Global Vision International Charitable Trust

Working with local grassroots charities and NGOs in 20 countries across the globe, the Global Vision International (GVI) Charitable Trust manages and fund-raises for numerous long-term programs. These further the works of of our local partners and aim to alleviate poverty, illiteracy, environmental degradation and climate change through: education; nutrition; conservation and capacity building. Our work focuses upon 3 key objectives, Awareness of global issues, Direct impact upon those issues on a local and global basis, and Empowerment of our alumni, be them our community members, staff, volunteers, fundraisers or donors, to continue impacting on key global issues independently
May 23, 2012

Postcard: Project Site Visit

Taking the bananas to the elephants
Taking the bananas to the elephants

Jacqueline Lee is an InTheField Traveler with GlobalGiving who is visiting our partners’ projects throughout Southeast Asia. Her “Postcard” from the visit in Thailand:

Hiking over hills and deep into the forest, we came across 3 adults and 1 baby elephant. I was able to spend a day with Global Vision International staff and volunteers getting to know the elephant herd they have sponsored and supported back into the elephants’ native habitat. This also includes the mahouts’ (elephant caretakers) return to their local villages.

My trip started with a project orientation including everything from safety, to risk, and even about the culture of Thailand and the local Karen group. The next morning we were off to the village of Huay Pakoot outside of Mae Chaem led by staff member and elephant-specialist, Kylie. On the way we stopped to pick up loads of bananas as treats for the elephants. These bananas serve as a way for new volunteers to get to know their specific elephant that they will be observing and documenting during their time in the village.

The elephants we got to know were Mana, Tong Dee, Boon Jon, and Song Kran along with their mahouts (the other member of the herd, Bpee Mai, was off to receive mahout command training which is a part of local tradition and culture). One of the mahouts had been caring for his elephant for 50 years. Getting to know the staff, I learned that one was an elephant specialist, helping collect the data on the elephant behaviors. Another staff and volunteer were in veterinary school, and the rest of the volunteers were passionate about animals and conservation. Staff are not only gathering data about elephant behavior from volunteers, they also are studying the various types of plants the elephants eat, what traditional plant medicines the elephants take in the forest, and how they relate to each other. This team hopes to provide new data and research on these Asian elephants never gathered before.

While there, the local community was so supportive providing homestays and a traditional “Dee Joo” welcoming ceremony. The community and mahouts drive the projects activities. Because of this project, not only were the health and well-being of the elephants supported, they were able to stop working in stressful and harmful tourism and street begging activities, return back to their forests, and the mahouts were able to return to their homes and still make an income for the family. GVI is creating an eco-tourism model to be replicated that shows villages and elephants do not have to be involved in harmful, invasive tourism, but can be integrative, collaborative, and mutually beneficial.

GVI is hoping to expand the number of elephants reintegrated back to the local habitat.

a mahout and his elephants
a mahout and his elephants
Feeding Mana her bananas
Feeding Mana her bananas

Links:

May 21, 2012

Phase 1 complete

The centre under construction
The centre under construction

In the last few years the aim of setting up a recycling centre in Punta Allen, a fishing village situated within the UNESCO Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, has become, little by little, a reality, achieved thanks to all the donors and volunteers (both local and foreigners). The recycling center started to be built in December 2011, as it was winter, it got dark around 5pm therefore, electric wires and lamps were purchased and installed to aid the labourers to continue working after daylight. The land was cleaned up and the workers started building the foundations, however, as it is a remote town, the transportation of the material increased the cost of the project slowing down the construction. After a lot of effort, the grounding and columns have been built, which will support the roof and walls (built out of plastic bottles).

This project also entitles daily collection of compost; the purchase of a hose to water the compost area greatly eased the job as it used to be carried in buckets a couple of hundred meters. Also 10 new containers were built to place around town as more people wanted to join the programme. Likewise, we had been using a tricycle donated by the municipality, however, due to the weight of the daily recycling the tires were damaged. Donations to this project helped us to purchase new tires specially designed to hold up to a ton so they can carry their waste and plastics around easily. As the tricycle now works much more efficiently larger quantities can be managed and staff are not injuring themselves while struggling with flat tires.

A lot of work and economic resources are still needed to complete the center and have it working at a 100%. The roof and walls are pending to be built; a fence to prevent strangers trespassing, lighting and a bathroom for the workers are part of the second stage of the construction, which aims to raise another 10,000 USD to complete construction and ensure its continued use by the local community, with the overall aim of reducing waste and pollution of the Bio-sphere Reserve in which they live. 

Links:

May 18, 2012

Training Local Teachers

An important objective of the projects in Laos is our ongoing partnership with the local community, particularly the education sector – schools, teachers, and students - with whom we work. We aim to provide local Lao English teachers with professional development opportunities to gain additional English skills and upskill with new teaching techniques and activities.  

In pursuit of this important project goal, our second training program for Lao teachers this month, is focusing on the effective use of text in English lessons, and were delighted with a strong turn-out of 12 teachers representing five of our partner schools. The two hour session was run out of school hours as an optional opportunity, so we were thrilled with the positive response of our enthusiastic participants. The session covered the selection of appropriate text, processes for both listening and reading-based lessons, activity suggestions, practice tasks, planning considerations, and rounded off with a pop quiz. Participants received a full complement of resources to support them in their post-training reflection. The training was conducted in English, the teachers’ second or even third language, and their commendable effort was recognised with certificates of accomplishment.    

Participants were asked to complete a Training Feedback Survey in order to assess the value and effectiveness of the training. 100% of participants liked the techniques/tips and most rated the training between 8 and 10/10.  Everyone stated they wish to do more training , and interestingly, all teachers found the training too short, and in response an all-day training is planned in the coming months to reach out further to our teaching partners, keen on improving their classroom skills, techniques and teaching methods. 

As a nation highly reliant on foreign aid, and with an education system struggling to modernise, burdened by inadequate funding and resources, our involvement offers opportunities for English tuition with native and fluent English speakers with a wide cross-section of students, thus enhancing their long term employment prospects in a country increasingly moving towards tourism and export as major economic drivers. Teachers receive low pay and have little or no access to professional development, hindered by both financial factors and a general lack of opportunity. We are pleased to offer this free service to the community, and are overwhelmed by the positive response of the participants, with comments such as “This course is brilliant” and “I am very proud to join”.  

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