Not everyone wants to or has the freedom to pick up and go to a foreign country to start working for little to no pay. I have been lucky enough to find myself in such a situation and would like to share this with as many people as possible.After graduating with a BA in Human Services: Social Action/Social Change, I decided to put some of my ideas into practice. I moved back home, got a full-time job, and started saving almost every penny that I earned.

By the end of the summer, I will have saved enough to support me (very modestly) for three months in Mozambique. I leave September 3rd, 2008.I plan to return to the Community Center in Nhamatsane, where I worked for much of last year. This time, I bring with me new information, new lesson plans, and a new mission. In the nine months that I spent in Mozambique in 2006 and 2007, I tried many different ideas and made many mistakes. I have seen the things that work and the things that absolutely do not.

For these reasons, my goal this time around is to completely rethink the words "charity," "poverty," and "development." I feel that a project's capacity for changing lives is not merely determined by how much money it has (though that certainly is a factor!), but who it touches and how.

To be a part of something incredible, we do not have to write a check without ever knowing where it really goes nor do we have to pack our bags and get on a plane. If we all give what we can, I guarantee that we will see amazing results!

While I leave most of you behind in the United States, what I do is not a one person job. I sincerely hope that this will perpetually be a learning experience for all of us, which is why I ask that we share our knowledge, fresh perspectives, and resources with each other.

Enjoy the blog!


Friday, September 19, 2008

lesson plans

Ola! THis is my first lesson plan I made for my health class.

First, we do introductions. Everyone says their names, their ages, and where they want to see themselves and their community in five years. We'll write them down on a piece of paper and hang it up. Then, we'll play an ice-breaker game just to get things rolling and to set the tone of conversation over lecture.

I want my students to have an active role in the formation of what they are actually learning. To do this, I will need their input about what are the most serious problems in the community and how we can fix them. Each person will write what they feel are the three most serious problems and then we will choose 10. We will rate each one according to how many people they affect, how they affect them, and how we can resolve them (curative or preventitive measures, etc)

The most important thing I want to talk about is the role of the health worker, not as the keeper of secret information but as the person responsible for educating the community. We belive that health care is not only everyone's right but everyone's responsibility. We'll make a list of the qualities of a good health worker and circle which ones we think we have and which ones we will have to work on.

Next, we'll talk about our role in fixing these problems and how it ties into Community Action. We'll define communtiy action and discuss what it means to mobilize people, the difference between doing things FOR people and doing things WITH them. We'll finish off with some improvisational scenes of what a health worker should NOT do. And we'll pick up on Wednesday with our first lessons in First Aid.

AND my budget for the escolinha:

960 MtN ($30) to pay the post office box for a year so we can receive donations

1500 MtN ($50) to buy art supplies for all 25 art students for one month of classes.

500 MtN ($20) to feed all 84 of my pre-school students breakfast every morning for one month.

Sorry this was so brief, but I only have 12 minutes left. Please post this on my blog and facebook too. Thanks bunches!

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