2011 Youthlincers: We hope you are as impressed with your accomplishments as we are! Goodness, our teams have done an amazing amount of good in the world.
For those of you who missed out, this past Thursday, our six teams (Cambodia, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Kenya and our Friends & Family team) came together to celebrate and report the highlights of their local and international service. It was as humbling as it was inspiring to hear about what they have done. Even with condensing their accomplishments to mere bullet points, the list is impressively long!
So thank you again— team and alumni leaders, mentors and students— for all the amazing sacrifices you have made in order to be a part of Youthlinc. The difference you have made in your communities, as well as for strangers (now friends) on the other side of the world is nothing short of incredible.
Together, as a family of humanitarians, we are changing the world: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead
For more details on your trips, check out the website, www.youthlinc.org. Also, click on this link for a short YouTube video of the “best of 2011” photos. Please share with your friends and family.
CAMBODIA: Youthlinc’s first trip to Peak Sneng, Cambodia was a tremendous success, thanks to the amazing work that the team put into their trip! The 2011 Cambodia Team truly changed many lives for the better, and demonstrated just how much a small team of people can accomplish. Here are just the highlights of their trip:
• Recorded over 2,330 hours of local service!
• Raised almost $20,000—setting a record for Youthlinc trips!
• Installed 100 water filtration units into different homes of the villagers
• Built a gargantuan fence around the school (with 150 concrete posts!), built 4 new bathroom stalls, and renovated 3 others, as well as filled a ravine full of dirt so that the community would have land to build much needed classrooms
• Taught English and math courses, and lessons on diet and nutrition, protection from mosquitoes, hand washing. dental and basic hygiene
• Donated hundreds of pounds of school supplies, including over 700 books for the library, hundreds of dollars for medical supplies for medical clinic and shoes and clothing to the Hope and Life Orphanage
• Created a demonstration/training garden that was used to teach the community about gardening techniques and nutrition.
• Offered medical clinic workers OB and CPR trainings, providing clinic with the appropriate medical supplies
• Taught maturation courses in the junior high, providing all of the girls with feminine hygiene kits that included reusable pads
• Created a livestock exchange program, presenting families with over $7,000 worth of cows, pigs and chickens, and offered lessons on best practices for raising animals
• Taught participating community members about dental hygiene, first aid/CPR, nutrition, AIDS education and basic ways to keep their family healthy, providing participants with supplies from their lessons to take home to their families
• Organized the Mondo Art Exchange project, where Cambodian children drew pictures of their lives to be shared with children of other countries
• Organized a meaningful team panel discussion with the junior high students
• Put on “the most organized” fun fair in Youthlinc history for the kids in the community
THAILAND: The Thailand team worked so hard on their various projects that at the end of each night, “the whole team was always sore and exhausted– but happy to be making the people’s lives a little bit easier,” according to Sara Swaminathan, West High School. According to team leader, Peter Frost, the 2011 Thailand team more than accomplished their goals. Here’s a summary of what they accomplished:
• Completed 2,550 local service hours!
• Organized opening and closing ceremonies for the village, with a fun talent show, acoustic guitar and singing
• Executed a fun tie-dye project
• Painted a mural for the community
• Constructed a kitchen add-on for the Thamthonglang School which allowed students to eat lunches on the grounds
• Cleaned, renovated and painted bathrooms to improve sanitation in the community
• Created a garden and 2 planter boxes with vegetables and herbs, which promotes nutrition in the community
• Constructed a fence around a fishpond at the Wat Bang Sai School.
• Built a compost storage facility which would improve the soil for the community
• Taught 9 English lessons each day, which were prepared by the 24 students on the team.
• Offered food preparation courses and hand washing and nutrition lessons
• Stocked the first aid room with basic supplies
• Gave every student in the village a wellness check and dental exam. The team’s dentist, Bruce Jenson, attended to major dental work that was needed
• Gave hygiene kits and personal first aid kits to each student and family
• Translated all of the English medical instructions into Thai
• Organized a very successful medical fair, teaching the community about malaria and dengue fever, and how families could prepare their houses and yards to prevent illness
MEXICO: The Mexico team faced many challenges upon their arrival to Chiapas Mexico. Despite the cultural barriers and issues with the government preventing the team to accomplish all they set out to accomplish, the team was able to get a lot done! Of all the teams this year, the Mexico team really had to overcome many challenges, and yet, the team pulled together to stay positive, enthusiastic and united. Congrats to all the Mexico team!
