Saturday, January 8, 2011

Peace Corps comes to Karnamabu

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship.  The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the United States federal government devoted to world peace and friendship.
Salvador, Diane and Dr. Lucy
Last August when Dr. Lucy visited Karanambu shortly after we arrived, we met with Jermaine Clark who is the Peace Corps Response Volunteer Coordinator.  Together with Jermaine’s guidance we discussed the possibilities for the Karanambu Trust to work with the Peace Corps to help the neighboring villages develop more self-sustaining skills. An example of which was the village of Kwaimatta who had been without the use of their solar panels because they did not have the technology to service them when they weren’t functioning properly.  Again, because Kwaimatta is located in such a remote area, it is very expensive and time consuming to have someone come in to service the equipment. Well actually getting here is time consuming, the fixing could be five minutes  when you know what you are doing.  If we could receive help in the form of solar training from the Peace Corps it would have a tremendous impact on the surrounding communities of Karanambu. The number one goal of the Peace Corps is:  "Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women."  These volunteers will provide exactly that, training which will  then provide a service which would produce income and also allow them to become more self sufficient.  This idea was met with great enthusiasm by the communities.  

Jermaine Clark discussing the possibilities with Toshao Clive of Kwaimatta
The second need we were able to identify was the need to dispose of the plastic, especially the bottles, ecologically and of course water purification. How can we turn the plastic bottles into fence posts which the wood ants [termites] won’t eat.  Again, we found the response to be very enthusiastic.  

Together we wrote the job description requests and put in the formal application.  Once the process began, we had our job to do.  The Karanambu Trust had to build new housing for the new volunteers! With the tremendous assistance of friends of the Trust, money was raised to build the new volunteer housing.  Salvador and the crew have been working to finish the building.

Jermaine brought Eric Duncan, the new administrative officer for the Peace Corps, to visit and check on our progress. 

Diane - Salvador - Jermaine - Eric
 It is very important that we comply with their specific requirements. So far, so good! He and Jermaine had a great visit!  And with fingers crossed and a lot of hard work, working together, we will make the deadline.

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