Past Seed Grant Projects

Lisle began its Seed Grant program in 2005 (then called the Mini-Grant Program). Listed below are the projects which have been awarded grants within this program.

2012 Projects

2011 Projects

2010 Projects

2009 Projects

  • Crane Culture Theater for the project, Bridging Cultures for a Healthy Community
  • Aseema for Creating a Sahridaya workshops on communication skills using elements of traditional arts and Gandhian education ideals through spinning as a focus
  • Expanding Lives to improve cultural understanding by formal development of the host family orientation and through relationship building activities among all young people involved
  • To Sarvodaya Ashram for Strengthening social harmony through intercultural dialogue
  • Volunthai for Volunteers For Thailand
  • 2008 Projects

    2007 Projects

    2006 Projects

    2005 Project

    2013 Funded Grants

    Back to Grants In 2013 the Lisle board funded five unique projects. Below is a description of each of these projects.

    Empowering Palestinian Teenage Girls

    Empowering Palestinian Teenage Girls: Bethlehem area of the Palestinian Territories (West Bank). Mentored by Diane Brause, it is a wonderful program in which Diane participated in summer 2011. The program is a pilot project on the West Bank sponsored by the Holy Land Trust. The goal is to educate and inspire young Palestinian women to become leaders in their community and their country. It supports Christian and Muslim Palestinian's in a Nonlinear Leadership program working for a just peace and cooperative initiatives between the Israelis and Palestinians.

    After a short introductory training, the group will meet weekly and participate in an inspirational or educational offering by the Facilitator, the Guides/Mentors, and an invited local or international person or through videos, audio tapes or selected readings. This will be followed by small group discussion and reflection and one or more activities of a creative nature to "ground" the material. I know we all hope our "seed" money will allow this most worthy initiative to be a success, expand and influence this very difficult political stalemate.

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    Human rights education in secondary schools: Freetown, Sierra Leone

    The Human rights education in secondary schools in Sierra Leone is a school-based Human Rights educational project promoting psychosocial support, and peace building skills leading to non-violent methods of problem solving that adults and children can use within their families and communities. The project relates to pillar one of Sierra Leone's Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is promoting good governance, security, and peace and as well prioritizes and supports the building of national capacities for the prevention, management, and resolution of potentially violent threats.

    The project's goals are: To build an understanding about human rights issues and its importance among secondary school pupils (2) To learn non-violent methods of conflict resolution and how to promote peaceful co-existence and harmony among pupils in secondary schools. The project will identify schools and direct beneficiaries, develop handouts, pre & post tests for pupils, training of volunteers, class room teachings, and radio discussions, The focus population will be secondary schools pupils. The project will directly benefit 535 people - 500 Secondary school pupils, 10 Secondary school teachers, 20 university students, and 5 Volunteer staff

    The project relates to Lisle's mission in that it is an educational Project which aims to increase knowledge of human rights & democracy. Pupils will be educated on their rights and responsibilities and also encouraged to participate directly in human rights issues. It will help build a well informed community with greater tolerance for different ideas and greater respect for all life.

    The project also aims at mitigating conflicts/violence in secondary schools in Sierra Leone, increase students knowledge in human rights issues, and also build a well informed community that believes in the universality of human rights, instead of seeing it as a Western Idea. The project will help address the spate of violence amongst different School Cliques which target each other, sometimes resulting into serious stabbing, beating , stoning of rivals etc. The rivalry is so much that School Cliques use knives, blades, sticks, bottles etc to perpetrate violence in schools, and even during inter school competitions. The project intends to replace school Cliques with that of Human Rights clubs.

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    A reading programme for poor children through teacher workshops and Story telling sessions of different cultures

    V. R. Devika, a long time friend and student of Lisler Sharada Nayak (mentor), developed a program to utilize reading cards which were developed by the Chatnath Trust, a non profit. The Trust gathered the 100 Tamil stories and created the cards but did not have the funds to take this resource out into the community. Devika's plan is to train teachers in two Indian states: Tamil and Karnataka in the use of these reading cards, to take them back to their students and give them an alternative, multi-cultural look at their worlds and a new way of learning their reading skills. Devika's project will also translate the stories into Kannada for use in Karnataka. The Project will consist of 5 workshops for teachers in each of two states. 120 schools will be covered by the teacher trainings and could conceivably impact 12,000 students. This is a very optimistic, 1 year plan and Lisle offers seed money in great anticipation of a huge success.

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    Engage and Impact

    Since 2010, Atlantic Impact worked with over 600 students in Detroit and Chicago primarily through school outreach programs that educate students on local and global historical experiences through school events.

    The Lisle Global Seed Grant is launch a pilot program entitled Engage and Impact for 10 sophomore students in Detroit. The free program, open to students of all ethnic backgrounds, is structured over the course of the academic year. Students will meet weekly to learn about various topics in history surrounding the legacy of the slave trade, as connected to themselves, their communities, country, and the world. The program then continues into the summer with a 10 day summer trip to three cities in England where youth explore the impact of the slave trade internationally and see first-hand how this tragic event was a globally shared experience. Upon returning from their trip, students have officially completed the program. However, to further their Atlantic Impact participation benefits, there is an Alumni Leadership Network where students continue to be an active part of Atlantic Impact to continue to reap the benefits of the program.

    Another aspect of Engage and Impact is the school-wide programming the organization will provide. While it is important to work intensively with a small number of students providing them with an intimate educational experience, it is also important to provide educational outreach to students who will not have the opportunity to be involved in the pilot program. By providing these school-wide educational events in collaboration with museums, nonprofit organizations, and community leaders, the organization will involve even more students and community members in its mission.

    Given the project's key emphasis on experiential learning and intercultural exchange, Atlantic Impact strongly believes that our mission and project activities meet the desires of the Lisle Foundation. Experiential learning is an essential element our work. During the program year, both at home and abroad, students will have the opportunity to actively explore their communities and world. The purpose is to allow students to discover how interconnected the world is and truly understand the complexities of our global society.

    The project also places an important emphasis on intercultural exchange. In collaboration with officials from UNESCO and students of UNESCO associated schools, ample opportunities of intercultural exchange will be provided for participants through a pen pal exchange with students abroad.

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    Painting Murals in Sulawesi

    Have you ever wanted to go to Indonesia? And paint murals of endangered animals on the walls of a school? Oh, you never thought about it and you're not an artist? Well, we had not given it a lot of thinking time and we paint houses and boats instead of murals, but that didn't prevent us from saying "yes to the opportunity to try the artistic option.

