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Friday, January 23, 2015

Tribute to Clinton Crocker, Founder of New Jersey-Haiti Partners

Partners of the Americas was saddened by the death of Clinton C. Crocker, founder and president of the New Jersey-Haiti Partners, who passed away on Oct. 9, 2014 at the age of 86. Born in Norfolk, VA, Sept. 7, 1928, moved at an early age to Schenectady, NY. Clinton attended and graduated from Westminster Choir College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He then earned a Master of Arts from Kean College. Several years later, he received a fellowship to attend a post graduate program at Harvard University in Management of Higher Education.

In 1976, Clinton brought together a group of enthusiastic business and professional leaders from New Jersey and Haiti to found the New Jersey - Haiti Chapter of Partners of The Americas. According to Jeff Richter, former Chapter President: "When Clinton received the request to start the Partners of the Americas New Jersey-Haiti Chapter, he picked it up and ran with it. Under his leadership, the Chapter achieved its most significant statewide impact."

Richter continued: "Clinton and his wife, Doris, hosted countless visitors from Haiti in their home, and always took a leading part in developing programs for the visitors. They also hosted many Chapter and committee meetings in their home, and brought in a number of new members. Finally, no matter who the Chapter President was, Clinton was always challenging that person to be more active and accomplish more. When I was President, he was always pushing me to do more, devote more time, and travel more. I never managed to live up to his standards, but I did a lot more than I would have without his presence and encouragement."

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Being an AIDS advocate in Bolivia and in the United States

By Gracia Violeta Ross, Legislative Fellow from Bolivia

My name is Gracia Violeta Ross. I am from Bolivia and I have been living with HIV since 2000.  I am the National Chair of the Bolivian Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (REDBOL), which remains the strongest HIV advocacy organization. In October 2014, thanks to the Legislative Fellows Program supported by the State Department and with the administration of Partners of the Americas, I did my fellowship at AIDS United, an HIV organization based in Washington, D.C. that focuses on domestic policy-making in the United States.

My fellowship was with the Policy Department, which advocates for domestic AIDS funding. It was very important for me to understand how funding decisions are made in the U.S.  I knew some of its international policies but little of the domestic. I was surprised to discover many similarities that fuel the AIDS epidemic in the developing world, such as poverty, gender-based violence, homelessness, lack of access to health services, discrimination of marginalized groups, and social vulnerability, were also in the U.S.  I also learned some of the strategies used by AIDS United that I will try to adopt in Bolivia, although the two environments are very different.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Partners Sport for Development Panel Selected for SXSW 2015!

Partners is excited to announce that we have been selected to speak at SXSW 2015! The panel, entitled “Sport for Development: Affecting Societal Change,” will be presented as part of the South by Southwest Sports (SXSW Sports) Conference, held in Austin, TX March 13 – 15.

This panel will focus on Sport for Development as a new frontier of Sports Marketing, and the power of sport to achieve business objectives and societal good simultaneously.

This panel boasts a prestigious lineup of panelists including:
  • Paul Teeple – Director of Sport for Development, Partners of the Americas
  • Joey Cheek – U.S. Olympian and three-time Olympic Medalist
  • Matthew Geschke – Director, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA
  • Dave Mingey – President & Founding Partner, GlideSlope

See the SXSW Sports website for more details on our panel, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates as we get closer to the conference.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Haiti: 5 Years After the Earthquake

By: Andi Sullivan, Senior Program Officer, Agriculture and Food Security

This week, Partners of the Americas joins people around the world in remembering the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010. As we commemorate the horrific event, we also hope to offer readers some insight into the current situation in Haiti. 

Partners' Farmer-to-Farmer Program was very active in Haiti in 2010 and we had a number of volunteers in-country during the tragedy, all of whom thankfully survived the earthquake. Although Partners is not a relief organization, we did what we could to help - sending trauma counselors, using donations to help supply medicines, mobilizing farmers to provide food for the needy, arranging housing for people near hospitals, and more. Today, 5 years later, there is cause to be hopeful but we also want to recognize that Haiti is still facing many challenges. We asked Yves-Laurent Regis, the Deputy Director of our Haiti Nutrition Security Program, to share some observations about the state of Haiti and positive changes he has seen in the years since the earthquake. He shares his thoughts below: 

"Many brilliant and talented Haitians have fled the country since January 2010 and the number is increasing. The global response to the disaster on January 12 has provided support in key sectors like food security, water, sanitation and hygiene, health, shelter, education and protection. Additional efforts were deployed to respond to the cholera outbreak in October 2010 and hurricane Tomas in November 2010. International Medical Corps and others are responding to the needs in the Health and WASH sectors.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Impact of A Ganar: Q&A with Sport for Development Director Paul Teeple

A Ganar (Vencer in Brazil) is a youth workforce development program wrapped up in a soccer ball. By utilizing soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America, ages 16-24, find jobs, learn entrepreneurial skills, or re-enter the formal education system, A Ganar combats the serious problem of youth unemployment.

Here, Paul Teeple, Partners' Sport for Development Director, answers a few important questions about A Ganar and its innovative approach. Read on!

What are some of the top milestones in the life of A Ganar? 

A Ganar has served over 14,000 youth since it began in 2005. It has expanded from a three country pilot to establishing programs in 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The A Ganar curriculum was created and then adapted for use in 5 different languages. Of the youth who begin the program, approximately 69% of them complete all phases of the 7-9 trainings and over 75% of those graduates find jobs, go back to school or start a business within one year. A Ganar has been recognized as a best practice by USAID and the ILO, has won awards and has been presented in international conferences in London, Lima, Seoul, Beijing, Belo Horizonte, Mexico City, New York and Washington.

Over the past 10 years, the sport-for-development field has matured and is now taken much more seriously by development organizations, corporations and other donors.  Through the work of A Ganar, Partners has contributed to this, helping sport-based programs of all sizes learn lessons from A Ganar and find funding for their own initiatives.