Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawai'i

                 Connecting RPCVs living in Hawai'i

Previous Aloha Grant Recipients

2018 Aloha Grant Recipient

Kamaka Dias (PCV Madagascar)

Computer Lab Project

Peace Corps Volunteer, Kamaka Dias, has worked in Madagascar since 2017.  He applied for and received a $1000 Aloha Grant in January 2018.  His grant helped to fund his computer project. He has been able to buy eleven (11) computers: one (1)  for my middle school, one (1)  for my high school,one (1) for the local radio station, and the eight (8) for his computer lab. Kamaka had extra money to buy a printer, materials to paint a world map, and headphones for each computer.  Kamaka is thankful to his RPCVHI Ohana for helping him with his computer project.

2016 Aloha Grant Recipient 

Anna M. Alden

Literacy Support (April 2016)

Peace Corps Response Volunteer, Anna M. Alden, worked in Guyana with the Step By Step Foundation School for students with autism. The Step By Step School is one of only two small schools in Guyana that provides services to students on the autism spectrum and with other pervasive development disabilities.  It is a registered charity in Guyana and is listed with Guyana’s National Commission on Disabilities.

The Aloha Grant was awarded to the Foundation in late April 2016.  The grant was allocated to provide literacy and organizational assistance to the 7 tutors currently teaching at the Step By Step School near Georgetown, Guyana.  All budgeted items were purchased in June 2016.  These items included a cassette player to enable students to listen to stories aligned with their programs of study and also for playing music for gross motor activities.  Grant monies were also spent on reams of paper, accordion files, and plastic drawers for the organization of teaching supplies.  Materials of all kinds are in very short supply at the school and this grant was gratefully received.



2015 Award 

Sandra Ng, Mongolia
Youth Leadership Camp (June 2015)

This Youth Leadership Camp will invite 48 Mongolian adolescents to participate in a three day camp intended to empower youth in the community to become leaders and role models. We hope this camp will teach youth that their voice and contribution is vital to the improvement of their communities. During camp, youth will develop leadership and life skills, such as communication, emotion management, and empathy, through art, sports, and various experiential learning activities. Camp activities are designed to improve youths' critical thinking, self-esteem, problem-solving skills, and create plans and goals for their future. By developing these various skills, youth will be more self-aware, learn how to create stronger positive connections with others, and be able to resist peer pressure to engage in risky behaviors. This camp is intended to be sustainable and serve as a real model of youth participation. Six Mongolian young adults will work alongside Peace Corps Volunteers as junior counselors. Counselors will learn different methods of positive interaction with youth and how to collaboratively develop student-centered lessons. They will also gain basic case management skills through their monitoring and evaluation of campers' progress. In addition, campers will be offered the opportunity to serve as counselors the next year. These youth will become peer mentors and practice the skills they learned to teach more youth. This way, camp can continue on without Peace Corps Volunteers in the future.

UPDATE!: Leadership Camp held on June 15-17, 2015


Go to Sandra Ng's blog for more information and photos from the Mongolia Youth Leadership Camp 2015

2013 Award

Will Jensen, Peru
Project to Improve Sanitation and Hygiene Program
UPDATE!: The full project request of $4,234 was raised!

The basic idea behind this project is to improve the overall sanitation practices and services for the small annex of Los Angeles located within the district were I am carrying out my service.  Recently, the district government has installed their first ever sewer system.  Even with such a great civil project being completed by the local government their still exists one major problem in that the majority of the residents of this annex will not construct new bathrooms that will be connected to the system for numerous months and/or years to come due to economic, social, and/or educational reasons.   These residents will continue to use their same sanitary practices that include various types of latrines (many of which are full to capacity) and just plain using the bathroom behind their houses in an open field.   Obviously, these sanitary practices are much less hygienic than using a real bathroom connected to a sewer system.   The goal of this project is to help families construct ½ bathrooms (sink & toilet) that will then be connected to the sewer system.   There will also be an educational component to the project that will educate people on hand washing/germs and the proper way to maintain and use their new bathrooms.

Financing for this project will come from three different sources; each family will pay 50% of their total bathroom cost and the other 50% of the costs will be covered through my grant and the local municipality.   The grant I have applied for is a donation based grant that has a total value of $3,100.   This equates to roughly 34 bathrooms.   The municipality has agreed to fund all of the families that sign up for this project once my grant money has been exhausted.  The official Peace Corps website is where you can make a donation.  Thanks for taking the time to read this and supporting the community of Los Angeles.

