April 17, 2002: Press Release: SANK starts new education-oriented NGO in Guatemala

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Guatemala: Peace Corps Guatemala: Peace Corps in Guatemala: April 17, 2002: Press Release: SANK starts new education-oriented NGO in Guatemala

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, April 18, 2002 - 5:31 pm: Edit Post

SANK starts new education-oriented NGO in Guatemala

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SANK starts new education-oriented NGO in Guatemala*

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SANK starts new education-oriented NGO in Guatemala

Three current PCVs -- Kelly Kirschner, Jason Pielemeier, and Shanda Ferguson -- working with local teachers and indigenous leaders in Guatemala have started a new education-oriented NGO. The PCVs have taken advantage of the local language for the name of their organization -- Sa Q'achool Nimla Kalebal (SANK) means Harmony for our Community in Maya Q'eqchi. SANK's main objective is to increase both formal and informal educational opportunities for the mostly illiterate, extremely poor indigenous population of Chisec.

The group's first priority has been to organize and provide scholarships for 64 local child-laborers. SANK also has plans to expand into other at-risk populations and, through a solicited AOL/Peace Corps Peace Pack grant explore the potential for Q'eqchi language educational films next year.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this initiative is the relationship being developed between SANK and another RPCV-initiated educational fund, Deep Roots, Inc. (J. Michael Graglia, Founder and Chair, Namibia '97-'99). Deep Roots, Inc. is a virtual scholarship foundation focused on providing secondary school scholarships for Namibian youth. The executive committee of Deep Roots has helped SANK with everything from tax-deductible donations to website construction. Both groups are interested in expanding and formalizing this collaboration in the near future.

Given the enormous and mostly unexplored potential for using the internet to both administer and fundraise for these types of PCV-initiated activities in the developing world, this collaboration is certainly worth looking into and supporting. For more information, to donate, or to join the Deep Roots and SANK teams visit Deep Roots, Inc. at www.deeproots.org and SANK at www.deeproots.org/sank. Be sure to check out the newest March 2002 newsletter.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Service; COS - Guatemala



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