In the Field

The following updates are live from GlobalGiving in the Field. Our staff members and volunteers are on site at projects you support – blogging and tweeting to bring you the most current news and feedback.

New Beginnings With A New Roof Over Their Heads

By Lucius Lee - In-the-Field Representative in Mexico, July 09, 2014 10:58 AM

Hard at Work Under the Sweltering Sun
Hard at Work Under the Sweltering Sun

The following is a postcard from Lucius and Sarah, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representatives in Mexico, about their experience volunteering with Un Techo Para Mi País 

6:00 A.M. - Half-asleep, our heads bumped vigorously against the car’s windows as we made our way through unpaved roads to Las Vias del Amor, loosely translated into The Pathways of Love. Do not let the name fool you, however. This is a community of tin shacks and stray dogs, located next to an abandoned railway track and a rubbish dump. More surprisingly, this shanty town lies just thirty minutes outside Mexico City.

Sarah and I walked along the dirt road towards the first shack, cautiously avoiding the muddy puddles that had formed from last night’s...

Lucius hammering in the final nails
Lucius hammering in the final nails
Sarah with her team in a completed house
Sarah with her team in a completed house

Tai-chi for pre-schoolers: A unique way of reducing violence

By Lucius Lee - In-the-Field Representative in Mexico, July 09, 2014 10:31 AM

The young pre-schoolers greeting us
The young pre-schoolers greeting us

The following is a postcard from Lucius and Sarah, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representatives in Mexico, about Fundación EDUCA Mexico's amazing ethics program for pre-schoolers. 

At 7:30AM in Ixtapaluca, a poor municipality just thirty minutes outside Mexico City by car, the groan of an empty stomach brings young children to the local pre-school. These children love coming to school because it is a safe haven and a welcome respite from the violence and poverty that plagues their society. 

Fundación EDUCA Mexico A.C runs a pilot program called “Universal Education for the Development of Ethics” in which young pre-schoolers begin their mornings with a session of tai chi. It was a rare sight to see...

Meditation Session
Meditation Session
Tai chi in the morning
Tai chi in the morning

GlobalGiving meets the stars of Maison de la Gare!

By Paige Creigh - Champion for Customer Bliss, April 30, 2014 06:04 PM

Some of the boys playing before class
Some of the boys playing before class

Paige is GlobalGiving's Champion for Customer Bliss in our office in Washington, DC. During a trip to Senegal, she had the chance to visit some of GlobalGiving's projects. Here is her postcard from the field. 

I had been in Senegal for 2 weeks and everywhere I went, not matter the size of the city, I met Talibe boys. It breaks your heart to see the kids begging, but even more so how natural it is to miss them. Talibe are part of the Senegalese scenery.

Upon my arrival in Saint Louis, Issa, the charismatic, superhero leader of this project, greeted me and led me to the beautiful haven that is Maison de la Gare. It was just around the time the boys start streaming in from the street, and the home was slowly filling with wrestling, cleaning, and giggling...

The boys learn how to use computers (and facebook)
The boys learn how to use computers (and facebook)
All kids love to pose for the camera!
All kids love to pose for the camera!
Issa shows me where the new building will be built
Issa shows me where the new building will be built
The afternoon drum circle!
The afternoon drum circle!

A GlobalGiving adventure in Kedougou!

By Paige Creigh - Champion for Customer Bliss, April 30, 2014 06:02 PM

Dondo in front of the chaperone
Dondo in front of the chaperone's rooms

Paige is GlobalGiving's Champion for Customer Bliss in our office in Washington, DC. During a trip to Senegal, she had the chance to visit some of GlobalGiving's projects. Here is her postcard from the field. 

After 15 hours in a sept-place from Dakar (7-passenger peugots that are a common form of transportation in Senegal and often carry goats and chickens along with their human passengers), and a blissful night’s sleep, I woke up to meet with Dondo. He is Neighbor Ape’s team member on the ground in Kedougou, Senegal. He is one of the co-founders of OBARAR, the village association working with Neighbor Ape.

