After what has been a 6-month operational pause for All Hands and Hearts, I have some great news to share with you today about our school rebuild program in Mexico. We have begun the staggered re-opening of our disaster relief programs, which means we can start counting down the days until we return to Oaxaca!
As I mentioned in my last update, we have identified two locations where we feel our team can make a really meaningful impact. We expect to send a Project Development Team in the next couple of weeks to wrap up the planning process. If all goes as planned, we hope to begin working in the first location this December!
Thank you for following our progress, and stay tuned for more updates!
Sep 23, 2020
"Phase One" is almost complete!
By Julieann Jones - Grants Associate
After what has been a 6-month operational pause for All Hands and Hearts, I have some great news to share with you about the work that has been going on “behind the scenes” in the Philippines. Though we could not engage our volunteers and a full team of staff during the pandemic on this program, we have been able to receive some incredible support from a small team of locally based AHAH staff and masons to continue construction at Dadda and Agani elementary schools.
This small team has faced a number of challenges along the way, including extreme shortages in materials, but they have continued with optimism and are still on track to finish both schools relatively close to our originally projected completion date. Now, the team is working with local community members to design a drainage solution for Dadda elementary because part of the school structure sits at the bottom of a small valley. We hope to complete both schools by the end of October. As the year comes to a close, our team will start identifying where we could begin a “Phase Two” of school rebuilds next year, returning even more kiddos back to safe spaces where they can learn and grow!
Thank you for following our progress - I look forward to updating you again soon!
Sep 9, 2020
We'll be back soon!
By Julieann Jones - Grants Associate
This past August marked three years since our work first began in Coastal Bend following Hurricane Harvey. What an incredible milestone, which you helped make possible!
We are VERY excited to provide you with an update, now just a week away from the official end of our operational pause. As our team worked through the summer months to map out what the reopening of our programs would ultimately look like, we knew our traditional volunteer model would need to be revisited. Not only were we considering things like the structure of our base itself and how we could alter the layout to encourage safe disatancing, we also felt we needed to identify a way to minimize risks for our staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries over extended periods of time. In order to address this concern, our team came up with a new volunteer recruitment and engagement strategy called DM12.
DM12 is a 12-week service commitment to communities impacted by natural disasters. The group structure, with participants arriving/departing program and working on the same 12-week schedule, reduces potential exposure points to COVID-19. This initiative will replace our regular volunteer application and acceptance process until we are safely and effectively able to mobilize and engage volunteers on an individual basis.
A small group of staff have been in Texas for the past month working on base adaptations and making preparations for incoming volunteers. With assessments already underway, I am excited to report that we are officially accepting volunteer applications for the Texas DM12 initiative and we are on track to begin working again this October.
I look forward to updating you again soon. Thank you!