2010 Award

Lauren Biggs, Mali 
Primary School Desks

With this Primary School Refurbishing Project, the ten members of the community’s Comité de Gestion Scolaire will gain management and organizational skills while greatly improving the learning environment for the 180 children (70 girls, 110 boys) of the primary school. With 45 new desks and the repair of 25 old desks, the community school will finally have enough seats for all the students. The project objectives are to create a comfortable learning environment so that all students can receive a primary education and to increase the project design and management skills of the Comité de Gestion Scolaire. The community will contribute to the project by transporting the desks via donkey cart, by paying for the repair of 25 old desks, and by paying for one new teacher’s desk. The Partnership Program will contribute the funds for 45 new desks, 2 teacher’s desks, and three teacher’s chairs. With these new supplies and the repair of the already existing supplies, the students will make a huge step forward toward the learning environment they deserve. In addition, all community members will benefit from the improved school environment since the school building is used for numerous community meetings, especially women’s meetings, Association des Mères d’Elèves meetings, and Bambara literacy classes.

2009 Awards
Rachelle Hall, Guyana 
Where There is No Hospital

An Amerindian village located in the midst of jungles on the Guyana-Venezuela border, holds peoples who struggle in supply of a life that supports basic needs. The toll this takes on their health is seen through many ailments which include malnutrition, gastrointestinal illness, and a high prevalence of malaria. The local Health Hut seeks to improve the access of healthcare delivery to this community, where for some, is their only connection to receiving any type of medical treatment.

Objectives for the “Where There Is No Hospital” project will first focus on the structural integrity of the building, replacing window panes lost from a past earthquake, and constructing steps to lead up the hill to the entrance helping alleviate some of the clinic’s safety challenges.

Presently, the Health Hut is “a vacant shell of potential.” The second objective seeks to fill the facility with much needed furniture, supplies and materials. These resources will create an environment that is comfortable for patients and well-equipped for health workers, allowing staff to deliver medical care in a more efficient manner.

Although the village is strained financially, they are strong in spirit and will contribute their time in labor, along with community resources to ensure completion of the project’s goals. With the Partnership Program’s assistance, the Health Hut may go beyond grass-root initiatives, with a facility that will strengthen the delivery and implementation of healthcare for the community. Over a period of eight months, the Zinder Youth Photography Program will equip 7 boys and 7 girls, ages 14 to 15, with technical skills in photography. The project has four main objectives, which will be achieved through weekly two-hour sessions throughout the school year.
Marisa Wong, Niger
Youth Photography
To promote creativity, self-expression, and critical thinking, through weekly sessions consisting of photography and writing tutorials, interactive discussions, assignments, and critiques of their own work.
- To provide students with a journalistic voice and the means to ask questions and tell stories about their lives. Assignments will be focused on relevant issues, such as girls’ education, family planning, and religion, and will challenge students to explore the nature of their life choices. A final exhibition will provide opportunities for the students to communicate their thoughts and opinions to their own community.

- To empower students for the future. Students will learn basic marketing and business concepts, and engage in dialogue about future employment opportunities. They will conduct income-generating projects, thus instilling a sense of responsibility and self-sufficiency. They will acquire leadership skills by conducting simple workshops for their peers.

- To create opportunities for cross-cultural exchange between Niger and other parts of the world. Through exposure to photographic images and weekly discussions, students will learn about the world outside of Niger. In turn, the students will provide valuable commentary about Niger through a photo exchange with American students and a final exhibit which will be open to the public.

This project requests funds from the Partnership Program to support film development costs for the students’ assignments, as well as supplies for the weekly meetings. It also requests funds for the final exhibition, a ceremony which will be planned and organized by the students and will present their printed and enlarged work to the community.


2008 Awards

Kevin Kalhoefer, Cambodia
Basketball/Volleyball Courts

Our objective is to construct a basketball/volleyball court for the community of 30,000 in Cambodia. The court will be used by the high school’s volleyball, the local community residents, and a yet to be formed boys and girls basketball teams at the high school. The court will allow the high school volleyball team to conduct practice sessions on courts similar to the ones provincial high schools use. With the help of the high school sports teacher, I also plan to start intramural boys and girls basketball teams at the high school and, eventually, a school team that can compete with other high schools within and outside of this province. We will also try to organize a basketball tournament between the Peace Corps Volunteers who have basketball teams at their high schools. In addition, training will be provided to high school staff in coaching and refereeing to ensure community participation and the sustainability of the basketball team.

Basketball Pictures 005.jpg

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