Our first stop was the the new dormitory being built! I was lucky enough to have not only the company of Dondo, but also of one of his fellow...

Dondo let
Dondo let's me take a look at the dorm plans
Kids from the community at Primary School
Kids from the community at Primary School
Me visiting the kids staying in Kedougou!
Me visiting the kids staying in Kedougou!

An Oasis of Learning

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, April 25, 2014 03:02 PM

Hard at work on homework!
Hard at work on homework!

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Limitless Horizons Ixil

Walking into the Saber Sin Límites Community Library in Chajul, we are immediately greeted with hearty “buenos dias” by a giggling trio of kids clutching library cards. Behind them Marilu (one of the three librarians, all of whom are former scholarship recipients) is working with an older group of girls on a school project. All heads are bent together over the table as they carefully copy out a quote on morales (morals) unto a piece of yellow posterboard. The Chajul library isn’t just a place for children and students though, the whole community is able to take advantage...

Marilu helping with a presentation
Marilu helping with a presentation

Lion Power

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, April 29, 2014 10:43 AM

This postcard is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-the-Field Representative for Southern Africa. Chi will be traveling to the nine countries of Southern Africa, visiting and assisting our current partner organizations.

 

On Wednesday, April 16th, I had the privilege of visiting Global White Lion Protection Trust's several project site locations, a few being a primary school, a creche, and an orphanage. At the first school, we were able to witness a beautiful display of song, dance, and play from the children, demonstrating all that they have learned about the importance of conservation. They showed that we must respect the lives and habitats of the white lion and all of its friends in the kingdom, and they left nothing but smiles on every audience...

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Discipline & Integrity

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, April 21, 2014 11:54 AM

This postcard is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-the-Field Representative for Southern Africa. Chi is traveling to the nine countries of Southern Africa, visiting and assisting our partner organizations, for the first half of 2014.

On Tuesday, April 15th, I had the privilege of visiting Keep the Dream196 in Tzaneen, South Africa, and was pleasantly surprised to witness the immense amount of changes KTD strives to achieve in the community. KTD works with over 2000 kids every week in 65 different villages in Tzaneen. They work to instill physical, social, emotional, and spiritual confidence in the children, with the Children's Rights framework in mind. They strive to lead the children away from alcohol and drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, and other behaviors that may be...

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Fighting for the Unheard

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, April 21, 2014 11:52 AM

This report is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-the-Field Representative for Southern Africa. Chi will be traveling the nine countries of Southern Africa, visiting and assisting our current partner organizations, for the first half of 2014.

 

On Friday, April 11th, my colleague Moeko Shinohara and I had the pleasure of meeting Shayda and her Fundraising Manager to learn all about the ins and outs of Lawyers Against Abuse. We were pleasantly impressed with the way LvAgoes about their mission - with a highly educated and sentitive approach, we coudln't imagine clients of LvA receiving anything but the beset type of care, treatment, and attention. In addition to providing psychosocial support for their clients, they also mediate between all parties in the justice...

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Pitching Your Passion

By Chi Nguyen - In-The-Field Representative, April 21, 2014 11:51 AM

Pitching her passion for her future hair salon
Pitching her passion for her future hair salon

This postcard is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-The-Field Traveler for Southern Africa. Chi will be traveling to the nine countries of Southern Africa over a span of six months, visiting and assisting our current partner organizations.

On Friday, April 11th, I had the privilege of sitting in on one of One Global Economy's MEP (Mobile Entrepreneur Program) Workshops. Although James, OGE's MEP workshop facilitator, had given me the background on the purpose and impact of the workshops previously, I was completely unaware of the powerful and inspiring presentations and conversations that I would bear witness to that day.

The workshop started off with the participants breaking into smaller groups and brainstorming at least five "Challenges Entrepreneurs Face" with their five...

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Music to Our Ears

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, April 21, 2014 10:25 AM

This postcard is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-the-Field Traveler in Southern Africa. Chi will be traveling through the nine countries of Southern Africa for six months, visiting and assisting our current partner organizations.

