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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Connecting Those With Resources to Those Without: The Impact of Wisconsin-Nicaragua's Packing Days [PHOTOS]

On the third Thursday of every month, dedicated volunteers from central Wisconsin meet at the Wisconsin-Nicaragua Warehouse for "Packing Days," a time to pack boxes of donated supplies to be shipped to Nicaragua. The donations are collected from across Wisconsin, and include everything from sports equipment to sewing machines to school and medical supplies. The supplies are sorted, packed and prepared at the warehouse, before being sent on the 3,300 mile trip to Nicaragua.

It's a unique project--one that identifies tangible solutions to tangible needs--and harnesses the impact of volunteers. It was even recently featured on a local news station.



Friday, August 22, 2014

Youth Bridge: A great place to learn!

Written by Lauren Lozano, Legislative Fellow from Colombia

Through the Legislative Fellows Program, I had the opportunity to see how civil society is in the U.S. It was incredible, a treasure that I will have with me forever! It looks very different than what the media shows us or how people imagine that it is. I lived this experience, and it's the best way to improve one's knowledge about how something works. We have much to learn, but we also have many things to teach.

I am grateful for the experience during my fellowship. Now, since I have been in my city of Barranquilla, I am filled with hope in humanity, in society, and above all, in the power of love. Even when the headlines in the news are notifying us of the terrible situation about wars abroad, conflict and war within my own country, youth delinquency, murders, the kids that are involved in them and other victims of violence, and now, how people are suffering for the climate change--even though all these things are happening, I still believe in humanity, because all these terrible news show us what we are, but more importantly, what we can do to change the realities and to change lives. These events show me not only the problems we have, but in fact, that these problems reflect how vulnerable we are, how human we are, and what we are made.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This World Humanitarian Day, Meet Ana: The Woman Risking Everything To Provide Youth in Honduras a Better Future

By: Gayle Campbell, Senior Communications Officer

Today is World Humanitarian Day. It's a day a day to honor and celebrate humanitarian aid workers who risk their lives to help others and make a difference, and commemorate those who gave the ultimate sacrifice--their lives. Today marks the 11th anniversary of the bombing at the UN headquarters in Baghdad, which killed 22 aid workers.

Here at Partners, we are proud of our hundreds of field staff and 5,000 volunteers and development professionals, people from all walks of life who share a common commitment to do good. A commitment that many put their life on the line for. It is an honor to work alongside these humanitarian heroes.

Today, we want to spotlight a special humanitarian hero:
Ana, Partners' A Ganar* Coordinator in Honduras.

Ana, whose last name and individual photo have been withheld for her protection, has been working with A Ganar since October 2011. "It was the first program in Honduras that used sports to change lives," Ana said, explaining what motivated her to join A Ganar. The program's emphasis on teaching workforce development skills, values, and responsibility to youth was a mission Ana was eager to be a part of. It wasn't an easy decision though: the A Ganar project site Ana coordinates, San Pedro Sula, Honduras, has been labeled "the murder capital of the world."

A Ganar-Honduras trainers, after a training session in San Pedro Sula

Monday, August 18, 2014

Linking Costa Rican Tourism & NC State University: How One International Business Fellow Is Fostering a Unique Alliance

Viviana's whole family are passionate
advocates for people-first tourism!
Partners of the Americas, Organize for Success, and North Carolina State University have the pleasure of welcoming Viviana Castillo to participate in the International Business Fellows Matching Program which facilitates the exchange of best practices, lessons learned, and business expertise through fellowships in the U.S. 

Viviana is a leader in the Iroquois community of Costa Rica through her home organization, People-First Tourism, and will be working with Organize for Success, LLC. Organize for Success is an organization that focuses on increasing productivity for small business executives, entrepreneurs, and corporate teams.

Viviana will unite many organizations providing a bridge to her home country of Costa Rica to those she will visit and work within North Carolina. During her fellowship with Organize for Success, Viviana will foster alliances between community partners including The Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service (CSLEPS), People-First Tourism (P1T), North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Sustainability Office, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in the Crop Science Department, as well as Chiquita Brands International

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our Haiti Nutrition Security Program Turns 1!

Some of Haiti's most vulnerable populations are now living better, healthier lives, thanks to Partners' Haiti Nutrition Security Program (NSP)! By taking a holistic, grassroots approach which seeks to change health behaviors on the community level, NSP is improving the nutritional status of children and pregnant and lactating women in Haiti.

With one year of program operations officially under our belt, we have much to celebrate! Some of our major milestones from this past year include:

Educating and empowering mothers:
Our model equips and trains influential mothers in communities, or "mother leaders", on the importance of health, nutrition and hygiene. These mother leaders then return to their own communities to share life-saving information with other mothers who are often under-educated and struggling with food insecurity. In the past year, Partners has recruited and trained 1,262 mother leaders, and is now reaching over 13,000 neighborhood women households!