Posted by Miguel Juanez On February - 28 - 2017 0 Comment

Get ready for another opportunity to attend FWOP’s meeting of the minds at our summit in  Costa Rica at CATIE October 4th – 6th

If you’d like to present what your organization is doing to fight poverty, please email Dr. Stan Ingman here with details about your presentation. Drop us a note of your ideas. More detail coming soon on our FWOP Facebook

Arbor Health, St Louis

Arbor Health had a visit from the Priory of St. Louis Veterans Group, who prepared a holiday meal for the residents of Arbor Health. The Arbor Health Foundation, a non-profit, has moved its assets to new organization, entitled Arise Veteran Foundation, so that their work can expand to encompass the broader community of veterans

Recently, FWOP started working with Southwest Airlines to recycle leather seats.  This partnership has helped to create new employment options and craft projects for the residents of Arbor Health. Always Green Recycling based in St. Louis has stepped up to join FWOP to employ residents of Arbor Health (http://www.recyclingcenterstlouis.com/). Three veterans are being trained to be locksmiths (http://www.locksmithofstlouis.com/) and one resident now has a new position as a locksmith.

Zach (MA -Chicago Art Institute) is assisting veterans at Arbor Health to do art work and Yameng (UNT-MS in Applied Gerontology) is expanding menu options and assisting with management. Zach is helping veterans create various products from the used Southwest Airline leather.

In the picture to the right, Zach and his veteran clients at Arbor Health Fund held their first art exhibit.  The leaded and beveled windows that were donated (recycled glass) to the facility and turned into painted stain glass creations.

AWOWNOW, Ghana

AWOWNOW has a school for girls in northeast Ghana. The girls are producing many items such as shoes, bags, dresses, etc. to be sold sustainably in markets. To learn more about this initiative, visit www.awownow.org

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On September - 29 - 2016 0 Comment

Frisco, Texas —   FWOP Associate and RecruiterGreat job, Mr. Marsh! , John Marsh works at McDonald’s recruits FWOP affiliates and members in Texas and in our region. He recently received an Award for his outstanding work at McDonald’s in Frisco. Mr. Marsh is considered a role model for his focus on quality, service and cleanliness, the company noted in a news release. “John works the drive-thru and has a smile and a kind word for everyone.”

Great job! John, thank you for doing such an excellent service in representing FWOP and McDonald’s well. Keep it up!

Uganda FWOP

Some four years ago four solar lamps were overview-of-fwop-network-1distributed to four single mothers or grandmothers with children to open the door to Uganda. In 2014, Ishmaels Kabann Kahanaukye, founder of Uganda FWOP Chapter,  distributed 40 solar lamps in western Uganda  to senior citizens. Recently 400 solar lamps were distributed by FWOP Uganda. Picture below shows how difficult it was to visit the remote villages in western Uganda near the Rwanda and Tanzania border.

Here is the Presidentoverview-of-fwop-network-3 of Uganda FWOP (Ishmaels Kabann Kabanaukye) wearing a blue jacket. He was providing an explanation of how the lamps operate, how students can save money, energy, how they be able to do their homework, and how they do less harm to the planet by avoiding kerosene, a bio-carbon source of energy.

Jakarta , Indonesia

In Jakarta, XSProject, with support from the UNT FWOP affiliateoverview-of-fwop-network-4distributed  21 portable solar lamps to the middle and high school students living at the Cirendeu trash picker community. XSProject is  currently raising funds for a second order of 55 more solar lamps to distribute to the elementary school students. The students not only use their lamps for studying, but also for safety when they are walking home in the dark.  If you would like to donate to this project you can do so by clicking here

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 19 - 2016 0 Comment

Global warming has raised global sea level about 8 inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating. Rising seas dramatically increase the odds of damaging floods from storm surges. A Climate Central analysis finds the odds of “100-year” or worse floods occurring by 2030 are on track to double or more, over widespread areas of the U.S.