On Thursday, April 3rd, my colleague Moeko Shinohara and I had the privilege of meeting Annerina Grobbelaar and visitng the project sites of Sound for Silence. It was such a pleasure to meet a project leader who is so wholeheartedly passionate about the work she does, so much so that you can talk about any topic in the world and she will always find a way to reconnect it to the hearing impaired community! Annerina gave us a tour of her well-kept office, the therapy table and Stokke Tripp-Trapp chair for their therapy sessions, and the clinic at...

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On Our Own

By Chi Nguyen - In-The-Field Representative, April 21, 2014 10:23 AM

An SHG in Action
An SHG in Action

This report is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-the-Field Traveler for Southern Africa. Chi will be traveling throughout the nine countries of Southern Africa for six months during the first half of 2014, visiting and assisting our current non-profit organization partners.

Fourteen women in knee-length skirts, white shirts, and blue throwovers gathered together in a rondavel in a homestead three hours outside of Durban, in rural South Africa. They pass a dish around the half-circle they have formed, each of them adding 2 Rand (the equivalent of $0.19 in US currency) to the pot and passing the dish on. Once they have all contributed their dues, they proceed with the meeting, going through the agenda and marking in their personal notebooks as well as the group...

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Light and Energy to Brighten Burma's Future

By Charissa Murphy - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 27, 2014 07:46 PM

The following is a postcard from Charissa Murphy, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Southeast Asia, about her recent visit to Solar Roots in Myanmar.

Lights. Energy. Heat. Hot water. Cooked food. Clean water. Critical thinking. Preventive maintenance. Knowledge sharing. Experimentation. Community advancement. Sustainability. These are just some of the resulting benefits of the trainings that Solar Roots provides to the communities within Burma, focusing on community sustainability.

Enthusiastic to learn, the 20 participants (monks, monastic teachers, and a few local residents) joined together for a 10 day training with Solar Roots on clay oven building and Photovoltaic solar panel training at a monastery in...

Strong Beginnings for Community Leaders of Burma

By Charissa Murphy - GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Rep in Southeast Asia, April 05, 2014 05:02 AM

Khine & Ma utilizing computers for research
Khine & Ma utilizing computers for research

The following is a postcard from Charissa Murphy, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Southeast Asia, about her recent visit to Thabyay Education Network in Myanmar.

Preparing future leaders of Burma, the Exam Preparation Outreach Program (EPOP) helps to get students of Burma ready to study at an international and university level. After spending some time visiting organizations throughout Burma such as Thabyay, the need for programs such as the EPOP is evident. The education system in the country focuses on memorization rather than on critical thinking and research. It is disheartening to pass schools and even homes where students are outside reciting over and over lines that they have to memorize for an upcoming exam. The deafening trance forced upon these...

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Johana

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 21, 2014 05:10 PM

Johana and Rosa talk with Juan Gabriel
Johana and Rosa talk with Juan Gabriel

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Partners for Surgery.

While no parent ever wants their child to have a birth defect, here in Guatemala what is easily remediable in the United States is potentially deadly. Most children born here in rural communities are delivered by midwives (some of whom have little training) far from hospitals. For the hundreds of children born with cleft lip and palate this means that they are at a much higher risk. Often born to families who have no understanding of the condition, they are unable to breastfeed and sometimes starve to death. By working with the local government and community leaders, Partner for Surgery is working every day to...

Johana and her grandmother
Johana and her grandmother
Johana
Johana's family says goodbye!

Be Well Before You Do Well

By Chi Nguyen - In-The-Field Representative, March 21, 2014 05:13 PM

Packing parcels of life
Packing parcels of life

This postcard is written by Chi Nguyen, our In-The-Field Representative who will be traveling to the nine countries of Southern Africa to meet and work with our partner organizations.

 

On Monday, March 17th, I was privileged to meet Linda van Oudheusden who gave me a grand tour of Missionvale Care Centre and all of its accomplishments thus far - and a grand tour it was! Missionvale Care Centre, 26 years and running, now has quite a few impressive achievements to tout, such as two health clinics on the grounds, an assembly hall for HIV/AIDS support groups as well as community events and recreational activities, a farming project, and a sizable food program for the local impoverished community, just to name a few.

