Thursday, October 20, 2011

Team Peru and The Becky Fund: A valuable relationship

I'm proud to present the summer 2011 report from Team Peru at The Monterey Institute of International Studies(MIIS).

Team Peru is a group of graduate students who work on current and potential development projects through The Becky Fund and the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development. Students represent a variety of fields including; international environmental policy, public administration, international business, international policy studies, and translation and interpretation.

Students dedicate themselves to a project and travel to Peru for two months in the summer and one month in January. A unique level of involvement is added however, while the students are in Monterey during the semester. The team works together at MIIS to bring the projects into the classroom. In the fall of 2011 the Becky Fund and Andean Alliance have been represented in classes such as; program evaluation, organizational sustainability, and grant writing. An entire class of 30 students in the systems thinking course used Team Peru as the case study for the duration of the course. These courses offer an amount of analysis and actionable recommendations usually reserved for large multinational NGOs with huge budgets.

Team Peru is a unique student driven initiative that has added an extreme amount of value to The Becky Fund and the Andean Alliance, in 2011 we have benefitted from over 14,700 hours of professional volunteer service from these students.

Thanks Team Peru, and keep up the good work!


Check out the project report here:

Check out my TEDx talk on Team Peru:

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Greenhouse Project Update

In June of 2010 The Becky Fund officially established its school greenhouse initiative in the schools of Pampacoral and Poques. The greenhouse project was designed and implemented by a group of graduate students from The Monterey Institute of International Studies. Our local agricultural technician, Ruben Human Quispe, spends three days a week working with students and teachers in the greenhouse. Ruben teaches sustainable techniques for growing vegetables. The first two projects were a huge success garnering attention from other organizations and the local government. In 2011 The Becky Fund partnered with the Lares government to build five more greenhouses
Ruben and the graduate students focus on the methods and model of teaching and incorporating sustainable practices into daily agricultural practices. The Becky Fund works side by side with the community in order to increase local ownership and ensure success.  In 2012, the Fund will be helping four communities maintain nine greenhouses. Ruben will be joined by two new technicians who will support four schools as they go from eating governement provided fortified bread to growing, cooking, and eating fresh organic vegetables several times a week. 
The Becky Fund has focused its agricultural projects in the Lares Valley, becoming a part of the community. As a member of this community we have begun giving back in other ways. The Becky Fund and partner organization the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development have sponsored a local soccer team and have provided prizes for local school competitions. Students in Pampacoral were given the opportunity to document their lives with digital cameras and the whole community was invited to an exhibition of their work. Thanks to all our supporters and volunteers the Becky Fund is able to accomplish such things. We look forward to building our relationship with these communities growing more than just vegetables.

Aaron Ebner
Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development
Team Peru
The Becky Fund