Across the country, nearly 5 million people live in 2.6 million homes at less than 4 feet above high tide — a level lower than the century flood line for most locations analyzed. And compounding this risk, scientists expect roughly 2 to 7 more feet of sea level rise this century — a lot depending upon how much more heat-trapping pollution humanity puts into the sky.

Miami and St. Petersburg, Florida, New York City, various Islands across the worlds oceans, Holland, Bangladesh and many other places are seriously considering what should be their strategies to adjust to rising seas. All the while, debates between scientists and climate deniers continues in the background [source].

On a personal note, in 1963, I was a volunteer (one month training in engineering with degrees in botany and rural sociology) with the International Voluntary Service. I entered in a partnership with USAID, Social Conservation Service and the Algerian Forestry Service.

The newly formed government challenged my team and I to stop the Sahara Desert from moving farther north, that is, stop the desertification of northern Algeria. As a 26 year old at the time, an optimist, I thought about the request and wondered what steps could be initiated to stop the desertification process from the base in Tlemcen, Algeria. We planted some 30 thousand trees with 3000 Algerian refugees from the civil war per year. Unfortunately, because of the military takeover of the government, the project lasted only 3 years.

Slowing down climate change by moving to a non-carbon economy would appear to be necessary. It does seem adjusting to forced relocation of coastal populations around the world will need to be addressed, regardless. Recently the Financial Times reported that in the last five years, renewable energy use has jumped 70%, a good shift away from fossil fuels. (August 14, 2016). Some good news, but fossil fuels still dominate the energy sector.

Let us focus on Louisiana and the struggles of the Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band.

Plenty International is working with Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band. As the Gulf of Mexico is rising, the water is slowly eroding the coastal land. See snapshot from Rebecca Ferris’s documentary “Can’t Stop the Water” below.

Sea Level Rising

They have also been involved in the BP oil disaster which happened in the waters where the Choctaw live and fish. They were also exposed to millions of gallons of high levels of toxic dispersants that were sprayed to sink the oil.

Plenty International has been working with this tribe since Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Rebecca Ferris’s documentary “Can’t Stop the Water”, a 30-minute film, does an excellent job telling the story of the Island Tribe and all that they are up against with the rising waters and exposure to hurricanes. The film can be purchased for $4.99 as a one-time rental or for $10.99 to buy as a download for continuous watching. Click here to visit the website for more information.

climatechange-post-3 climatechange-post-2 climatechange-post-4

Isle de Jean Charles is one Island that is sinking quickly and the people  on the island have been granted federal funding to move inland to higher ground.

Pointe-Aux-Chenes is on a peninsula experiencing flooding also and is stable at the moment but eventually will have to confront similar issues as the water continues to rise.

Two other locations to review the impact of climate change are the Chesapeake Bay, where islands have vanished due to rising sea levels and where other are being reduced in size. [Source]

The other location is the coast of Florida, where anti-climate change ideology is dominating the legislature in Florida. As a result, many Mayors of Florida’s coastal cities do not find much support for discussions on how the state can assist them. However, the shift from anti-climate change to climate change positions undertaken by costal Mayors indicates the seriousness of the matter.

All of this goes back to the title of the post. Are we experiencing an ecocide?

Jared Diamond (2005) in his book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail and Succeed, points to many reasons why societies decline and die historically, not all by “ecocide”. He writes about five major factors:

  1. climate change
  2. hostile neighbors
  3. collapse of friendly trade partners
  4. environmental damage
  5. society’s response to its environmental problems.

Climate change may or may not be slowed down.

Are the US and the world going to respond with wise choices and action? Or not?

Perhaps in some small way, the FWOP network can support Plenty International as it assists the Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw band on the Southern Louisiana Coast adjust to relocation and climate change. The time is now.

 

Stan Ingman, PhD. University of North Texas 

 

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On June - 19 - 2016 0 Comment

Updates from India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Uganda and Nicaragua

Our new affiliates and new FWOP Chapters are moving forward toward sustainability in many different ways.  ‘Creative interdependency’ may be a good moto for the link between FWOP and our network. Empowerment local initiative, Enterprise development, Education for youth, and Environmental clean-up and preservation  need to converge to promote sustainability  for children, widows, young women, trash pickers, elders, and the poorest among us.