Student volunteers from America were...

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The Family That Weaves Together...

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 21, 2014 05:15 PM

Angela working on a faja (belt)
Angela working on a faja (belt)

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to MayaWorks.

In the town of San Juan Comalapa (sometimes known here by its Mayan name “Chixot”) a group of Mayan women are using the skills they have known practically their whole lives to craft more opportunities for themselves and their children. Most of these women learned to weave and sew from a very young age, and without the opportunity to attend school and gain an education, have been trying to provide an income for their families by making and selling clothing like colorful fajas (belts) and huipiles (blouses) that are similar to the ones their grandmothers made decades ago. With the help of...

Angela
Angela's husband weaving a scarf
Angela, her oldest daughter, Teresa
Angela, her oldest daughter, Teresa

"We may be poor, but we work together"

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 21, 2014 05:15 PM

Greenhouses in Totonicapan
Greenhouses in Totonicapan

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Ecologic Development Fund.

Inside the vivero (plant nursery) in the hills of Totonicapan, Guatemala, Don Augustin gently lifts a young white pine from its tray to show me the healthy roots. He explains the importance of using the right soil depending on the type of tray, and using the right amount of organic fertilizer that he and his young relative Cesar make themselves. He waves his hands over the rows and rows of tiny seedlings describing each species (White Pine, Guatemalan Fir, Red Pine, Alder, just to name a few) and how he cares for them.

Don Augustin has been working with trees and seedlings for over twenty...

A young seedling
A young seedling
Don Augustin in the forest
Don Augustin in the forest

From Scrap to School

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 17, 2014 06:10 PM

The halls of Tecnico Chixot
The halls of Tecnico Chixot

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Long Way Home.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, “[n]owhere in Guatemala is there a system for the final disposal of solid waste. In the urban areas it is estimated that 47 % of the population has the benefit of solid waste collection. The rest of the people burn, bury, or toss out their trash. In rural areas only 4% of the population has the benefit of trash collection services. The waste that is collected, in both urban and rural areas, is deposited in dumps with no further treatment.” (http://www.paho.org/english/sha/prflgut.htm) The...

Students learning
Students learning
Snack break!
Snack break!

A Brighter Future Indeed

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 09, 2014 02:36 PM

Marisol (left), Byron (middle), Dona Ana (right)
Marisol (left), Byron (middle), Dona Ana (right)

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Integral Heart Foundation.

Like any proud mother, it doesn’t take more than a few minutes for the pictures of Doña Ana’s daughter (Yesica) to come out. Yesica is an only child (a rarity in Guatemala) and the apple of her mother’s eye. We see pictures of Yesica as a toddler, Yesica winning the school pageant, Yesica graduating primary school. Sitting there in Doña Ana’s house, on the couch next to the bed that she and Yesica share, it’s obvious that like all mothers Doña Ana would (and does) give everything so that Yesica can have a chance at a better future.

And yet it’s...

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Ramping Up in Life

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, March 09, 2014 02:44 PM

This report is written by GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Traveler, Chi Nguyen, who is traveling throughout the nine countries of Southern Africa to visit GlobalGiving's partner organizations.

 

On Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, I was able to visit Inspired2Become's multiple project sites with founder Chris van der Merwe. Chris and I2B have been successful in filling a gap within the surrounding communities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town by providing a space where children can be active and creative, a place where they can feel safe to express themselves through motion.

The government of South Africa has made the effort to build things such as skate parks and recreational sports areas for children to play in after school so that they may avoid the boredom that...

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Celebrating Carnaval in El Hato

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 09, 2014 02:48 PM

Girls celebrate carnaval with "pica-pica"
Girls celebrate carnaval with "pica-pica"

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Las Manos de Christine

On March 4th, 2014, the kids are having a particularly hard time concentrating on their work. It’s Carnaval, and here in Guatemala that means that later in the day they will get to hurl handfuls (and empty egg shells full) of confetti on each other. Before that though they have to make it through a few more hours of school.