    One of the funded seed grant proposals for 2012 was submitted by Marcy Summers, daughter of Jack and Judy Brown (for those who remember the Lisle programs of the 1950's.) Her plan to call attention to the plight of Indonesian animals by the use of art appealed to Mark and me both as a cause and as an adventure. We joined four others in Jakarta on November 8 and we all flew on to Sulawesi where we were greeted enthusiastically by Marcy and members of her Indonesian staff of the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation (AlTo). Mark worked with part of the team in the town of Teku/Toweer and Nancy painted with the rest of the group in Taima. What followed was a week of concentrated work to cover walls 12' x 24' with colorful, appealing turtles, birds, bats, other animals and plants. Will Forrester, an artist and muralist from Vashon I., WA, had mapped out the plans for the two murals and it was up to us to help him transfer them to the walls. At Mark's site, Sandy Noel was the artist in residence who guided the project to completion.

    AlTo, founded in 2006 by Marcy, has a mission to help protect the environment of the Tompotika area of NE Sulawesi. Educational awareness programs in the schools and land purchases and stewardship to promote conservation and habitat preservation are the current backbone of AlTo's activities.

    The role of the talented staff of AlTo as painters and brave cheerleaders should be noted here and the willingness of the townspeople to feed us, laugh at Will's jokes and admire our work all contributed to the success of our efforts, with similar happenings occurring at Mark's location. Marcy's note to us on arrival home was ""Thank you all for a wonderful trip. Speaking for myself, it was everything I hoped for and much more. Thank you all for making it that way. You have given a great gift." The real gift was the one we received as participants in this seed grant project.

    Nancy Pearson Kinney

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  • Youth Peace Corps

    The Board was very excited about the possibilities of a Youth Peace Corp in India as envisioned by long-time Lisler Hasmukh Patel. This program would be co-sponsored with The Ghandi Foundation - Lisle's roots with the Ghandi Foundation go back a long way. This project intends to create, among young volunteers in Ahmedabad, a Youth Peace Corp and provide them with Ghandhian philosophical, non violent training. They will work towards a sustainable organization that will grow and spread throughout India and re-introduce this vital country to the Ghandian principals they revere but are losing sight of. After an intensive training with considerable field level exposure, they will select a challenging grass root area where they can carry out field level activities in a sustainable manner in order to create a model of peaceful society. The Board felt that the basis concept was wonderful but the immediate program needed more development so the Grant has been set aside for review and awarding, if possible, at the May Board meeting.
  • 2012 Grant Projects

    In our eighth year of the grant program, 2012, Lisle chose to support four projects. The four proposals selected for funding are great examples of how the work of Lisle continues in the new era of Seed Fund Grants. These projects are described below.

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    Summer Reading Camps in Village Libraries in Burkina Faso

    Proposed by Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL)

    Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL) has held summer reading camps in many of the 13 rural villages in Burkina Faso and Ghana where FAVL has established a community library. The camps provide elementary school students with individual reading assistance and an opportunity to engage in lot of reading and writing activities, in a fun environment with games and activities. FAVL’s goal is to foster and enable a reading culture in these villages that are among the poorest in the world, with very low rates of literacy (less than 25% for adults). In school, teachers rely on rote learning and have classes that range from 65 to 90 pupils.

    Each summer camp has approximately 20 students, two student assistants who went to camp the previous summer, and four adult camp counselors. Counselors make use of a carefully selected stock of books common to each library, mostly by African authors focusing on themes relevant to village life. Counselors work one-on-one with students to help them improve their reading. Children are encouraged to read to their younger siblings, and prior camp goers are invited back to serve as counselors and act as reading mentors for their village. FAVL also provides breakfast, lunch, and a camp T-shirt.

    The camps involve children from different villages as well as people from outside Burkina Faso. They foster vibrant interaction within the community, within rural neighborhoods, and with outsiders as well. The camps are also the only organized activity for children in the summer and help prevent any backward slide between grades. Based on reading tests prior to and a few months after the summer camps, campers have shown significant gains in their reading abilities. Children create stories and plays during the camp, some of which FAVL will make into books that will be printed in small numbers and stocked in the libraries for the camps next year. These books will be in French and Dioula, the local language.

    Peace Corps volunteers and study abroad students from Santa Clara University's Reading West Africa program will participate in the camps and work afterwards to make the books. FAVL recently held a workshop for 10 Peace Corps volunteers in Burkina Faso, training them to participate in summer reading camps in July 2011. Two Santa Clara Unviersity students will participate in reading camps in Ghana in August 2011. The infusion of young people from the United States with their own summer camp experiences is invaluable for the African staff at FAVL who did not go to summer camps as children. The exchange between the children and the U.S. volunteers is also important, with the volunteers acting as emissaries from the world at large. In exchange, past volunteers say, they gained an understanding of what it is like to live in a poor African village and come away committed to working for change. With Lisle's funding, FAVL will be able to hold five one-week camps, changing the lives of 100 village children and their U.S. mentors.

    The project director is Michael Kevane and the mentor is Smita Patel.

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    Education for Rural Girls in Cambodia

    proposed by Friendship with Cambodia

    Cambodia is still suffering from three decades of violence, including a genocide (1975 - 1979) that targeted educated people. Today 45% of the children are malnourished and only 6% complete high school. Rural parents, who are subsistence farmers, cannot afford to keep their children to school. Three-quarters of the children who start school drop out between third and sixth grades.

    The greatest wish for children in Cambodia is to go to school. Our sponsorship program helps students who are doing well in school but face extreme hardships. Most do not have enough food to eat. These children have little hope for escaping poverty. Most of our sponsored students are girls because they are more disadvantaged.

    Statistics show that the most effective method for ending poverty is education of girls. Seven years ago we started sponsoring girls education, at 7th grade and above. Our students come from remote areas in eight provinces. Some are ethnic Khmer/Buddhist (96% of the population) and others are from ethnic minority groups including Kui and Por. Most of the ethnic minority students are the first in their village to go to university.

    Two schools in the US have sponsored students in Cambodia. These schools have Caucasian and Hispanic students who come from a variety of economic backgrounds. One out of three children in our county eats from an emergency food box each month. We are planning a teleconference, so the students can meet each other. Additionally, a group of university students from the US will be meeting our university students in Cambodia next year. We stay in touch with our university graduates.

