Posted by Miguel Juanez On May - 27 - 2016 0 Comment

UNTFWOP CHAPTER: 2015-2016 ACADEMIC YEAR

SUMMARY OF MAJOR PROGRAMS AND PROGRESS

Solar Initiative

UNTFWOP in Denton took the lead to kick off the solar initiative in partnership with Ivory Coast FWOP Chapter. They raised funds to send the first twenty lamps to be sent to Ivory Coast.  There are two major locations initially: poor neighborhoods in Abidjan and a village in western rural mountains of Ivory Coast.

The President of Ivory Coast FWOP Chapter,  Apatio Marie-France Coulibaly, will visit Ivory Coast in June and take solar cell phone charger to Abidjan and explore how the market with respond to the more advanced model.  In April at the summit, a plan emerged to send 400 solar cell phone chargers to Ivory Coast in next 6 months.

In the village in western Ivory Coast there is an issue of water quality, so a new chlorination machine powered by a car battery will be introduced and evaluated.  Solar lamps with cell phone and tablet charging docks will also be introduced and evaluated on how they can be best incorporated into the community.

The solar lamps have begun to replace the use of kerosene lamps, and have improved the lives of people living in the Ivory Coast in many ways. There is now increased safety for women walking at night, less risk of health problems from breathing in kerosene fumes, a decreased risk of house fires, and reduced monthly spending for owners of solar lights due to the fact that they no longer need to purchase kerosene.

Sustainability and Poverty Reduction Pre-summit

UNTFWOP partnered with Masters in International Sustainable Tourism (MIST) Graduate students to host an international conference at UNT, April 21st to 23rd. The planning committee used the registration fees and outside support to fund the solar initiative. College of Public Affairs and Community Services and International Studies Program donated $400 to cover food and space rental.  Some $2000 was raised to support the solar initiative. Hillwood Communities, a Perot Company, at the Harvest Property south of Denton provided lunch to attendees on April 22nd.

Visitors and presenters representing Ohio, Virginia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Costa Rica, Mexico, Indonesia, and India participated in Summit.

Initial plans for the International Summit in Costa Rica at the CATIE (http://www.catie.ac.cr/en/)   in 2017 were made.

Creating Partnership With MIST Graduate Students

The Sustainable Tourism graduate students spend their first year at UNT and second year at CATIE in Costa Rica.  Graduate students, after watching the UNTFWOP chapter operation, decided to support the undergraduate chapter and not create their own chapter of FWOP.  With MIST graduate students strong fund raising ability, this should help us in 2016-17.  In September we will meet the new MIST Graduate Students and attempt to forge a stronger partnership.

Fund Raising Innovation

During almost every week of the 2015-2016 academic year, the UNTFWOP chapter gave away popcorn to UNT students, faculty, and staff, while asking for donations for their projects and educating passersby about the mission and projects of the organization. These events on the Library Mall at UNT was a major success and innovation, thanks to UNTFWOP officer Jonathan Roosa.  Besides being a wonderful system to raise funds, it did two additional things. First, it was a great way to recruit new members. Second, it was a solid way to educate students on campus and expand awareness about FWOP chapter activities in USA and abroad.

UNTFWOP is planning on continuing this in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Clean Stove Initiative

In the barrio Tepehua in the city of Chapala, Mexico, many households are burning wood to cook on open fires in their homes.  Respiratory diseases is one result, as well as an increased risk of house fire.     UNTFWOP, working with Corazon de la Tierra in Mexico, decided to fund one or more clean stoves to improve the health of local family members. Based upon local fund raising, we plan to fund the first stove this summer.

Rekindling the Garden Project

With support from Home Depot this year, the chapter has launched a community garden at the Renaissance Courts Apartments, a low income housing project in southeast Denton.  Three raised beds were built and some plants were initially installed in spring of 2015, and replanting occurred in fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.  After some struggle, some residents are beginning to take ownership of the garden and take care of it on their own.

We also attempted to assist Bettye Myers Middle School (where UNTFWOP has previously established the GOALS program) to create a community garden at the school.  A teacher from the school was able to make a presentation at the conference.  We have some hope we can kick off the garden in the fall.

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On January - 11 - 2015 0 Comment

Recently a team, Kathy Langley, Nichola Driver, Iftekhar Amin and Stan Ingman traveled to Guadalajara Mexico. With partners in Mexico, some significant poverty reduction programs were visited. In additions, we visited educational efforts that show students how sustainability planning can promote poverty reduction and some future plans emerged on the trip for future partnerships.

Our team visited CUM ( www.colegiounionmexico.com ) a K to 12 school in northwest Guadalajara. Families who send their children have incomes that range from $1000 to 2000 per month and pay under $180 per month for their children to attend CUM. We conducted a focus group with the parents to explore how they could develop their neighborhoods to support more sustainable living (socially, economically and environmentally). We made plans for a second community survey on needs and planning; the new survey will be sent out in 2015. Below was performance on October 31, 2014 for Day of the Dead on November 1st. All memorials for the Day of the Dead were done with recycled materials.

performance at campus!

performance at campus!

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On October - 31 - 2014 0 Comment

POVERTY, CORRUPTION AND SUSTAINABILITY: EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY

By Stan Ingman, PhD.

Introduction

When we review the challenges we all face around the globe, we can identify at least three major issues to be addressed in the 21st Century: Poverty, Corruption and Sustainability. Some call for retreat into “gated” neighborhoods or national borders. With our dependence on energy and consumption of products to live from around the world, total isolation or independence is not likely to be a functional strategy for survival. It seems clear that few borders function very well. Witness how porous the USA/ Mexico, or the Africa/ Europe borders are to prevent immigration. Gated communities in Mexico and USA may reduce kidnapping and violent attacks of the elites, but elites do not like to avoid contact with the rest of the world and it is not a possible solution for 90% of the population.

As we see locally some upper class families from Mexico, Africa, Asia, Middle East, Russia, China, Central America and South America are moving to USA or Europe to protect their families and themselves. To avoid China, Mexico or other nations, you can buy your way into USA for some $50,000. Cities like Dallas send officials to various cities of Mexico attempting to attract Mexican citizens to come north as an economic development strategy for Dallas. Attracting foreigners to St Louis is a strategy to build up their economy. Chinese nationals have used 85% of the 10,667 visas under the US program. (Shyong, 2014 )

This essay attempts to argue that there are few short term solutions to reducing this poverty and corruption, which in turn, would reduce terrorism, violence and difficult migration across national borders. Most indexes seem to indicate an increase in the side effects of poverty and corruption around the world. The World Fact Book published by the Central Intelligence Agency reports that terrorism has been increasing every year since 2001. (www.indexmundi.com) Huffington Post reports terrorism attacks have more than quadrupled since 2001.

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