VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARDS
The AllPeopleBeHappy Volunteer Service Awards enables volunteers to do service projects in the developing world. These awards enable impassioned young people to give of their time and talents while expanding their understanding of people and communities living in poverty. This program was launched in early 2010 with 5 award winners. There were 9 award recipients in 2011, 11 in 2012, 17 in 2013, 22 in 2014, 25 in 2015, 16 in 2016, 15 in 2017, 14 in 2018, and 13 in 2019. The 13 AllPeopleBeHappy Volunteer Service Award recipients for Spring and Fall 2019 are shown below.
Leena Sabagh was awarded a $2500 Volunteer Service Award as a volunteer this summer with Advocates Abroad in Chios, Greece. As a legal field advocate, she will be providing legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees who are fleeing violence and persecution across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Her main duty will be to aid asylum seekers on preparing for their asylum interviews. For the interview preparation, she will be collecting information, evidence, documents and conducting interviews with the clients in order to establish a strong case for their asylum.
Sylvie Stoloff was awarded a $1000 Volunteer Service Award and will be spending a year in Mexico City volunteering with Ashoka. Harvard University is acting as her fiscal sponsor. Sylvie will be assisting with two major projects at Ashoka. The first involves helping to plan and direct Ashoka’s Leadership Academy Bootcamp for Emerging Innovators. Her second task is to assist with impact evaluations of the various projects supported by Ashoka, ultimately creating an Emerging Insights report that details current trends and best practices in the Latin American social entrepreneurship space.
Kailey Stutzky was awarded a $1000 Volunteer Service Award for her work with Building Bridges of Hope in the Dominican Republic. This is the 2nd Volunteer Service Award that Kailey has received. She is a registered nurse and has spent more than a year with Building Bridges of Hope and is currently their medical coordinator. Her work is varied, for example, Mondays consist of a children’s nutrition Program in El Llano. Tuesdays through Thursdays, they have mobile medical clinics on the mountain, where they have doctor consultations, a mobile pharmacy, and a children nutrition program. Days when she has extra time, she goes to visit the elderly who are homebound. She has also been working on fundraising for the construction of the permanent medical clinic in an area called Rosa La Piedra.
Caleb Davis is volunteering with Caminos de Agua for approximately 5 months in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. He was awarded a $1000 Volunteer Service Award. Caminos de Agua’s technology team focuses on developing healthy-water solutions that broadly fit into two categories: groundwater treatment and rainwater harvesting. The primary focus of the technology team in the upcoming months will be to continue the development of arsenic sorbent filtration devices using locally available, low-cost materials. Caleb’s primary responsibility will be to assist in the development of this product.
Maria McDonough is spending 6 months in Bocas Town, Bocas Del Toro, Panama volunteering with Lacrosse the Nations! She was awarded a $1000 Volunteer Service Award grant. This new organization utilizes the sport as a conduit for grassroots development, helping to change the lives of youths via camps, afterschool programs, in-school PE classes, etc. As a long-term volunteer for a this newly piloted program (their flagship location is Nicaragua), Maria will be responsible for wearing many hats under the label of Program Director. Part of her days will be spent planning and coaching youth lacrosse programs and developing Life Skills Curriculum. The other part will be filled with assisting with fundraising, marketing, doing community outreach, managing logistics for the volunteer groups, and taking charge of the measuring and evaluation processes.
Victoria Lichtman is spending 6 weeks this summer in the Mbarara District, Western Uganda volunteering with The University of Michigan Global Interprofessional Experience in Uganda (GIEU). She received a $1000 Volunteer Service Award grant. GIEU is part of a project that connects American social work, nursing, and medical students in civic community projects in rural southwestern Uganda for six weeks. Students are placed in three or four rural Ugandan communities and participate in additional training on leadership and management at the regional Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). The aim of the project is two-fold: serve as a rotation for Ugandan health professional and to promote improved health outcomes and treatment-seeking behavior for individuals and families in the rural and remote areas of Uganda. Victoria is the only social work student selected for this project and will be joining a cohort of seven U-M nursing students and three U-M faculty members (from the School of Nursing and the School of Social Work). After her time in Uganda, she will be expected to report on her findings on current and developing community health interventions in the village communities where she was placed and on the role of social work in Uganda as a discipline and a professional practice.
MANNA PROJECT INTERNATIONAL
This Spring 3 volunteers with Manna Project International in the Los Chillos Valley, Ecuador were each awarded $1000 Volunteer Service Awards. Kelly Teshima-McCormick and Gaby Hochu each were also awarded 2018 Volunteer Service Awards and have been in Ecuador since July 2018, planning to return to the US in August 2019. Kate Clendenen has been volunteering since January 2019 and will also be returning home in August. As Program Directors they help run the day-to-day operations. For example, teach English to both children and adults, run libraries, teach nutrition and cooking classes. They also work in partnership with a local shelter for adolescent mothers who are victims of sexual abuse. Program Directors are given a degree of autonomy which enables them to propose and design programs with match their interests and skills. Finally, each of the Program Directors are responsible for evaluating and tracking metrics or each of the programs they are involved with.
Fall 2019 Volunteer Service Award Recipient
Beginning in January 2020, Miriam McCulloch will be volunteering with Green Empowerment and Practical Action Bolivia for one year as an Engineer/Project Manager. As a “seasoned” engineer & manager she will be working with the younger engineering staff listening and asking questions with the goal of providing project management support and mentorship. She will be working on solar powered water pumping projects for llama and alpaca farms in the municipality of Santiago de Machaca. Many communities in the Bolivian Highland depend on llamas and alpacas as their main food source and income. Extreme drought has contributed to a high mortality rate for the llamas and alpacas (50% of yearlings). The solar pumping projects provide water to the farms, homes, communities and schools while preserving traditional livelihoods. In addition, she will also be working with local engineers on small-scale community-based water delivery systems in the Amazon basin near Rurrenabaque.
Fall 2019 Volunteer Service Award Recipient
Megan McLaughlin is volunteering for 5 months in 2020 with Somos Hermanos in Guatemala. The Somos Hermanos Immersion Program seeks to increase the number of bilingual, culturally competent health care professionals in the US and Canada. As a participant of the program, Megan will first spend three months in Guatemala focusing primarily on improving her medical Spanish. She will work one-on-one with a Spanish instructor each morning and spend every afternoon either practicing Spanish through discussions about Latin American culture or helping design and lead outreach programs. These programs would focus on bridging the education gap found in the rural outskirts of Quetzaltenango. During the last two months of the program, she will use her enhanced medical Spanish skills to volunteer regularly with one or two local health care nonprofits of her choosing.