Past Community Grant Recipients

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (Boston, MA)- The 2019 Fall Domestic Community Grant was awarded to Amanda Drapcho, an RPCV who served in Gambia from 2008-2010. She applied on behalf of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. During a sexual assault evidence collection kit in the State of Massachusetts, survivors are provided the opportunity to give up their clothing as evidence. Many survivors come to the hospital with only what they are wearing and/or have a limited amount of clothing. This makes the decision to give up clothing difficult and often survivors decide to keep their clothing due to limited resources. The $500 award will fund the purchase of comfortable sweatpants and t-shirts to provide to survivors during the sexual assault evidence collection process.


Ministry of Hope Lilongwe Crisis Nursery (Lilongwe, Malawi)- The 2019 Fall International Community Grant was awarded to Rachael Sabelli, an RPCV who served in Malawi from 2010-2012. She applied on behalf of the Lilongwe Crisis Nursery. The Ministry of Hope Lilongwe Crisis Nursery has provided care, protection, and support to 471 babies from as young as one day old to two years. Once referred, the Nursery ensures the timely rescue of the child, performs a needs assessment, then develops an individualized, comprehensive care plan. The care plan includes daily general care, health care, nutritional care, psychosocial support, spiritual support and protection from any form of abuse. Children are kept safe and protected in the nursery’s care until their case is resolved and they can be reunited with family members or adopted. The $250 award will support the Lilongwe Crisis Nursery Home to pay for 39 tins of infant formula, as it is one of their most expensive supplies.


Camp SPEAK (Benin)- The 2019 Spring Community Grant was awarded to Elisabeth Divine on behalf of Camp SPEAK (Student Practicing English Activism and Kindness) in  Dassa, Benin. Camp SPEAK is an annual camp that aims to reduce the discrepancy between years spent in the classroom and language proficiency by incorporating reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in interactive ways. English learners were given the opportunity to further explore the English language through sessions from poetry writing to songwriting. The beneficiaries included 19 males ages 15-19, one male age 10-14, 10 males aged 25+, and 20 females ages 15-19, not including the 10 PCVs. Camp SPEAK was held July 1st – July 5th, 2019 in Dassa-Zoumé (Collines department). Success has been shown in many facets since the implementation of Camp SPEAK, most notably, each of the 10 host country national counterparts showed increased capacity for speaking English since day one of camp. They worked hard to stay fully immersed in English throughout the camp, continuing through jokes and casual conversations. PCVs have noted counterpart successes in commitment to Safe Schools and gender-equitable practices, implementation of new methods of teaching English, and increased understanding of the English language, especially conversational English. Apart from counterparts, PCVs have seen success demonstrated by the 40 students who were brought to Camp SPEAK, who now have increased confidence in the classroom, help lead English Clubs, and regularly use an expanded vocabulary. The $500 award was used to purchase English/French dictionaries and mosquito nets.


Hope of Guinea STEAM After-School Program (Guinea) – Hope of Guinea held their 3rd annual summer camp in July 2018, with Guinean middle schoolers and 6 Guinean teachers from schools in Guinea’s capital. The camp included demonstrations on interactive Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and MATH (STEAM) experiments. Teachers were provided with training and lesson plans and each teacher taught at least one experiment. BARPCV funds were awarded to help these teachers conduct weekly STEAM after-school programs for other students at their respective schools across Conakry, Guinea’s capital during the 2018-2019 school year.


Women’s Tenant Action Group (Waltham, MA) –  The Women’s Tenant Action Group (TAG), in Waltham gives voice and support to women tenants representing low resource, senior, and immigrant families wishing to advocate for safe, affordable housing in their community. They hold monthly meetings where women can learn how to apply for affordable housing, and the majority of women attending these meetings are immigrant women with families. BARPCV funds were used to pay for child care services during these monthly meetings for one year.  The provision of child care during these meetings addressed a key barrier to community engagement.


