school. Needing to contribute 25 percent towards the cost of the activity, the children and PCVs in the area provided manual labor, while local craftsmen volunteered their talents to make the play equipment from the raw materials purchased. The activity allowed the children to learn new skills and to work together for a common goal, in addition to greatly improving their environment.
Supporting a Boy Scout Troop in Benin
In a small rural village in Benin, the leader of the local Boy Scout troop wanted to engage the boys in a gardening activity that would teach them useful skills. Familiar with a Boy Scout troop in the United States, the PCV wrote a letter asking those boys if they would be interested in helping the troop in Benin buy supplies for their activity.
The troop in the United States took on the activity with enthusiasm. Money was raised, but instead of sending it directly to the troop in Benin, the PCV suggested it be facilitated through the Peace Corps Partnership Program. In addition to the funds, the troops began a cross-cultural exchange, a special component of the Peace Corps Partnership Program, which delighted all involved.
Working with an Orphanage in Quito, Ecuador
An entire training group of PCVs in Quito, Ecuador took on an orphanage as their special secondary activity. One taught English songs and games to the older children. Another PCV devoted himself to working with the hearing-impaired children. Others made toys and played with the babies. This long-term commitment resulted in over half a dozen of the children being adopted by the members of the group.
How sponsorship of this orphanage as a group secondary activity changed the lives of the children and the PCVs was best summed up at a recent Peace Corps Reunion: "We learned that the world is really a small place and that the similarities that bind human beings are much more important than the differences."
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