HAITI - After the devastating earthquake on Jan 12, 2010, we mobilized a team and went directly to Jacmel to assist in the efforts there. We quickly realized that clean water was the greatest need so raised money to provide water purification systems - supplying them to over 400 families within three weeks of the disaster.
While distributing these filters we also found two destroyed community schools and ended up rebuilding both of them - which made little Global Colors the first organization to rebuild a school in the entire country after the earthquake! Our school was built as a multi-purpose building - providing a facility for school during the day, a community center in the evening, and a shelter at night for families whose houses haven't been rebuilt in the area.
After we finished our water filter project and completed the first school, our project inspired a young man named Teddy Landis to raise money from his friends and family in NYC for an entire second school - which we completed shortly thereafter. THANK YOU EVERYONE!
Yes, Guerrilla Aid works, and yes, a small group of people really can accomplish big things.
LAOS - We’ve been working with Thanta Soyliasak (librarian) and the Luang Prabang Public Library on a literacy and school project for the past few years. This year we were able to provide thousands of books for rural schools, rebuild a public school’s entire dilapidated restroom facility, fully fund the book boat, provide school uniforms for four public schools, buy a new computer and several desks for the library, provide toiletry kits, fund new bookpacks, and even provided scholarships for two of our Laotian volunteers to go to college. It was a huge year for us in Laos - THANK YOU!
MEXICO - We love supporting local groups that have an idea to help their own community, and outside Chiapas, Mexico there is a local healers union called ODEMIS which specializes in traditional medicine. Alongside the President of ODEMIS, Juan Mendez, we created a local clinic to provide resources after a devastating flood destroyed many homes. It was a huge success, and the clinic is now self sustaining with medicine to treat muscle pain, arthritis, cysts, stomach pain, etc.
Juan is the kind of guy that can walk through a field or forest and tell you the name of every plant he sees and exactly what it can do for you. He can even cleans eyes with a special type of honey. The people he treats are incredibly happy with the help of his natural medicine. Again, this is a project that is providing support to a community based on what THEY want and need.
HUNTS POINT SPORTS/FAMILY PROJECT - Our focus for the past five years has been exclusively international, but this year we started to get our feet wet just a bit - learning about domestic issues in one of the worst neighborhoods in the country - Hunts Point, located in the Bronx. We are in the early stages of deciding where our resources will best be utilized, but have been fortunate to help with a few local projects that include providing brand new coats for 50 children, and helping with a project, alongside our buddy, Zan Rozen, to raise money for sporting equipment for all the public schools in the area. Stay tuned for 2011 updates, project details, and volunteer opportunities.
UGANDA - We were able to complete everything for our initial program with the Batwa Pygmies in southern Uganda. By the end, the Batwa were given goats, chickens, dresses, musical instruments, seeds, and beehives. We even purchased two acres of land that allowed over 100 Batwa to resettle on their own land.
We hope to start a new program with the Batwa in the near future, but until then, those we have worked with are eating better, are more secure, and have a much brighter future than before. This program could always use more help, so if you want to help Anthony directly, please contact him at Global Batwa Outreach.
CAMBODIA - We have a long relationship in Cambodia with Vichet Uon and Sao Sary Foundation. Through your donations this year we were able to create a new rice bank - a community structure that is exactly that - a rice BANK. During hard times, a villager can go to the rice bank for food for their family, with a promise to repay it when their rice crop comes in. This eliminates seeking loans from loan sharks, which often leads to acts of violent revenge on families, if they are unable to pay back the shark in the demanded time.
We also expanded our family program - creating gardens, buying livestock, building a mushroom farm, providing sewing machines, building bicycle repair shops, and many other income generating projects for families at risk. These were projects families requested help in building, that are now successful and self sustainable.
GHANA - Through the hard work of a group of high school students here in the states, we were able to help create a new school in Cape Coast, Ghana. This will serve hundreds of people in the region, and will be completed January 7th. More pictures of the finished project coming soon!
KENYA - We were fortunate to facilitate the building of a new borehole clean water well in the village of Ogongo near Kisumu, Kenya. This well will provide access to water to approximately 250 people living in the immediate vicinity, where residents currently walk 3km each day to a stream (when there is no drought) to fill jerry cans with water for everyday household use.
A well will dramatically and immediately improve quality of life of everyone in the village!