What to do for Peshkopi’s Big Weekend?
A few weeks ago was the biggest weekend of the year in Peshkopi when we had an Agriculture fair, Cultural Festival, the inauguration of our University, and a visit from the prime minister himself, Shoku Sali. My sitemate Allison and I, we couldn’t let the opportunity go to waste to reach a lot of people by doing…. something at the festival.
One Reason why Peace Corps ain’t Easy
One trouble Peace Corps Volunteers have, in Albania at least, is finding meaningful work and willing local partners. Yes, we are placed within organizations and given counterparts within those organizations, but for a number of reasons, this hardly translates into volunteers being involved in meaningful work. In my experience, Ive had to actively meet people in every organization in town to find work and colleagues.
One example of success was meeting the local Save the Children youth group, who was very eager and willing to work with Allison and me. The pictures of the board with messages is the project Allison I completed with our young Save the Children colleagues (who are mostly kids from ages 12-18). The idea of soliciting opinions from the community with some sort of prompt such as health or environmental protection came from my experience with Design Connect during my time as a graduate student at Cornell University. Its nice to put something from my education to use in Albania 😀
What I liked about the project is that the kids from the group were engaging the people from their community on issues of eating healthy and protecting the environment. Allison and I just helped set up and organize the board and we let the kids do the talking.
Although saying “dont litter” is almost a cliche in America, in Albania it is a very serious, ubiquitous problem stemming from both a lack of infrastructure but also a lack of appreciation for the environment. When the local youth group addresses the public at a local festival and asks them not to litter and to use the trashcans, I cant help but feel it is making an impact, if only as a first step in the right direction.