Nasik, State of Maharashtra, India

A-WOW (www.awownow.org) is focused on girl and women empowerment in nine countries. Recently, the Founder and CEO  of AWOW, Carolyn Wright,  was in India opening up a store in Nasik to market quilts and other products produced by widows in rural areas of the State of Maharashtra.

 

AWOW also  conducts a Global Young Women Leader -Summit  for women 18 to 24 years old in Dallas on July  24th to August 4th.  One or more young women managing the store will attend.  Planning is moving forward to establish an on-line store to market the quilts as well as items from Mexico, Indonesia  and other locations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesia – Trash Pickers Create New Business Options and Schools for Their Children

XSProject.org ( http://xsproject-usa.org/  )  based in Denton and in Jakarta.   There are some 450,000 trash pickers living in communities in a city of 13 million.  In addition to creating schools, they are working on clean water projects to improve their family health.  Solar Lamps from FWOP solar initiative will arrive in Jakarta in May to see how they may assist children to study in the evening. 

Below is a statement of XSProject ‘s Mission, and a photo of the school they have established for the children .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 19 post4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above is photo of the water project XSProject has created by selling items created from trash.

Ivory Coast FWOP New Chapter on the Move!

Ms. Marie Coulibaly, President Ivory Coast FWOP, will soon travel home from Denton.  Her team received twenty solar lamps some months ago to establish a pilot project in the Capital of Ivory Coast , Abidjan and in a village in the western mountains of Ivory Coast .  Recently, they distributed four lamps in Abidjan to experiment and see how best to establish solar lamps enterprises.   Some NGOs have exploited people and trust in Abidjan is weak.  Marie’s team has a group of young women ready to move forward. The solar charger for cell phones may suit urban Abidjan better.   The four families who received lamps are becoming FWOP-solar lamp sales persons and promoters!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo of Family in Abidjan receiving a solar lamp from Ivory Coast FWOP team

Uganda FWOP

Some six months ago, the President of Uganda FWOP, Kabann Ishmaels distributed 40  lamps in western Uganda.  An affiliate of Uganda FWOP and FWOP, “ RUDEP” , in the Ntungamo District in western Uganda  supplied funds for  400 solar chargers to power up cell phones.  In April, these lamps will be handed out.

In 2012,  UNTFWOP students distributed solar lamps to four single mothers with children.

Single Mother in Uganda with five children  receiving a solar lamp in 2012

 

Nicaragua – Educational Center Goes Solar!   

Harvest Initiative  is a faith-based affiliate in Nicaragua focusing on education and community development.  Field personnel from HI provided design and installation services for Opportunity International’s upscale Pacaya Lodge and Spa.  The 20 kilowatt grid tied systems will provide energy for the 26 room eco lodge where students enrolled in sustainable tourism curriculum at the nearby Entrepreneurial High School will get hands-on experience in a working five star hotel.  Harvest Initiative is pleased to have been involved with this major effort in asset based community development. Long term, 10% of the profit from the lodge will be directed to sustain that Entrepreneurial School.

Recently their partner built an upscale Eco-Resort, 20 minutes from The Colonial Town of Granada .  Some 10% of the profits will benefit local projects that the Harvest Initiative support in education and in community development.

 

 

Education: The need for education in Nicaragua is overwhelming. 35% of all school age children are not in school. There are many reasons for this staggering reality.  To meet that need  Harvest  is dedicating a large amount of time and resources toward primary and secondary education.  The Christian schools founded and operated by their mission have grown from one school in 1999 with 15 children to three schools with a combined registration of 780 students.

Because the schools are located in very poor neighborhoods they are also centers of safety from violence and thus, the school is a place for the children to learn. Often the children come from very poor and even violent home situations.