    Our students have sponsors in the US who cover the cost of high school. Each year the students and their sponsors exchange letters and photos. Friendship with Cambodia leads educational trips to Cambodia. Trip participants meet with the sponsored students and have small group discussions.

    Our students are now graduating from 12th grade and all want to go to university. They want to help improve life for other Cambodians. Our university students include a nurse midwife, teachers, an environmental lawyer, IT majors, and NGO workers. The cost of university is $1500 per year compared to $360 for high school.  The Lisle grant will provide general support to this program.

    The project director is Bhavia Wagner and the Lisle Mentor is Dianne Brause.

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    Building Capacity in the second Lubuto Library, hosted by Ngwerere Basic School in Lusaka

    proposed by the Lubuto Library Project

    Lubuto Library Project brings together people from diverse backgrounds to work collectively to create opportunities for the most vulnerable. The approach is cooperative and democratic, and involves extensive engagement with local communities, at every stage of the process to ensure relevance and appropriateness. Program decisions are taken collectively, to reflect local needs. The programs offered by Lubuto Libraries enhance and preserve traditional cultures and stories and also provide an educational experience which creates a sense of self-worth among children, whilst improving literacy, communication skills, discover greater tolerance for different ideas, and gain greater respect for all life. Lubuto Libraries improve educational outcomes and thus contribute to poverty reduction.

    Lubuto Library Project is seeking funding for staff training at the second Lubuto Library in Lusaka, Zambia. Zambia-s Ministry of Education is committed to providing incentive pay for teachers to staff the library, and to receive in-service training by a long-term volunteer professional librarian/trainer, to be provided by VSO. Lubuto Library Project (LLP) has already worked with VSO to identify a qualified professional librarian/trainer who will lead this capacity building at the library. Although the position is voluntary, LLP is required to part-fund the costs associated with the position, and we are seeking funding from Lisle to help with these costs.

    The overall objective of the VSO volunteer is to improve the efficacy of the library, its systems and services and strengthen outreach and the library’s prominence in the community. To achieve this goal the VSO will train library staff to, 1) Manage library collection and services, 2) Develop and implement library programming, 3) Work with outreach staff to encourage street children and youth and other OVC to come to the library, with a particular goal of achieving gender equity in library use and program participation, and 4) Develop a library operational manual

    The focus population is children and youth ages 4 to 18 (primarily), especially targeting street children, orphans and other vulnerable and out-of-school children and youth. The library also serves large numbers of children who do attend government and community schools in the area. The Ngwerere Lubuto Library had over 7,000 visits in its first month, with outreach to street children resulting in high participation in the new library’s Lubuto Drama program. The library will reach many thousands of vulnerable children and youth in future. In addition the project aims to build local capacity of the library staff in library management and delivery of educational services.

    The project director is Jane Kinney Meyers and the Lisle mentor is Smita Patel.

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    Emergency Preparedness Youth Training for Villages in Meghalaya India

    proposed by The Unitarian Union of Northeast India Education Committee

    The Unitarian Union of Northeast India Education Committee runs schools as part of its social justice programme furthering the pioneering work of Babu Hajom Kissor Singh, the founder of Unitarianism in Khasi, Jaintia and Karbi Anglong. The Education Committee of the Unitarian Union of Northeast India is a standing committee to oversee the smooth functioning of all Unitarian schools in the region. It gives trainings and thereby increases self-knowledge of teachers and enhancing the quality teaching learning in the schools.

    As mentioned above giving training to teachers is the most important responsibility of the Education Committee. Meghalaya being the Earthquake prone areas and considering even the potentially frequent work-related mining accidents that occur in Meghalaya, it is the desire of the Education Committee to sensitize and prepare the teachers and the students in disaster management for the safety of the general public. It is also proposed to involve all sections of the society irrespective of cultures, religions and communities in youth training to enable the community to take responsibilities in the planning and carrying out the strategies for disaster management on joint and cooperative project of working together for the development of the community.

    The Committee proposes to conduct a Two Day Emergency Preparedness Youth Training for Villages in Meghalaya India. The project has three purposes, 1) to empower youth in Meghalaya to become powerful spokespersons for youth and community needs and interests, 2) to expand the work of the Mountain Children’s Forum (a grassroots Indian organization) from North India into Meghalaya, Northeast India to empower the future community leaders to take responsible roles in planning and carrying out strategies for community development, and, 3) to promote inter-tribal and cross-community sharing of ideas and planning strategies among youth from several districts of rural mountain India.

    The Project activities will consist of 1 day of youth instruction, 1 day of teacher/leader training, and 12 months of follow-up. It is proposed to have a focused group of 32 school children (2 boys + 2 girls from each of 4 city schools with different cultures and religion and communities studying in these schools; 3 boys + 3 girls from each of 2 rural schools), ages 12-17; 30 adult leaders (comprised of 15 young teachers from Khasi Hills, 10 from Jaintia Hills, 3 from Ri Bhoi districts and 2 from Karbi Anglong, Assam.

    It is also proposed that follow up activities will include their teachers reporting on their activities in the classes. It is also proposed to have an exchange programme with the MCF in Uttarakhand to learn more of the activities of the Mountain Childrens Forum and to enrich their experiences through visiting other ethnic groups.

    The project director is Cream Lemon Nongbri and the mentor is Mark Kinney.

    We will keep you informed of the progress of these funded projects. If you have any questions or want more detailed information about the organizations or their work, please contact Mark Kinney at

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    Empower the Children

    Empower the Children, provides educational opportunities and school lunch programs for slum-dwelling and disabled children in Kolkata, India. ETC has also an extensive network of volunteers and school children in other parts of the world, creating an ongoing exchange between these distant worlds.

    This project, entitled “In Our Global Village - Kolkata, India,” ETC will give the children in Kolkata, working with volunteers from abroad, the opportunity to document their lives and share their world with students in Scotland.

    During the past year, ETC has developed a cultural exchange program between seven of its Kolkata schools and seven schools in Perth/Kinross, Scotland. The goal of this partnership is to raise the consciousness of the students in Scotland and help them understand the living conditions of children in another part of the world and to provide the slum-dwelling and disabled children in India, whose lives are generally outside of mainstream society, an opportunity to increase their knowledge about the world around them and create a bond with the Scottish children.

