Monday, December 06, 2010

Change in Spring Dates

The 2011 Becky Fund trip to Peru will be April 6–20 May 6-20. Contact us for more information on volunteering.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2011 Spring Trip Dates

The 2011 Becky Fund trip to Peru will be April 8–22May 6–20. Contact us for more information on volunteering.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Becky Smiles Video

Here is a shorter version of the great video Betty Grabusky made for The Becky Fund.

Becky Smiles

Becky Smiles from Betty Grabusky on Vimeo.

The longer version can be viewed here.

2010 Greenhouse Project Update

Here is a report on the 2010 Greenhouse Project by Aaron Ebner.

The Becky Fund 2010

The Becky Fund made important strides in 2010. A detailed report of the summer projects is near completion and will follow this brief outline of the summer projects.

In January of 2010 two representatives from TBF traveled to Peru to further organize the greenhouse project with the communities of Pampacoral and Poques. In June of 2010 Eight graduate students from the Monterey Institute of International Studies (MIIS) traveled to Peru to work on implementing the greenhouse project as well as investigating development opportunities in the Calca municipality. What follows is a general outline of what we accomplished.

The Becky Fund has established an important relationship with The Monterey Instituted of International Studies (MIIS), a graduate school of Middlebury College. Students come to MIIS for their world-renowned curriculum in a few select fields. These fields are: international development, international non-profit management and translation and interpretation. Vice President of The Becky Fund Aaron Ebner is in the international non-profit program, and has recruited several dedicated, experienced students to help The Becky Fund. Eight graduate students volunteered in Peru for two months over the summer. Their experience and knowledge of the non-profit/development world where well utilized and garnered the attention of several NGOs eager to capitalize on their expertise. An important goal for TBF is to strengthen this relationship in order to continue bringing MIIS students to Peru with The Becky Fund.

Aaron Ebner has been organizing a greenhouse project since spring of 2009. In June of 2010 Ebner and his team of graduate students began the implementation of the greenhouse project. High altitudes offer unique challenges to agriculture and at certain heights only potatoes and certain grains can be grown. Cheap, easy to produce greenhouses allow communities and families to grow fruits and vegetables containing necessary vitamins and minerals. The Becky Fund’s greenhouse project has a long-term vision that incorporates the entire community, but initially the project is centered in the school.

Greenhouse project activities:

• Two large greenhouses were constructed on school property.
• An alternative curriculum was established to teach greenhouse agriculture
• A part time technician has been hired to spend 3 days a week working with
the school.

The greenhouse project was designed and implemented step-by-step with the communities, because of this each greenhouse design, and curriculum is different.

The community of Pampacoral dedicated its parents to providing all manual labor and they invested over 500 hours of labor to construct their greenhouse. Ebner receives weekly reports from in country technician Ruben Quispe. In January a group of Becky Fund Volunteers will be carrying out an evaluation of the first six months of the project.

Partnership with DESEA Peru

The Becky Fund dedicated two graduate students and one trained translator/interpreter to Desea Peru. Desea trains local Quechua women in basic health care and diagnostics. This training came with significant challenges due to the low education level of the women. The development of this training has led Desea to develop a training module to be used in Quechua communities. Marina Flavotomas and translator Elsa Figueroa were instrumental in the formation of this manual. The Becky Fund and both Marina and Elsa will be acknowledged in the publication of
this manual.

Women's Empowerment and Textiles

Women’s studies/development graduate student Tina Novero studied the status of women in Totoro, Acha Baja, and Pampacoral. Novero developed a facilitation designed for the Quechau population and carried out dozens of interviews with a wide range of women in the society. Novero carried out several successful community facilitations with groups of indigenous women. Her deliverables consist of a population specific facilitation outline and a report which she will be using to carry out a gender analysis study in the summer of 2011.

Cheryl Hedges studied the culture of textiles in Peru and will be writing her thesis on women’s textile capacity building. Textiles are an important part of Peruvian culture and have the potential to bring both economic development and empowerment to indigenous women. Hedges’ thesis will design a strategy to help remote women improve their skills and make their textiles more marketable.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Becky Smiles Video

"Becky Smiles" is an 8 minute video documenting the April 2010 trip to the Sacred Valley of Peru. We've concentrated on the positive results (the students and ours) of the continued efforts of The Becky Fund.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spring 2011

The next trip to bring supplies to the students of the villages of Peru's Sacred valley will be in April 2011. Contact us now to get more information about volunteering.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

2010 Trip Report

This 2010 report was written by Betty Grabusky, a neighbor, and first time volunteer worker for the Becky Fund Peru trip. She was a great addition to our group, who brought a strong work & play ethic to the group. Thank you Betty for all the help & energy you brought to this year’s trip.

