Service Around the Globe
Youthlinc postponed all capstone international trips in 2020, but we still felt compelled to support some of the projects abroad since several of them directly impacted the health and livelihood of the people in the villages or was a critical next step in phased projects that would risk failure if we did not continue with the project this year.
A part of Youthlinc’s mission is to guide youth into taking leadership roles while they help carry out projects abroad, and although teams did not travel in 2020, our students still completed 50 hours of local service, much of it getting done in creative and innovative ways when the pandemic took off.
Youthlinc has 14 international teams desiring to travel when it is safe to do so, including our first teams visiting Jamaica and Mongolia, and the reopening of our Guatemala and Vietnam sites.
There is still so much to celebrate from this past year about what we did accomplish abroad! Read below about projects that still went forward in Guatemala, Vietnam, Fiji, and Cambodia.
Youthlinc was able to assist our partner, People For Guatemala, with installing concrete floors for many families in the San Miguel area, an hour and a half outside of Antigua. Concrete floors protect families from disease, the elements, and allow them to have a cleaner living environment. Families contribute some of their own money and their time.
CLICK HERE to see a video recap.
In late 2019, a landslide wiped out a canal & irrigation system at the village of Buoc in Northern Vietnam where ethnic minority families live. The community appealed to the government for support to rebuild this critical infrastructure, but their request was denied. With your donation, we were able to first make a temporary fix last spring with a basic canal structure for that planting season. This summer we were able to still support the village of Buoc to put in a permanent fix to this problem, which was a concrete/brick system that will be able to withstand the elements better, setting the community up for many years of successful farming and irrigation.
CLICK HERE to see a video Mr. Tong Quang Nam from SJ Vietnam made to say THANK YOU.
In the summer of 2020, we hired an IT professional to go to the village of Narikoso to work with the local cellular phone/internet company to bring improved and additional communications infrastructure to the village and school, provide additional training to the school administration and teaching staff, troubleshoot any issues from when the computer lab went live in summer 2019, and to repair any hardware that was malfunctioning. After a sizable investment (funded by the Low Family Foundation in 2019) we wanted to ensure that although Youthlinc was unable to travel in summer 2020, that the project was still getting the support and oversight needed to maintain positive impact in the community.
One of our NGO partners in Cambodia, with whom we have been working since 2011, has been developing a program for the past couple of years that Youthlinc has been preparing to support. Our partner and Youthlinc have been working to establish and construct a social enterprise called Farm for Life. This farm raises cows, chickens, and ducks to sell at market. It employs families below poverty line to care for the farm and then the “profit” from the enterprise goes toward paying school fees, school uniforms, and basic supplies for health/hygiene for the most economically vulnerable children in the area. Over the next five years, the aim is to be able to support 25 families and 100 children per year with employment opportunities and access to education.
Youthlinc was able to finally launch this program this year with our partner and we are looking forward to the long-term impact this project will have.