    Over a three month period in the coming year, about 95 students in ETC's educational programs will be paired up with volunteers from abroad to create picture books documenting their worlds and lives. The books will include photos, drawings, and text, enabling the Kolkata students to directly “speak” to their Scottish friends about their everyday lives. It will also provide them an opportunity to look closely at their families and environment and become aware of things that might benefit from change (eg.: disposing of garbage properly rather than throwing it all over the streets). The students will be guided by a group of volunteers who will bring to Kolkata their expertise and enthusiasm. The volunteers will have the opportunity to work closely with the children, get to know them personally, meet their families and explore their environment. Their goals are to assist the students to document their community and learn as much as possible about the students' lives. Very rarely would 'outside individuals' have the opportunity to become part of these marginalized communities, which tend to view outsiders with suspicion. But their connection to the ETC schools will provide the volunteers acceptance within these communities.

    This will create a rich learning opportunity for all involved - the children in the slums as well as their families, the volunteers who work with them, and the children in Scotland who ultimately receive the books that are made, will all benefit from cultural and personal exchanges involved in this initiative.

    The Project Director is Rosalie Giffoniello who is a co-founder of ETC. She has been living in Calcutta, India for the past 10 years and administers educational and food programs for slum-dwelling and disabled children. The Lisle Mentor is Smita Patel.

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    The Mountain Children's Foundation

    The Mountain Children's Foundation (MCF) was one of the first recipients of a Lisle grant and continues to credit Lisle with giving it the boost that enabled it to prove the power of its child-focused model.

    Based in the mountain state of Uttarakhand in Northern India, the MCF empowers young people by providing a forum from which they can speak and be heard, harness the power of collective action, access resources, and bring about positive change in their communities. The MCF operates through an innovative and unique network of more than 30 partner organizations working with more than 12,000 young people in village-level children's groups in some 500 communities across the state of Uttarakhand. The children's accomplishments through the MCF, which include educating and mobilizing their communities around complex issues such as water resources management, disaster preparedness, and child rights and protection, community engagement and most recently India's Right to Information Act, have astounded their parents, village leaders, and even senior government officials.

    The current project, entitled Uttarakhand Workshop on the Juvinile Justice Act, will support an educational workshop for children from the remote mountain villages of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, located in the Himalayan foothills in North India. The 3-day workshop will take place in Dehradun, the state capital of Uttarakhand, with 42 children from all over the state participating. In this mountainous terrain, travel is difficult, and the young people rarely go far from their villages, let alone to another district, so visiting the state capital would be a special learning experience for them. Using games, field trips, interaction and other activities, the workshop is intended to help children discuss the important problems and issues in their lives vis-à-vis peace and security. It will also help them build leadership skills, learn more about the world, and acquire new ways of thinking and new tools to address the problems facing children in conflict with law or those that are in need of care and protection. The workshop will focus on the state's Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act and how it can help protect children from exploitation and abuse. But as always, the theme will be interlaced with discussions about leadership and citizenship, overcoming barriers between people, the rights (and responsibilities) of children, and how they can help drive the forces of change in their own communities.

    The project will seek to involve police officers and senior government officials and bring them together with the children to discuss the JJ act and issues of child safety and protection. This serves the dual purpose of making government, particularly the police, seem less intimidating and more accessible to the children while also carrying the children's voices and concerns to government officials. The outcomes of the workshop, including the children's discussions, will be shared with the Women and Child Department the Social Welfare Department and the Police Department, district-level authorities as well as with Lisle.

    The Project Director is Aditi Kaur who is the co-founder and president of The Mountain Children's Foundation and has been with the MCF since its inception in 2002. The Lisle Mentor is Smita Patel.

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    Nepal Charitable Foundation

    The Nepal Charitable Foundation is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) corporation primarily dedicated to investing in the future of Nepal through the promotion of education. Their main goal is the identification and support of promising poor, rural students. One area of focus is a small, remote village called Bigutar. It is a peasant village of about 400 persons situated in the mountains of East Nepal about a half-day's walk away from the district center of Okhaldhunga Bazaar (pop.2000). The Bigutar school includes grades 1-12 and consists of three buildings constructed by the villagers themselves. The buildings, which include eight classrooms were built with local timber, stones, mud and imported sheets of corrugated metal for the roofs. The windows are shuttered without glass and the floors are dirt. The school furniture consists of wooden benches and each classroom has a single light bulb powered by a small hydroelectric turbine. At present, there are about 350 students, some of whom live in villages up to two days walk away. About 40 students thus live in Bigutar as boarders.

    This project, entitled the Bigutar School Book Project, is to provide books for a library at the school. From an academic perspective, a primary problem has been that the students need to pass a national exam in order to graduate and the low graduation rate of about 25% has largely been due to their poor results in science and English. With a few exceptions, the only books available are small, paperback-like versions of perhaps fifty or so pages issued by the government. They are old-fashioned in nature, devoid of any photographs, charts or diagrams and consist largely of passages which are memorized. Although the school has many problems, just the availability of a variety of books, which might be inspiring, would help. It would be a small, but practical way to improve the school's quality and to help the students, particularly in English and science.

    Cross-cultural tensions have a very long and bitter history which until two years ago were being played out militarily. Nepal consists of a confederation of many different caste/tribal/ethnic groups and in the Bigutar area, five completely separate cultural/languages groups exist. The general feeling has been that it would be seen as preposterous (especially by the smarter students and some teachers) that outsiders could reconcile their ethnic differences. Thus, the establishment of a library is an attempt at a practical (neutral) and more fundamental way of approaching this problem

    In effect, there is a great need for an educational system which is flexible, well-rounded and based on an analytical (scientific) approach to solving problems rather than one which relies on historical precedent (tradition) and rote memory. So far, only Bigutar's best students, perhaps 5%, have been able to cross this threshold. Most of them have become teachers, medical personnel or involved in Nepal's tourist sector. A basic premise here has been that it is these students who not only develop an interest in many of the ideals the Lisle foundation stands for, such as a sense of intercultural awareness, community building and a greater tolerance for different ideas, but they have the potential and confidence to actively support them.

