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.