WATER CHARITY, in collaboration with the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION, announces the establishment of our
TRAINING & SUPPORT INITIATIVE (TSI)
“Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he eats forever.”
This aphorism sums up nicely why Training is a superior way to lend aid to those in need. While Water Charity will always engage in direct aid, disaster relief and supporting the aspirations of at risk communities to better themselves, we have found that more & more, the people want to be able to help themselves where possible. And it is possible. 🙂
The TSI started out with a a primary objective to empower Peace Corps, through its Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) around the world, to implement all water, sanitation, and public health projects that they determine are needed in the locations where they live and work by providing them with support, training, and funding. This underpinned most of Water Charitie’s efforts early on, and expanded after a few years to include Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) as well.
Now, we this inititiative has grown to help communities in need directly, and many of our training programs involve training community representatives, nurses, teachers, and concerned villagers with or without any PCV or RPCV involvement in such worthy activities as:
- Water Filter Construction
- Rainwater Catchment Construction
- Water Tank & Water Storage Fabrication
- Permaculture and Permagardening techniques
- Irrigation, Anti-desertification Efforts
- The Use Of New Technologies (Solar Lamps, Solar Pumps, Interlocking Stabilized Soil Bricks etc.)
Working with Peace Corps, on our own, or in tandem with other like minded NGO’s, the TSI is now a robust Initiative with many major programs underneath it. Thousands of people have been trained in new, and often life saving, skills… and this “ripple effect” has spread out to entire communities around the world. It is not even possible for us to document all the benefits that have accrued from empowering people in this way. A single person who learns to make water filters, and returns to their village with the tools and raw materials, can train many other people. In our experience, these seeds quickly sprout into viable businesses and the techniques and products become standard practices.
We taught the women running an orphanage in the Congo to make water filters from materials they had on hand, and they quickly began manufacturing them, selling clean water and filters to their neighbors, and raised enough money to be able to expand the orphanage in a matter of months. Now, the kids have money for new clothes, the food they are given is an order of magnitude better… and the proliferation of filters in the area put an end to a raging Cholera epidemic.
While a substatntial portion of the projects and programs we are doing under the TSI now are done with our own trainers or working with partner NGOs, we still consider the support of Peace Corps Volunteers to be a primary goal.
The major programmatic component of Water Charity’s assistance to Peace Corps Volunteers:
Many of WC’s projects involve supporting PCVs with their projects. But with this initiative, we decided to help them even more, by assisting them in designing their projects… and aiding them with training and advice from others who have done the same types of projects already. PCVs no longer have to reinvent the wheel.
We are moving from our current mode of providing support to PCVs when their project planning is well underway back to the point where we enter the planning at the conceptualization stage. This can add to the cost of the project, but it is able to create better projects, save time, and get better results. We are presently seeking major funding to support this initiative.
Face-to-Face training is of five types:
- In-country training for serving PCVs and Peace Corps staff upon invitatiion from the Country Director
- Training to NGOs and local governments in tandem with PCVs
- Training in the U.S. for Peace Corps nominees who are awaiting their deployment
- Training in the U.S. for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with relevant subject-matter competence to equip them to help Water Charity staff to conduct training (Train the Trainers)
- Training for RPCVs in the direct implementation of Water Charity projects
In addition to the personal training described above, three types of support are provided to PCVs and Peace Corps staff:
· Remote support by teleconference in the following areas:
o Technical areas of water, sanitation, and public health
o Securing and managing project funds
· A staffed help desk allows PCVs to quickly obtain technical information regarding evaluation of needs, appropriate technology, and resource sourcing. Subject matter experts and country-specific specialists (including RPCVs) provide support and mentoring.
· An open-source repository for self help is being developed to include:
o A database of needs in specific geographic areas
o A catalog of resources available to meet the needs
o A library of appropriate technologies
Over 10 years from our founding in 2008, Water Charity has done over 4,000 water & sanitation projects in 76 countries. This wealth of experience allows us to pass on the valuable lessons we have learned along the way, and impart skills and knowledge to PCVs, RPCVs, Community Organizations and other NGO’s that will save them a lot of time… and deliver them superior results.
TSI is breaking new ground in bringing RPCVs into the process to help serving PCVs. With over 7,000 PCVs in the world, all capable of doing water, sanitation, and public health projects, the opportunities are enormous. With a potential help force of over 215,000 RPCVs, the resources are gigantic.
NOTE: To see all the projects associated with our TSI, CLICK HERE. They can also be found by searching for the TSI taxonomy or clicking on the TSI hyperlink below.