    Over time, this project has four goals: first, to buy and transport the proposed books to Bigutar; second, to improve the students' achievement and graduation rate; third, to provide an academic context which will enable the students to solve problems within an open and more analytical framework and fourth, to encourage an environment which will foster the development of many of the ideals the Lisle foundation stands for, such as a sense of intercultural awareness, community building and a greater tolerance of different ideas. Assessment and reporting of the first goal can be done immediately. With the establishment of a library, it is hoped that the number of graduates will increase and progress on the second goal can be documented and reported at the end of the school year. The last two goals are the most difficult to measure and with regard to the present and recent students it will take several years to evaluate in terms of long term trends. Since there now seems to be a committment to improve the educational environment, this long term evaluation will also be possible.

    The project is being led by Peter Prindle, a retired cultural anthropoligist who has worked in Iran, Japan and Nepal. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal in 1962 and has traveled to Bigutar frequently since 1971. The Lisle Mentor is Nancy Kinney.

    We will keep you informed of the progress of these funded projects. If you have any questions or want more detailed information about the organizations or their work, please contact Mark Kinney at

    2010 Projects

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    Tompotika “Pantai Bersih” Beach Clean–Up and Trash Jamboree

    Next summer’s Tompotika "Pantai Bersih" Beach Clean–Up and Trash Jamboree is an effort to address a thorny and unpleasant environmental problem in a substantive but lighthearted way. Sponsored by the Alliance for Tompotika Conservation / Aliansi Konservasi Tompotika, or "AlTo" for short, mentored by long–time Lisler Judy Brown, and based in AlTo’s project area in the Tompotika peninsula of Sulawesi, Indonesia, the project will combine a hands–on effort to clean up trash along Tompotika’s badly–littered beaches and inland areas with a high–spirited, cooperative outreach effort to encourage a new and better way of managing waste in the region.

    In this project, 8–10 AlTo Eco–Service travelers from abroad will spend two weeks traveling on a "Trash Bus" from village to village within Tompotika. The group will begin the Jamboree in Luwuk, the gateway city to Tompotika, where a kick–off event will be held and there will certainly be lots of media attention, given the novelty of international travelers coming to pick up trash! Then the group will board the Trash Bus, making a tour of Tompotika coastal villages. At selected villages, the group will stop and join with a locally–organized team from that village to spend the day picking up all visible trash, focusing first on the beaches but also inland in dwelling areas, in a cooperative "Pantai Bersih" (Clean Beach) effort. The trash collected will be bagged, inventoried according to international Marine Plastics Debris protocols, and properly disposed of. To end the day, there will be an open gathering for all villagers and visitors with food, skits–featuring animal costumes and lighthearted dramas illustrating the effect of trash on wildlife—and more community–building and awareness activities, underscoring the sense of celebration for the event. Trash receptacles will also be provided to remain in each village.

    These efforts are aimed at raising awareness of the tremendous problem of improper trash disposal and marine plastic pollution, and at encouraging new habits of proper waste disposal to benefit people, wildlife, and the environment. After the Trash Jamboree, when the visitors have left, AlTo"s local staff will follow up with these villages on an ongoing basis, checking back with schools and village leaders on how the new waste disposal regime is going, trouble–shooting, and supporting positive change so that the effort is not simply a one–time clean–up.

    This project is part of AlTo"s other efforts to promote nature conservation and sustainable living, Which includes projects for endangered maleo birds and sea turtles, a new rainforest preserve, and an ongoing Conservation Awareness Campaign. In these projects, international supporters partner with local Tompotikans to find ways to celebrate and conserve the natural heritage of this area, which is one of the Earth’s most critical for conservation and biodiversity. In addition to the Trash Jamboree, the eco–service travelers will have the opportunity to view unique and endangered wildlife, snorkel the world"s richest coral reefs, and visit informally with local villagers. Lislers interested in joining the group should contact AlTo Director Marcy Summers for more information: The Alliance for Tompotika Conservation, 21416 – 86th Ave SW, Vashon, WA 98070 USA; tel/fax: +1-206-463-7720; e-mail:;

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    Summer Reading Camps in Village Libraries in Burkina Faso

    This project is co–funded by Lisle and Friends of African Village Libraries. In this project, students in 4th grade (CM1) class in five villages in southwestern Burkina Faso will be invited to attend one-week reading camps during the summer of 2010. Each camp will have approximately 20 students, 2 student assistants now in CM2 who attended camp the previous year, 4 local adult camp counselors, and one or more international camp counselors (typically American college students). Students will be provided with breakfast and lunch. Camp will be located in village library, and run from 8am–2pm, Monday–Friday (with Saturday as rain day if needed).

    Students will have individual reading assistance in camps and have access to art, music and physical education. This is quite beneficial for students in rural Burkina Faso where class size ranges are 65-90 students per class and reading is quite poor. Librarians have learned many interaction skills during camps that have since been adopted as regular activities in the libraries. Camp counselors, both local and international, acquired experience and developed leadership skills, and are more able to run future camps. Communities are more engaged in library activities and through these camps are developing a reading culture in a country with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. This is the only summer camp that these rural children will ever have the opportunity to attend. Friends of African Village Libraries' goal is to assist the rural poor of Africa with the creation of village libraries. This is accomplished by working closely with the communities in which the libraries are established. FAVL refurbishes community-donated buildings, transforming them into a space to read and study. Libraries are stocked with books by local authors and in local languages to the greatest extent possible. In addition, FAVL sponsors librarian training and provides for librarian salaries, thereby empowering locals with skilled employment. FAVL also offers library programming, geared toward children in an effort to promote literacy and a reading culture. Recent FAVL efforts have focused on creating children's books in local languages and French. FAVL is the only organization in Burkina Faso producing these sorts of books.

    The experience of summer reading camps in 2008 and 2009 has enabled FAVL to draw up a camp manual and camp schedule with detailed instructions for activities during the course of the week, and timelines for implementing camps. The bulk of camp time is devoted to a variety of reading activities: individual reading; group reading aloud (by taking turns, or having one person read a story); listening to counselors and peers read stories from books; creating short plays; creating short books; discussion of books read together. For commentary and images from summer 2008 camps, see

    Mentor info: Smita Patel is the co-founder of Mountain Children's Forum and a Lisle board member. She splits her time between the project in India and the non–profit organization EdSource, which conducts research about California K-14 education policy.

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    Hanover Parish Development Council

    The HPDC serves as the community link for the parish of Hanover to foster and develop opportunities for the local community. A primary objective of the HPDC is to bring unique experiences to the local community and to provide reinforcement for the education of community members who might not otherwise have opportunities to link the Hanover community with the world.

