The main objective of Peace Corps is to help or aid in the development process of the host country you are serving in. After my challenging three month integration period in which I formed in relationships in my American and Beninese community, developed both a girls and boys club, and attempted (still attempting) to learn the local language of Aklampa. I am at a point in my service in which I can start small and large projects in my village.
The three projects that I have decided to undertake are a Women's Day Event on March 8th which happen to be the International Day for Women, a community garden, and a World AIDS event at my local secondary school. The Women's Day event in March will be a great chance to speak directly to the women of the community who are unfortunately affected the most from the poverty, diseases, and the lack of pertinent information and resources. I will address four topics during the event: Health, Education, Environment, and Family Planning. A local health worker will speak about HIV/AIDS, Malaria, domestic violence, and malaria. The midwife who also works at the health center will address how to, as well as, when to use condoms, alternatives to sex, and the problems in the school system with teachers sexually harassing female students. It truly is a serious problem and not only in my community but in every school within Benin. Education, I decided I wanted the only other female teacher in Aklampa to talk about the importance of a girls education and the pertinence of going to university to be self-sufficient and financially independent. And lastly we will talk about the environment, like the importance of using latrines and not using the bush as your private toilet because it could possibly affect the cleanliness of your water. The man who I chose to present the environmental information runs a one man environmental NGO in my village and although he can be very flaky at times he is very motivated and has been a pleasure to work alongside with. This summer I will work with him to start the community garden in garden which I hope to help Aklampa become food security and self-sufficient. (We have to travel an hour for fruits and vegetables) The community garden honestly started out of self reason but I have soon come to find out people in my community are just as excited.
Well, wish me good luck on project planning and I hope to update you all on my success ( or not) of my new endeavors.