Up in the town of El Hato, the public primary school bustles with activity during the week. Las Manos de Christine and the public school have been working together for several years now, originally only with English classes but now all types of collaboration is taking...

Alejandra helps girls check out books
Alejandra helps girls check out books
Coloring in a fish for classroom art
Coloring in a fish for classroom art

Creating Guatemala's Future

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, March 09, 2014 02:52 PM

Students line up in gym class
Students line up in gym class

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to Niños de Guatemala.

Over the last four years the community in Ciudad Vieja has undergone a change. This largely agricultural community used to not place much importance on education, and thought nothing about pulling their children out of school after a few years to help work in the fields. It didn’t help that in Guatemala even the public schools cost money (uniforms, school supplies, transportation) and most families can’t afford even that (according to the World Bank 75% of Guatemalans live under the poverty line and 58% below the extreme poverty line). Today 213 children attend the Nuestro Futuro primary school,...

Brushing their teeth after lunch
Brushing their teeth after lunch
Second graders in computer class
Second graders in computer class
Playing in gym class
Playing in gym class

The Drive for Excellence

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Representative, March 09, 2014 02:56 PM

This postcard was written by Chi Nguyen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative. Chi is traveling to and visiting GlobalGiving's partner organizations in the nine countries of Southern Africa.

On Wednesday, February 19th, 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting with Antonio Gambino, one of Open Doors Education Scholarship Foundation's beneficiaries. We met and conversed at Jameson Hall, with the beautiful scenery and ambiance of University of Cape Town (UCT)'s campus as our backdrop. Antonio's intelligence shines through his conversation, his drive for excellence is most apparent. He tells me that he chose his major because it was considered the most difficult at UCT. Hearing this strong statement coming from a child of Ocean View, an impoverished community...

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Music to My Ears

By Chi Nguyen - In-the-Field Repesentative, February 28, 2014 03:21 PM

This postcard is submitted by Chi Nguyen, our In-The-Field Representative who is traveling through Southern Africa.

On the morning of Wednesday, February 26th, 2014, I was able to visit Pokie and Derrick of Ntonga Music School. Although it was too early for the younger ones to arrive at Ntonga, I was able to witness Pokie giving a one-on-one bass lesson to an older student of his. When asked how he enjoyed Ntonga, a huge smile spread across the blossoming bass player's face and he said, "I love it. I come here every day, every single day, before work. It is my passion."

I watched as the two of them improvised a duet together, both of them rocking back and forth, lost in the music. What a wonderful way to start off the day indeed.

A New Library in Parramos

By Lydia Sorensen - GlobalGiving In-the-Field Representative, February 28, 2014 03:26 PM

The Technology Corner
The Technology Corner

The following is a postcard from Lydia Sorensen, GlobalGiving's In-the-Field Representative in Guatemala, about her recent visit to The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation.

In the community of Parramos, about a half hour outside the city of Antigua, Guatemala, sits a new library that any town would be proud to call their own. Completed just last week, it's already abuzz with children darting in and out as Hans and Marta (the librarians) teach word games and chess. Its yellow walls and cool tile floors shine as a beacon of hope in the middle of a dusty field that the community hopes will someday hold a school as well.

Back in a quiet corner next to a bookshelf holding the technology related books, are three new Apple computers. More and more Guatemalans are...

Learning the letters
Learning the letters
Word games
Word games
The Parramos library
The Parramos library

What is it?

GlobalGiving In The Field is a live update feed from our staff and volunteers visiting projects all over the world.

What you see on this page is a special combination of blog posts and live tweets via Twitter.

Interested in becoming an In-the-Field traveler? Learn more.

Where are they now?

Jacqueline Lee is visiting projects in Southeast Asia

Shonali Banerjee is visiting projects in Morocco, Spain, and France

Aliza Appelbaum is visiting projects in Morocco, Spain, and France

Charlene Chan is visiting projects in China

Mari Seto is visiting projects in China

Ellen Currin is visiting projects in Nepal

Shari Davis is visiting projects in Nepal

Spectra Asala is visiting projects in Southern Africa

Images From The Field