    Lisle assistance is sought to fund travel documents and conference materials for three women to participate in an educational and cultural exchange opportunity offered by Expanding Lives organization. Additional funding sources include Rotary International, Local Chicago business donations, in-kind donations and home-stay family donations.

    This project will seek to link two prior Lisle Seed Grant awardees (Expanding Lives and Jamaica Service Project) through an interactive educational and cultural program that will be held in Chicago, Illinois during July 2010. The goals of the program will be to provide women from Jamaica a chance to experience leadership, educational and cultural interaction with Expanding Lives participants from Niger, West Africa and local high school students and community members through joint experiences in language, technology, music, artistic and various other training and experiences during the month of in the city of Chicago.

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    Expanding Lives

    Expanding Lives is a fledgling not for profit based in Chicago, Illinois. Its founders recognize the immense value of educational travel in developing self-esteem, in personalizing global issues, and in acquiring skills to become community leaders. However, few international programs exist for young people from the world’s poorest countries, and those that do usually promote travel by American and European youth to developing countries. To bridge this gap, Expanding Lives partners with MICA, a women’s empowerment organization in Niger, West Africa, to provide educational travel opportunities for young women who can influence their country’s progress in areas of health, literacy, and human rights.

    MICA (MicroCredit for Africa) helps to identify young women who are successful in school, socially responsible, and the first generation in their families to attend secondary school. For six weeks between school sessions, the young women (aged 16-21) stay with host families in the US and attend educational courses aimed at improving their lives and the lives of community members in Niger. Last year’s participants were especially receptive to courses in community health, AIDS education, and democracy. Participants attend cultural events and social activities as well as training with their American peers. MICA supports participants before and after their US stay, and Expanding Lives makes every effort to remain in contact with the young women to build on our relationship.

    Our proposal, mentored by Lisler Bill Kinney, will support the development of the host family and cultural liaison components of the program, especially in the first week retreat. The Cultural Liaison component uses cultural, educational, and social activities to foster lasting relationships between the American and Nigerien young people. Area high school and university students act as guides in classes and social events and develop personal connections. In consonance with Lisle’s goals, these two components are meant to “broaden global awareness and cultural understanding through integrating learning and experience.”

    The Niger participants will live in pairs with two different host families for several weeks. Prior to their arrival, Expanding Lives will guide the host families through a cultural orientation to help them better understand the girls’ backgrounds, experiences, and expectations. EL will hold weekly social activities with the families and the larger Expanding Lives community to forge lasting friendships and promote mutual interests as much as possible.

    Expanding Lives welcomes the support of Lisle International and its members, especially those interested in developing curriculum and activities to promote understanding in the host homes and/or with the young people involved. In addition, we are earnestly trying to develop depth and breadth in our organization. We invite area Lislers to consider being part of our exciting journey this summer. The Expanding Lives website is at

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    Crane Cultural Theater: “Bridging Cultures for a Healthy Community”

    This project is a series of interrelated cultural and environmental awareness building activities with the Boys and Girls Clubs and an after-school program (START) serving highly culturally diverse inner-city youth of Sacramento. The project’s purpose is to build community by empowering students to develop and advance their values of respecting and protecting one another and nature by increasing their cultural and natural community awareness, attitudes and actions in their community.

    This project will foster children’s appreciation of diverse cultures and ability to communicate and cooperate with one another across cultures through theater and other experiential and democratically-organized learning activities. Nature discovery activities will encourage them to extend that appreciation to all life around them. The end goals as well as the means of reaching them correspond with Lisle’s commitment to increasing appreciation of all cultures in a global community and respect for all life through cooperative educational processes.

    The project consists of 10 activities that build upon each other to serve 1,500 youth aged 6-12 years during 2009. To begin, each venue will receive one half hour performance of Crane Culture Theater from its repertoire which includes plays based on African, Chinese, Japanese, Jewish-Lithuanian, and Vietnamese stories. A discussion will follow to help youth understand the concept of culture through the use of examples of the values, relationships and customs depicted in the show, and their own lives. Differences in styles and manner of expression will be acknowledged and supported. Youth will also discuss the similarities of the culture of the show with their own cultures, and will be encouraged to find common ground. An interactive cultural bingo will be played and discussed. It introduces children to one another while they learn about cultural values and ways of one another, and realize how much their culture shares with other cultures.

    Each child will later draw a scene of his/her own culture and write an essay, poem, song on “what I like about my culture.” Younger children’s format will involve writing a word(s) under a pre-printed sentence. All will share expressions with one another. They will have a chance to speak with their family prior to this activity and bring something in to share (eg garment, food, artifact, art, music, dance) that reflects their country of origin. During the third week, each child will draw a scene of another culture they like (self-selected) and write a passage on this same culture. Children will share their expressions. A week or so later, the group will be engaged in a discussion on the similarities and differences of these cultures.

    A naturalist-led field trip to the Cosumnes River Preserve will allow youth to see and learn about the bio-diversity of a natural community and compare that with cultural diversity of their own community. The culmination of the project will be a beautification project at the students’ sites. The garden (and/or tree/shrub planting) will include vegetables and flowers from around the world that reflect the cultures of the students at a particular site. The seedlings will include attractive native and non-invasive non-native plants. Students will democratically plan the project with their leaders, learning about the maintenance needs of the plants. They will then plant and maintain plants with proper care. Most of these students return to the program year after year, so the project will be maintained over the years, and benefit all the students attending the school. This action project will advance appreciation of the natural world, while fostering teamwork and accomplishment among children of different cultures.

    A post-project discussion with children will be held in June to encourage them to get involved with their community over the summer. They may include social services, a creek clean-up, a neigh- borhood fair or festival, etc. Representatives from community groups will be invited, along with children’s parents, to come visit each site to acquaint children with their projects, services and/or events that occur over the summer and fall. This project will train these program’s youth group leaders who will learn strategies for building cultural awareness and appreciation.

    Lisle Mentor Sonja Brodt first became involved with CCT in 2005 as a project mentor; then, as a choreographer and lead dancer for CCT’s “Lord of the Cranes.” She continues on as mentor to help with project planning and evaluation. Lisle members are welcome to participate with the on-site activities and/or on field trips. They can contact Bruce Forman at (916) 536-0550 or at Other assistance can include mailing in of seeds of vegetables, flowers or fruits with origins in other countries, and/or photos of these plants when mature, being harvested, marketed and/or prepared or eaten by other cultures.