At the San Benito school alone this year, two families with five of their students have had parents murdered,  leaving the children in the care of neighbors and grandparents.  In these critical situations the concerns of the staff at the school goes beyond education, and thus, the school attempts to provide food and medical assistance.

Community Development: Unemployment in Nicaragua is around 35%. This country abounds in resources but ignorance, greed, political division and lack of vision condemn a vast majority of Nicaraguan to subsistence living. In the cities this results in all the problems that drugs and gangs engender.

In the rural areas land disputes, alcoholism, and family strife bring misery to many. To address these realities,  Harvest undertakes community development projects to help communities organize to remove obstacles to the use of their own resources.  A community must become good stewards of what they have before they can wisely use help from outside.

One of the largest ongoing projects currently is the distribution of food under a program – Kids Against Hunger. Their team deliver 48,000 meals each month to 25 different ministries.  Local churches, schools, and feeding centers with Nicaraguan volunteers prepare and serve the food to an estimated 3200 of the neediest children and elderly.

Over the years they have completed 12 water projects benefiting over 3000 people in 10 communities.  Small business seed money is another development activity. This can be a loan of seeds and fertilizer to farmers or Valeria Lopez’s work in Managua with a ten member sewing cooperative. The cooperative pays decent wages to women, many of whom can no longer sew fast enough to meet the quotas demanded in the sweatshop factories that ring the capital.

Drawing on the strengths of their team, over the years they have worked also in bio-gas and wind energy, boat building, machinery importation.

Harvest is also working on the Atlantic Coast tribal area that covers to 19 communities along the Prinzapolka River Basin in Eastern Nicaragua . The area’s 22,000 inhabitants and  comprise Nicaragua’s poorest district.  The majority of the tribes-people live barely above a subsistence level.

Two special initiatives in the region need to be mentioned:  Cleft palate surgeries improving childrens lives! And Teaching computer skills for a better a life!

 

 

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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 - 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

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On December - 3 - 2015 0 Comment

Nigeria

Amanda Sunny, MPH,  Director, Exquisite Water, Inc. and Whitney Carr, Vice President of UNT FWOP Chapter and on the advisory board of Exquisite Water, Inc. recently returned from water testing in three villages in the State of Anambra, Nigeria. Two water treatment systems were also tested Rorus and Cascade Designs. They are going back to more testing in dry season and begin to implement an intervention in one village.  They have a fundraiser on crowdrise for their organization. Link to fundraiser: www.crowdrise.com/exquisitewater

Mexico – GuadalajaraColegio Union Mexico, affiliate of FWOP

In October twenty-eight students from Colegio Union Mexico (K- 12)  in Guadalajara arrived in Denton for a week at Camp Compass. Program included field trips in museums in Dallas and Fort Worth, a tour of zero net energy lab house at UNT, afternoon on organic dyeing of fabric, and an afternoon on recycling, waste water treatment, and methane gas for electricity at Denton Water-Recycling-Solid Waste complexes. Rotary and FWOP members had great dinner with these working class middle and high school students one evening while they were in town. We believe the students at CUM may start a solar cooperative at their school.

To see the visit to Bettye Myers Middle school in Denton, click here: www.realmyersfc.wix.com/titans#!cum-visit/c1syt They visited class rooms and attended the soccer practice of a special program designed to reduce dropout rates from schools in Denton ISD. The program is entitled GOAL, it mixes soccer with mentoring and community service.

Ivory Coastivory Coast and UNT FWOP Teams

UNT FWOP and Ivory Coast FWOP hosted its first benefit dinner to support the establishment of two  solar lamp cooperatives in Ivory Coast in December.  One location is in the western mountain village and another will be in Abidjan, the Capital.

 

St Louis, MOAnthem USA Empowering the HomelessArbor Health Management

Anthem USA took over some six months ago Arbor Health for  veterans with mental  health and addiction challenges.  On Veteran’s Day they decided to look for homeless veterans and by weeks end two new veterans were moved into Arbor Health and take off the streets of St Louis.

