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.

Share
Posted by Miguel Juanez On January - 7 - 2016 0 Comment

Arbor Health and FWOP have a goal of reducing homelessness and improving the quality of life among veterans one individual at a time. FWOP partner Arbor Health has recently been able to work with community programs and homeless outreaches to assist in the housing of veterans who are living on the streets.  Many of the veterans suffer from the effects of PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) and have never been in for treatment and have no worked with the Veterans Administration for various reasons.   In the last month alone they were able to provide a stable housing for 5 new veterans who the month before were living on the streets.

Jonathan Hiltz is the current Administrator, also a combat Disabled veteran who served in Iraq in 2005-2006 and has been in treatment for PTSD.  He has been able to get off a number of medications by utilizing the processes and counseling that Arbor Health uses to help with his own issues, but also to be able to help veterans who suffer with the same things.

Currently, by improving care and finances for veterans, some 20 veterans have gone home to their families.   Recently one veteran has taken a job for $22 per hour as a pipe fitter.  He will move out soon to his own apartment.  He is now setting up a hydroponics program at Arbor Hill.

On November 1, 2014, Kendall Brune and his team took over Arbor Health and began to rebuild a program for veterans who need assisted living care.  Arbor Health was a troubled facility where few people left.  Currently, by improving care and finances for veterans, some 20 have gone home to their families or into their own personal housing.  One vet was on some 22 psychoactive drugs was able to go on one PRN or as need psychoactive drug.   Recently one veteran has taken a job for $22 per hour as a pipe fiters he was living on the streets of Saint louis prior to coming to Arbor.  He will move out soon to his own apartment.  They are now setting up hydroponics program at Arbor Health.  Some 38 now live in the facility because of a gracious donation from Wellsfargo grant and partnership with The Mission Continues.

Recently the story below was written by a visitor to his facility after interviewing residents at Arbor Health.  Sam Plaster | sam.plaster@health.mo.gov | MC5 | 3418 Knipp Drive PO Box 570 | Jefferson City, MO 65102

Share
Posted by Miguel Juanez On January - 14 - 2015 0 Comment

Our friends at the University of North Texas, via Prof. Dr. Stan Ingman, have allowed us to post their forum schedule happening January 14 – 16, 2015 at the University of North Texas. Email us at fwop@fwop.org if you have any questions about the program and write “UNT International forum 2015” in the subject line.

Share