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    Volunthai: Volunteers for Thailand

    Volunthai is a small non-profit operating in the Thai countryside. Since 2001 they have recruited, trained, and placed over 600 volunteer English teachers from North America and Europe in rural Thai high schools. The results of this project are twofold. First, Thai students get the opportunity to study with a native speaker of English and improve their chances of passing the entrance exam for college or university. Second, the foreign volunteer gets to become part of a traditional Thai community and experience their way of life, including Thai food, Buddhism, and language study. There are few projects in the region that do so much to promote intercultural understanding between Southeast Asia and the West.

    Volunthai volunteers live with the school’s English teacher and her family, and one of the reasons for Volunthai’s success is that Thais are such welcoming hosts. That said, there are cultural differences that must be overcome on both sides. Volunthai will use its Lisle Global Seed Fund grant to host a conference for the host teachers from our thirty target schools and ten new schools. The goal of the conference will be to standardize the homestay experience for future volunteers, answer the hosts’ questions about foreign culture, and allow the teachers to meet each other and the Volunthai staff for the first time. By strengthening the homestay experience, Volunthai hopes to attract more volunteers and work with even more schools in the future. Since rural Thai schools tend to serve between 1000-2000 students, the impact of this project is up to 80,000 students per year.

    Volunthai’s connection to Lisle International is through Marty Tillman. Marty was Volunthai founder Michael Anderson’s career counselor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. If anyone else from Lisle is interested in helping Volunthai, please contact Michael through the Volunthai website: The website also has a link to the volunteer blog, which is filled with photos and stories from recent volunteers. Volunthai welcomes volunteers of any age to their projects, and is also happy to set up direct scholarships for their most promising, yet impoverished, students.

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    Strengthening Social Harmony through Intercultural Dialogue

    Communal and social tensions have been a matter of serious concern for all peace-loving people. Recent terrorist attacks reflect the terrible state of civil society in the world and India in particular. The scenario that has emerged during last decade in Gujarat has badly affected social harmony. These extreme sentiments have not only polarized Gujarat society sharply, but also have developed a sense of suspicion among all religious groups. Distortions at a cultural level are painful and tragic, and they require early redress in order to bridge a wide gap created in the last decade.

    The purpose of this project is to build up harmony among different religious groups through intercultural dialogue, with a focus on the tribal model of harmony where our centre is located. Tribal, Hindu and Muslim communities of the Virampur area, which have exhibited a sound model of communal harmony in the state of Gujarat, are to interact with leading groups of civil society (social activists, religious leaders, intellectuals and academicians, journalists, writers and artists). We expect to work with approximately 2000 people from all sides during the period November 2008 to October 2009.

    Hasmukh Patel received grant support from Lisle in 2006 for a project which focused mainly on the intercultural initiative of tribal society. The outcome of this project was encouraging and hence we decided to carry our vision further through a new project. Keeping precious tribal legacy of harmony at the centre, the expanded project is planning for several events such as:

    Since the focus of Lisle has been to broaden global awareness and understanding and increase the application of culture in order to create brotherhood among different groups irrespective of their religions, cultural and ethnic diversities, this project may very well translate the vision of Lisle into action. Lislers would be especially welcome to participate in the workshop proposed in the project. If there was interest, the dates for the workshop could be scheduled according to the availability of the Lisle group.

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    Creating a Sahridaya

    The goals of this project are to build bridges between traditional performing arts and education, to use performing arts as tools of empowerment and teaching, and to bring the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi in respect for diversity and dignity of labour projects through spinning on Charkha. We also hope to make connections with other NGOs, educational institutions and artists -- locally, nationally, and internationally.

    The project will conduct a series of workshops for teachers of rural schools in the use of traditional performing arts for enhancing communication is the classroom and as teaching tools and will bring in Gandhi’s ideals of basic education as empowering tool with respect for diversity and importance of cleanliness as focus. The funding will enable bringing groups of teachers of both urban and rural schools together in a series of workshops.

    With the increased impact of technology, the mass media brings to India’s rural villages new and “modern’ styles of communication and performing arts. TV and the cinema are re-inventing traditional dance forms and theatre presenting familiar mythology in “avant garde” themes. Rural people, children especially, are discarding their traditional expressions of arts forms by admiring and copying urban, and increasingly “western” idioms. This has an impact on their pride and self-esteem as they see themselves as old fashioned and out of date with the modern world. This has urged me, in my work for the past two decades to train and reinforce the rich traditional forms of self expression through the performing arts.

    Mahatma Gandhi's basic idea of education through craft is the inspiration for this project. The spinning-wheel, as Gandhi introspects, emphasizes self-help, self-service, self-contentment, and austerity. “The seeds of national and social cohesion can be sown through the music of the spinning-wheel.” said the Mahatma. Performing arts, handicrafts, drawings and music should go hand in hand in order to draw the best out of the boys and girls and create in them real interest in their learning.

    V.R. Devika will coordinate the project, and Sharada Nayak will serve as Lisle mentor. The training will involve several schools’ teachers in one location followed by demonstration and practice in their schools. Five schools will be selected for this purpose. The project will impact a population of 600 teachers and about 100 students for each teacher and will take place between January 2009 and January 2010.

    The project proposes using traditional performing arts and Gandhian ideals through spinning for broadening global awareness and increasing appreciation of cultures through the workshops for school teachers to enhance their communication skills, discover greater tolerance for diverse ideas, and gain greater respect for all life. Conflict resolution, community building, and increased knowledge of self are common outcomes of the workshops and therefore are a match with the goals of Lisle.

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    Chintan Wastepicker Project

    This year, Lisle has stepped into the centre of urban poverty, with its partnership with Chintan. This partnership will help Muslim wastepicker women in Delhi to organize themselves to assert their rights and to procure cleaner, safer livelihoods. A new report which describes the wastepicker's situation and Chintan's response is available.

    Why does this initiative matter?

    These days, India is discussed more for its prosperity than its poverty. Yet, almost 700 million people live under 2 dollars a day, a sum that means starvation in urban India. A majority of these people are in the informal workforce, which means they have no access to social security and are not organized. In other words, their work can be treated as illegal. Amongst the worst off are the thousands of informal sector waste-recyclers: waste pickers, waste buyers and waste reprocessors. They bear the brunt of a city's consumption and offer it critical recycling services. However, such persons are also harassed and humiliated by several others: the police, local municipal actors, even residents, who nurse a severe bias against them.

