Aside from the classroom or my involvement with Students for International Development (SID), my first exposure to international development came as a leader of young American volunteer teams in Beira, Mozambique, Africa. I helped lead Care For Life’s groups of college-aged volunteers as they worked in orphanages, helped locals build hut-schools for adult education, and helped build benches for a dirt-floor elementary school. The insights and cautions passed on by Professors Jan Van Orman and Dave Shuler and Ashley Tolman (International Study Programs coordinator) were invaluable to my experience. Their insights helped me maintain respect for the culture and stay focused on the broad social goals of Care For Life.
Almost 1.4 billion people in developing countries do not have access to clean water.
Some 3 billion live without basic sanitation or electricity.
Last summer, I was offered an internship with Family Gardens, Care For Life’s microcredit agricultural program. This program provides loans for impoverished farmers to help them plant gardens that will supplement their rice production. Many of the participating families had never grown vegetables before, so my goal was to document local gardening techniques that were most effective and create training materials and a program.