Archive for September, 2009

Help Rural Village Build First Granary

September 14th, 2009 by admin

granary pcv

Elena Bussiere serves in the rural village of Ngan-Ha in Adamaoua Province where she’s an agro-forestry volunteer with the Peace Corps. She and a local Cameroonian Counterpart provide technical support for farmers and community groups as they plan and plant fruit orchards and gardens. The village requested a PCV to teach English, but didn’t get one, so Elena also teaches English one day a week in the village’s high school.

Following a broad needs assessment, for the last year she’s been
working with local leaders and organizations to plan, design and
construct Ngan-Ha’s first Community Granary. The granary is a very basic technology advance that will benefit many families throughout the Ngan-Ha area – where practically everyone is a farmer – and make farming more profitable. What’s more, any surplus profits from user fees will help address the village’s serious teacher shortage. Here’s a blog her parents have set up to provide some project background and detail: http://communitygranary.wordpress.com/

The project has been approved under the Peace Corps Partnership Program, a private non-profit organization, so we’re fundraising here in the states to support it. Our goal is to raise $9,753. The village contribution – in a country where per capita GDP is 3% of ours here in the US – is $5,161, plus land for the facility and any labor required to complete the project. Naturally, we’re networking like crazy and looking everywhere for support. All donations are tax-deductible and 100 percent of all donations go directly into the project. Between donations and pledges project partners have already raised over $3,000 after the first couple of weeks of fundraising. Not bad, but we’re not there yet.

Comité de Gestion pour le Développement de Ngan-Ha

If you want to support this project, you can donate here on-line:
https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=694-143
Or, if you prefer, you can make a check payable to Peace Corps
Partnership Program and send it to:

Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters
Peace Corps Partnership Program, OPSI
1111 20th Street NW
Washington DC 20526

Be sure to indicate Project Number 694-143 on the check so it will be applied to the correct project.

Any donation, no matter how small or large, is appreciated. We’d also love to hear any ideas you have for other fundraising strategies, or just how you’re doing. Please pass this along to anyone you think would want to help. If you have any questions, let us know.

Man heads to Africa with Peace Corps

September 10th, 2009 by bobebill

Man heads to Africa with Peace Corps

By Theron Brittain
The Herald-Zeitung (Taxas)
Published September 10, 2009

A New Braunfels man is packing his bags and heading halfway across the world to join a long-standing aid mission in Africa.

Carl Tepe, 25, departs next week for Cameroon, a small country in the African Congo rainforest, as a trainee with the Peace Corps. He will work in what he called “agri-forestry,” teaching farmers to cultivate agriculture in a jungle setting and instructing them in soil conservation.

“I was looking to use the skills I learned in college to help people out around the world,” said Tepe, who graduated with a geology degree from the University of Texas in 2006.

He has never been out of the country but was not daunted by the idea of traveling so far from home.

“I’m very excited about it,” he said. “From what I have heard about it, it is an ‘Africa in miniature’ so there will be a lot of different environments that I will be exposed to. The culture will be exciting to learn about, too.”

Cameroon has a wide range of geological features including forests, mountains, coastline, and savannahs. Compared with other African countries, it is relatively stable, both politically and culturally.

Tepe is considered a trainee for the first 11 weeks. Once in Cameroon, he will serve as a volunteer for a year, something his mother, Pat, is not looking forward to.

“My first reaction was shock,” she said. “I don’t think it would be so bad if it was only 9 months, but 27 months is a long time. But we are excited for him – he has really fought long and hard on this and it’s something he wants to do and we always want our children to do what their heart tells them to do.”

Tepe said the excitement of undertaking such a journey initially hooked him, but the chance to be a leader in teaching new skills to farmers cemented his decision.

“What is really appealing is that you get to control your projects and side projects,” he said. “The whole aspect of leadership and project management really appealed to me.”

Theron Brittain can be reached at (830) 625-9144 ext. 224 or by email at tbrittain(at)herald-zeitung.com