What are our Youthlinc Teams are up to?

There is never a dull moment in Youthlinc Land! Currently, our 2013 Teams are incredibly busy preparing for their lessons, planning cultural activities, collecting donations, and gearing up for their team fundraisers. Below are some of the projects they’ll be working on this summer:

This year, the team will continue to help Ak’tenamit expand the campus to accommodate for the 100 new students arriving to the school. The team will be building bunk beds, painting dorms and helping expand the library. Additionally, the team will teach about environmental degradation and the importance of waste management. Before the team arrives, Guatemalans will collect trash, which will be stuffed into old plastic bottles (known as ecological bricks), which will then be used to create the infrastructure for several benches that will be used around the Ak’tenamit campus.

Due to the poor soil in the area, the folks at Ak’tenamit do not grow their own food and must import all their produce. In order to improve the self-sufficiency of Ak’tenamit, our 2013 team will help build agricultural micro-tunnels to allow for the production of food. Our Guatemala team will also be teaching microenterprise lessons and offering chickens to help a nearby village become more self-sufficient. Additionally, the team will teach 12th graders basic business lessons, and the skill of making candles.

Our Peru Team will be returning to the small village of Yanamono II. They will complete the medical clinic that the 2011 and 2012 teams have worked on– specifically, cement work, painting, install solar electricity and construct a bathroom. Also, during the rainy season, many folks lose access to schools, medical facilities or docks due to flooding. The team hopes to construct 2 bridges and cement sidewalks which will improve accessibility in the area, thus impacting the economy and community health. Additionally, access to clean water is a huge health issue in the region. The 2013 team hopes to orient the community to a new water filtration system purchased through a Rotary grants financed through Utah Rotary Clubs.

The 2013 team will follow up on microenterprise, animal exchange and soap co-op participants, as well as raising funds for additional small loans. There are currently 12 women or families that are diligently preparing for this project. This year’s vocational training will consist of teaching sewing, and possibly making reusable menstrual pads and cloth diapers. Finally, the medical committee will offer more lessons on different diseases, nutrition, blood pressure, parasites, worms, menopause, cycle beads, STDs, prenatal care, and how to properly use cloth diapers.

Our 2013 team looks forward to our new site, a small Moken community, and partnership with the Mercy Center Home and Koh Lao Moken village in Thailand. As sea nomads, the Moken people were particularly devastated after the 2004 tsunami when they lost their boats—and thus, their way of life. Moken villagers do not own land, have citizenship, or rights to travel or work. They have lived for generations without fresh water, electricity, toilets, or schools for their children.

Our team will be working to expand the Mercy Center, which is currently a home on the mainland that accommodates 26 Moken children that transport from the Koh Lao Island in order to go to Thai schools. The expansion will allow for more Moken children to have access to education. Also, the Mokens do not have prior knowledge of gardening or surviving on land. This year, our team will create a garden at the Mercy Center, and teach the children about how to grow food.

The Moken community could greatly benefit from a microenterprise livestock exchange program to improve the local economy. We hope to build a quail house for the community on the island. Also, one of the most important projects our team will work on is learning more about and preserving the history of this unique community. Finally, our 2013 team will also plan a number of cultural exchange activities, as well as develop lessons to teach the Moken community about sanitation, health care, waste management, and business.

Our 2013 team will be partnering with Sustainable Cambodia at the Chomony Primary School, which is a new site for Youthlinc. Compared to many neighboring schools, this facility was in very poor condition. Our 2013 team will be installing water filtration systems, building a structure where students can study outdoors, creating a garden for the school to use for supplementary food, building a library, a volleyball court, and a fence surrounding the school, as well as repairing latrines.

Additionally, our team will help teach business lessons to students at Sustainable Cambodia, teach how to make candles, and raise funds for 2 families to receive cows. The team will put on health fairs, cultural activities, and conduct oral histories.

Our team will return to Kajuki, Kenya in 2013. Our 2013 will finish the renovation of Ntumbara nursery school, and the kitchen and dining hall. Also, the team will build a new vocational training center, which now is a three sided shack. We hope to donate sewing machines and offer sewing classes. We also hope to provide access to clean water by installing water and rain catchment systems.

The team is also raising funds for chickens for the livestock exchange, and for small business loans to members of the Catholic Women’s Association who were prepped in 2012, and will continue their preparation for receiving loans until the team arrives in 2013. The team will also do home visits and oral histories of those living in the area.

We are thrilled to announce Youthlinc’s newest site, Song Cau. Song Cau is a small town nestled between Central Vietnam’s highlands and the South China Sea. The villagers are still recovering from a devastating past. This area was highly affected by the war with America decades ago. Youthlinc will partner with Solidarities Jeunesses (SJ Vietnam) a French based NGO and UNESCO partner which has organized international youth service in Vietnam for a decade.

Due to long lasting economic instability, drought and poor soil conditions, and the destruction of the Vietnam war, people in this village struggle to meet their most basic needs. Youthlinc has the opportunity to enhance the quality of life in Song Cau for people who don’t have the means to do it for themselves. Our team will be building simple brick and mortar homes for Song Cau’s most poor, renovating two classrooms, which are in major disrepair.

Also, the people of Song Cau could greatly benefit from a microenterprise livestock exchange program to improve the local economy. We will be raising funds for cows that will be delivered to families. Finally, our team hopes to improve the health of the Song Cau community by teaching lessons about health, and outfitting a health clinic with a freezer to store vaccines, as well as providing b

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