• Completed 1,706 local service hours!
• Raised over $5,000!
• Construction on a kitchen remodel
• Painted 2 beautiful murals
• Taught English lessons in the primary schools
• Taught dental and hygiene courses at an orphanage in Tuxtla
• Taught cultural exchange classes
• Donated hundreds of pounds of school supplies to the local orphanage and Bautista Grande community, as well as medical supplies to a local women’s shelter
• Put on a fun closing ceremony for the village of Bautista Grande
PERU: Even with many unexpected occurrences that took place, the Peru team was able to accomplish a remarkable amount despite all that went on during their trip. Here is what they were able to accomplish:
• Peru: 2,781 local service hours in 21 different locations!
• Poured over 800 feet of concrete for walkways. These walkways will help prevent waterborne disease from spreading.
• Started construction on a bridge (endearingly named “Jenny Bridge” in honor of Jenny Jones who was injured on the trip) that would allow the village of Palmeras access to a medical clinic
• Painted the community center, school, and any other walls they could access! Also, the team painted a beautiful mural
• Purchased furniture for village first aid station and stocked up the medical building with simple supplies
• Provided 200 hygiene kits and newborn kits with baby blankets to the community
• Taught hand washing, first aid, resuscitation from drowning and other lessons that would help improve health conditions for the community
• Raised money to fix multiple broken water systems in the area
• Administered surveys to determine what the villagers currently do for their medical needs, and what they hope for
• Taught four lessons to villagers on loans, repayment, marketing and selling, and record keeping
• Provided funding to pay for specialist from a different area to teach small engine repair courses to villagers. These courses allow young men to learn a trade, potentially find employment and improve their lives, and the lives of their families.
• Assessed the progress from past microenterprise loans
• Taught English courses
• Created and delivered 130 bags full of school supplies.
• Constructed book shelves for the classrooms
• Organized the open and closing ceremonies
KENYA: The 2011 Youthlinc Kenya team returned for their fourth and final visit to the remote village of Kiamuri. Due to the incredible dedication of the Kenya team, amazing work was accomplished, and much needed support was offered to Kiamuri. Here are just the highlights of what the team accomplished:
• The team completed 3,196.85 local service hours—which is a Youthlinc record!
• Constructed 2 classrooms at Gikuuru Primary, offering stonework and roof support for one of the classrooms
• Demolished an old dilapidated classroom
• Built bases for 2 water tanks, which will make it possible for the community to have access to water
• Built walls for another classroom
• Helped dig a foundation at Kiamuri Primary School
• Taught multiple lessons to the children in the area
• Collected school supplies for each of the 4 schools in the area
• Painted 2 beautiful murals at 2 schools
• Organized the Mondo art exchange at 3 schools, allowing for an international exchange of art created by children
• Cultural exchanges with locals about their daily lives
• Successful fun fair/closing ceremonies
• Taught each of the 4 groups of women lessons on how to run a business
• Treated patients in clinics
• Distributed 900 envelopes and over 5000 reusable pads to girls in maturation lessons
• Provided lots of medical supplies and medicine for hospital
• Dr. John Oglesby, OBGYN, delivered many babies and conducted clinics in outlying hospitals, with Youthlinc students observing
FRIENDS AND FAMILY: Every year, Youthlinc sends a team of friends and family members of Youthlinc participants to one of our service sites, without having the same requirement of completing local service hours. This year, our Friends and Family team of 20 traveled to Peru where they opened up the Yanamono II, a rural village on the Amazon River. They were able to bring with them an impressive amount of medical supplies, supplies for renovating a medical clinic, clothing and shoes. Since there were five medical people on the team, they taught medical lessons to the community. Also, the team helped paint the “Jenny Bridge” which was completed. After meeting with the local leaders, the team was able to bring back an extensive list of future projects for our 2012 team, as well as valuable information on the community’s needs, strengths and goals. For such a short period of time in the area (a mere 4-5 days), our Friends and Family team did an excellent job of being “ambassadors” to the people of Yanamono II, and paving the way for successful trips in the future.