Inspire Arts & Music: HYDE Park Youth Percussion Ensemble (Boston, MA) –  Inspire Arts & Music (IAM) enhances music education for inner-city children in Boston. In 2015, IAM started the Hyde Park Youth Percussion Ensemble, (HYPE), with the goal of bringing a world percussion program to the children at the Hyde Park Community Center. The HYPE course started with 20 children ranging from the age of 5 to 15 at the Hyde Park Community Center through an after‐school program called “Roots of Rhythm.” This program is an interdisciplinary, interactive multicultural drumming program that explores different cultures, music, and instruments from around the world and is combined with the students’ coursework in social studies, math, science, and language arts. The cost for the students to participate in the HYPE program is $1.


Pathways Togo (Togo) – Pathways Togo delivers a scholarship and leadership training program for select young women throughout the country of Togo. In 2017, Pathways Togo introduced a new component to its programs: the provision of school breakfast/lunch to its scholars. Over the past seven years, the program has seen that many of its scholars are not able to afford breakfast or lunch during the school week. This has a negative impact on the scholars’ ability to focus in school, learn, and fully realize their academic potential. As a result, in 2017, Pathways Togo piloted a school breakfast and lunch program for its middle school and high school scholars. The BARPCV grant contributed to this pilot program and provided school breakfast and lunch to four scholars for 3 months.


Healthy Children, Healthy Future  (“Mushuk Yuyay”) (Ecuador) – The Association of Producers of Seeds and Nutritional Andean Foods delivers a campaign called “Healthy Children, Healthy Future.” This project created demonstration plots for cultivating Andean grains at schools, in order to teach students to plant traditional foods in an effort to preserve Andean culture and traditions, and also to prepare dishes and to present the nutritious foods to their communities. They also serve a hot, well-balanced nutritious breakfast once a week for 171 school children in the Community of Quilloac, Canton Cañar Province of Cañar.


Georgetown School Computer Project (Honduras) – Georgetown School, a bilingual school in Honduras, was working with World Computer Exchange, based in Boston, to build a computer lab. The school worked independently with World Computer Exchange and was able to raise funds to get the first shipment of computers to the village, and the BARPCV funds helped to complete the computer lab.


Aj Su’m (Guatemala) – The Aj Su’m Cooperative aims to (1) create and maintain local employment opportunities for women,  (2) improve food security and decrease mother & child malnutrition, and (3) empower marginalized groups of women. The BARPCV grant supported the purchase of an electric mill to grind soybeans and create soy flour for baking products.


When I Grow Up Project: A Higher Education Initiative (Cartagena, Colombia) – An extracurricular course to prepare high school students for the University entrance exams and pay exam fees, with the idea that attending university will help remove students and their families from the cycle of poverty.


Adelante!: Youth Empowerment Center for a Marginalized Mexican (Aguascalientes, Mexico) – A six week summer program providing at-risk teenagers a safe haven away from influential gang activity and other negative influences, while piquing their interests, goals, and aspirations and using those findings to get students interested in pursuing education, developing skills and making a positive impact in their communities.


Mungwi Savings and Loan Program (Zambia) – The BARPCV grant supported the Mungwi Savings and Loan Program in Northern Province, Zambia.


Sukuvi: Community Supported Loans for Togolese Students in Need (Togo) – This microfinance project provides community-supported, low-interest loans to university-bound students in Togo.


Medellin National Science & Technology High School LCD Projector (Philippines) – Purchase of an LCD project to enhance the quality of teachers’ lessons, saving significant amounts of time and energy put into lesson preparation, and greatly increasing classroom learning.


Rainwater Catchment System (Vanuatu) – Supported rainwater tanks, which allow families to have access to clean, potable water directly in their kitchens and homes.


Community Playground (Suriname) – Volunteer-led construction of a playground in a small Maroon community in Suriname. The village consists of approximately 150 residents, who mostly rely on subsistence farming and hunting for their livelihood.


Beyond The Veil: Who Can Know the Other? (Cambridge, MA) – A series of presentations aimed at promoting understanding of Muslim and Middle Eastern cultures.


Parent-Child Literacy Project (Chelsea, MA) – Parent-child educational activities specifically designed to promote literacy among the participants, often recent immigrants.

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