It was a personal thrill for me being able to share this experience with my son and his family. The girls were troopers and good will ambassadors with all the locals. As always, I am grateful and humbled by all the volunteers who give of their time, energy and resources. And, of course, to you the donors who make all of this possible I send a special thank you.


Trip Report 2010
The Becky Fund

Because of recent flooding in Peru, this year’s trip presented new challenges as well as opportunities. The main bridge offering access into the Sacred Valley was destroyed in the floods. As we approached the bridge in the dark, loaded with school supplies, we had no idea whether or not the bridge would be accessible to us. It was a very good sign when we arrived and discovered that the temporary bridge just opened the day prior to our arrival.

Dinny was joined this year by two generations of her family, including Alex, Angela, Sophie and Elena, all of Fairbanks. Also joining The Becky Fund volunteers were Leonard (his third time), Michael and Betty, all of Las Cruces. Again, Justo expertly piloted the van on remote switch back roads while Mr. Wilson acted as the ambassador to the schools. The group was joined for day trips by two of Mr. Wilson’s grandchildren, Roby and Nico. It truly was a multigenerational experience and commitment. As in past years, Mrs. Wilson rewarded the volunteers with a delicious meal upon our return.

As the van approached remote villages, children squealed at the sight of the van, overloaded with people on the inside and soccer balls on the roof. By now, they know about the Becky Fund, the supplies for students and teachers, fresh bread, the good will and the smiles that accompany the volunteers. Many of the schools have a picture of Becky posted at the entry. Frequently, the flooding of the roads prohibited us from driving right up to the schools, but the students found their way to us... across rivers, up steep hills (at 14,000 feet!) or across fields.

The children of the Sacred Valley seemed especially fascinated by Sophie and Elena who eagerly participated in distributing school supplies, toothbrushes, trinkets, clothing and smiles to many their own age. Especially appreciated were the supplies from the Rosemont School in Birmingham that Sophie and Elena helped to distribute. The school children performed favorite songs and folk dances for us and found delight in having their pictures taken, then getting a glimpse of themselves on camera.

There were occasional hitchhikers, always grateful, as roads in the Sacred Valley are long and steep. The devastating floods blessed the Valley with incredible wildflowers this year, a beautiful sight to behold. The long trips include fond memories of Sophie learning more Spanish and Elena entertaining the group with her jokes.

Opportunities this year included reaching out to the local hospital, much in need of blankets and sheets, providing the materials to repair a hole in a school roof (parents provided the labor), providing educational supplies for a new day care that had nothing to start with and distributing the clothing donations. As in the past, if we were unable to reach certain areas, the teachers found us. The doorbell rang constantly, often till 9:00 PM. Teachers traveled great distances to visit “Senora Diana”

In the end, The Becky Fund reached out to about 200 schools and 5000 students. How kind it was of the local teachers to sponsor a mass in honor of the Becky Fund and Dinny’s continued efforts. As prior volunteers have remarked, we were all impressed with the gratitude and hospitality of the local community in Calca.

Our own wheels were turning constantly. How about using GPS to put together a database and map of schools most in need? Where can we utilize “green” opportunities? What else is desperately needed and could be provided? How can more needy students be reached?

The Becky Fund continues to provide much to many who have so little and are so appreciative. The donations of all, large or small, are all put to good use directly for the benefit of those who need help the most.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

2010 Trip Complete

We had another successful trip to Peru this spring and delivered supplies to over 4,500 students. We will post a full trip report soon.

The Becky Fund was given a special plaque from the City of Calca at a special mass.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

A Donation from Birmingham, Al.

Ms. Lucas' second grade class of Rosemont School in Birmingham, Al. donated their allowance to purchase school supplies such as crayons, colored pencils, etc., plus $85.00 ;for the Becky Fund. Michael Prichard's daughter, and Becky's niece, Marley, is in this class.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Greenhouse and Health Project Updates

The January trip to Peru was very successful. Becky Fund representatives Aaron Ebner and Michael Cutino met with several people and organizations to arrange partnerships for the completion of our greenhouse and health projects during the summer of 2010. Upon arriving in Peru this June, our team will work together with the Ministry of Agriculture office in Calca, the Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Educa, Desea Peru, Clinica Kausay Wasi, and the Director of Community Health in Cusco.

The agricultural project includes the construction of greenhouses in three rural communities and the implementation of an educational curriculum to teach school children about nutrition and greenhouse maintenance. The health project consists of a community health needs-assessment and the introduction of a wellness training program for rural citizens.

Along with the Rotary Club of Monterey, CA, Becky Fund members will be hosting a fund-raising event at the Monterey Institute of International Studies on Friday, March 12 between 6-8pm. You can now purchase tickets for this event online at Please contact us for more information about the event or if you want to get involved in our projects including the spring trip which takes place April 16-30.