Mexico – TepheuaTepehua's OB/GYN ClinicOB/Gyn Mobile Clinic

The Tepehua Centro in Chapala (operated by retirees and volunteers from barrio and region) is completing the OB/GYN clinic at the Centro soon  and they have a new van for their OB/GYN mobile clinic program that goes to other poor barrio near Chapala around Lake Chapala  area, southeast of Guadalajara. (www.tepehua.org)

Costa Rica

UNT FWOP and FWOP leadership met with the Co-Directors of Sustainable Tourism (Dr. Dan Spears and Eliecer Vargas)  and the newly formed FWOP Graduate Student Chapter officers. We discussed their goals in Texas and in Costa Rica. We also began to explore if we may hold the 2017 Summit at university in Cartago, Costa Rica (Solutions for Environment and Development – CATIE – www.catie.ac.cr). We will keep you posted.

Ugandan FWOP MembersUganda

The newly formed Uganda FWOP chapter recently passed out some 40 solar lamps to senior citizens in western Uganda. FWOP will work with this Uganda FWOP Chapter and CHC Foundation Limited to establish a solar cooperative in the coming months. Ishmaels Kabanukye, Chair of  Uganda FWOP Chapter is initially strongly focused  on poverty among elders in Uganda .   In the 16th of October,  he was elected as Chairman of Uganda Association of Gerontology and Geriatric Association. See photo above. This will provide a good foundation for FWOP to expand its impact in Uganda.

More details on our partnerships on the next round!

-Miguel Juanez

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 20 - 2015 0 Comment

Exquisite Logo

ExquisiteWater, Inc. is a charitable public health consulting company dedicated to providing clean water to rural and underprivileged communities around the world with plans to eventually eliminate adverse health effects caused by waterborne diseases. ExquisiteWater has officially started their first pilot in Nigeria. Their director, Amanda Sunny left for Nigeria on July 5th until the 14th to attend the very successful annual Anambra State Association World Medical Mission and Health Summit 2015. While she was there, she presented their mission for the communities in Anambra State, Nigeria to the 250+ attendees and spoke to the state’s Commissioner of Health.

Ewater3

The medical mission consisted of a group of 50 volunteers (physicians, ophthalmologists, pharmacists, nurses, and general volunteers) who traveled to six rural villages in Anambra State, Nigeria (Agbaghana, Obosi, Ihembosi, Ozubelu, and Oba) with donated prescription eyeglasses and pharmaceutical care.

In each village, the team was able to serve at least 1,500 people with a six day total of at least 9,000 people seen; including some individuals whom have never seen a doctor before in their life.

In the midst of this preliminary trip with the medical mission and health summit presentation, they were able to learn how to manage the steps needed to secure operations within a village as well as the importance of good communication. Click article to read more. 

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 4 - 2015 0 Comment

1487784_392745900856552_956508666_oWe are extremely grateful and happy to welcome Helphen, India to our team of affiliates combating poverty and sharing the vision of a future without poverty.

Helphen India which was officially recognized as a Society under Societies Registration Act of 1860, India on 26 March, 2015 was actually incepted in January 2013 when a team of like-minded freshmen from Vellore Institute of Technology started contemplating the society of Vellore. Like most other semi-towns of Tamil Nadu, Vellore was home to poverty, unemployment, inadequate infrastructure and lack of education facilities.

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Posted by Miguel Juanez On August - 29 - 2014 0 Comment

An indirect route to build more sustainable communities through schools, is the thesis or question. Two of our partner schools in Guadalajara, Mexico are working to address this issue and build better communities. (www.SuBire.mx and www.colegiounionmexico.com ) One of those schools is SuBire, who in the last few years has demonstrated to parents and students how to create an “energy efficient” school–or by implication– energy efficient homes and businesses.

Solar panels atop subire

In 2013, they installed one hundred 250 watt solar panels, furthermore they installed another 100 panels in 2014 over the school’s parking lot. They estimate that 25% of the $5,000 monthly bill will be covered by solar power and that the system should be paid off in five years.

Solar panels atop school

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