    The nuts and bolts of Chintan's work is organizing wastepickers and small scrap dealers at the grassroots for their rights and to work as a cohesive group, help them to access safer livelihoods, ensure children phase out of this work and go to school and train themselves to understand the laws and advocating for better policies. Lisle's partnership with Chintan addresses the most vulnerable of these people, creating a model of replicable optimism despite widespread poverty.

    Delhi is the first time in most of these women's lives where they step out of home and encounter complete strangers, without the support of their husband or brothers. They become sitting ducks for government agencies, who ask for bribes to let them carry home scrap, or sit near a trash dump or even to avoid being booked for vagrancy. They often pay, in order to survive. Not only is this a loss of income, but also, a loss of empowerment.

    The initiative is based on building up the women to reduce their vulnerability. Two central strategies have been identified, both based on the central theme of getting organized as a distinct group. One is learn to negotiate with the government and other agencies for their rights. The other is to build capacity to secure more formal work which not only pays more, but is also safer and cleaner. Clearly, neither of these can be done unless the women work as a group and jointly safeguard their interests in the long term.

    Chintan will begin with forming them into a group that learns hands on as the processes unfold. A trainer will teach them to work as a collective, while others will help them to identify avenues of work. This is likely to include service micro-franchises, which will enable the women to pick up waste from the generators' doorstep, while securing a service fees from each household. Not only does this reduce the informal nature of their work, but it will also help them increase income and improve their health. Other spin offs will be domestic: reduced vulnerability and collective action outside is expected to reflect at home, with greater decision making internally. The initiative is less than a year, but the processes will constantly develop, improve and branch out with this foundation. Lisle and Chintan will ensure that the tools to do this are in place.

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    Mountain Childrens Forum Community Engagement workshops in Uttarakhand, India

    Lisle's 2007 grant to the Mountain Children's Forum (MCF) will allow the MCF to expand its work with young people in rural mountain communities in a new and exciting way. This proposal was facilitated by Sharada Nayak and the Educational Resources Centre (ERC).

    Through a series of nine workshops in different parts of the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, the MCF will expose young people in those communities to the concepts of collective action and local engagement. Each workshop will engage about 30 children, aged 12-18.

    The MCF focuses on a broad range of issues, including education, health, agriculture, environment, and disaster preparedness. But its primary focus has always been on developing leadership, communication skills, and self confidence in children, breaking down traditional barriers of gender, caste, religion, etc., and helping young people find ways to improve their lives and their villages through direct action.

    Although community engagement has always been a central focus of the MCF's work and workshops have always been one of our most effective tools, we have never before had the opportunity to focus our resources in this way. These workshops will use the medium of games and group activities to tap the energy and excitement of young people and help focus it on improving their communities.

    In rural mountain villages, where the needs are so great and the resources so few, the young people have shown themselves to be a dynamic force for change. Driven by the inherent revolutionary tendencies of youth, children are not as bound by tradition and so are willing to reconsider prevailing beliefs-such as the idea that boys are better than girls-and shake off the debilitating apathy that makes people think they are helpless to improve their circumstances.

    Yet this resource usually remains untapped because, before the children can become engaged in improving their communities, they must first learn to believe in themselves and understand the importance of respecting and working with others. That is the purpose of these workshops.

    We have also discovered that one of the most powerful motivators for the children is having people listen to their ideas and show an interest in what they are trying to do. That is what makes this grant all the more unique. The first workshop will coincide with a visit by some Lisle board members [Note - do we want to include their names?], who will participate actively in the workshop. It will undoubtedly be a fun and unique experience for the Lislers. But for the children, its impact can be momentous: these young lives are often defined by the borders of their small, rural villages. Through this interaction they will have an opportunity to see a world far vaster than they have imagined and, even more importantly, they will have the amazing, empowering knowledge that someone from so far away actually cares about them and what they are doing.

    Another powerful feature of this project is the planned follow-up. Until now the MCF has measured its work by the number of partners and children it reaches. However, through these nine workshops and the support for following up with each individual community, Lisle is providing the MCF with a rare opportunity to actually measure how the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshops are turned by the children into action and results in their villages.

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    Girls Got Goals Soccer Project in Monze, Zambia

    Girls in a rural community in Zambia, Africa are making strides by scoring goals. Soccer Without Borders is working with a youth sports organization in the small town of Monze to help develop a girls soccer program. Monze is a poor town where many people struggle to live on less than a $1 a day, one out of four people are HIV positive, and the life expectancy for adults is only 38 years of age. Girls in particular face many obstacles and challenges. Having the money to pay for high school entrance fees is a privilege and without many goals for a future, girls often end up pregnant at the age of 14-15. When girls are given the opportunity to play soccer and be a part of a team, they are putting their energy towards a healthy lifestyle and a more promising future.

    Soccer without Borders is a non-profit based out of San Francisco, which works to develop sustainable soccer and life-skills programs in developing countries. The funding from Lisle will help support The Girls Got Goals Global project to provide a full time salary for a Zambian woman to coordinate a girls soccer program as well as purchase much needed sports equipment. Throughout the year she will continue to train and support the volunteer coaches who work with four girls' soccer teams. In addition, she and other peer leaders will facilitate a life-skills curriculum with each team. These sessions will address issues such as self-esteem, being assertive, HIV/AIDS and Malaria prevention and goal setting. The girls will play in a soccer league for the first time and show off their talents in a culminating tournament.

    One of the most important components of the program is the creation of an income generating business to help support the teams in a sustainable manner. Due to playing on rough dirt fields, the lifespan of a ball is only a couple months Donated uniforms brought from abroad are shared with about 10 other boys' teams and will need to be replaced over time. Christine, the Girls Sports Coordinator, plans to develop a business with her coaches and teams to buy and sell chickens. The little money they generate will keep the program afloat over time by providing funds for equipment. The development of a source of self sustaining funding is a vital concept for the youth and coaches to learn and an important type of self empowerment. Hence, the program name, 'Girls Got Goals Global.'

    We want to thank the community at Lisle for believing in our project. We are lucky to have Bill Kinney supporting us as our mentor. Zambian people are incredibly hospitable and welcoming, and would be grateful for any sort of support that could be provided. People can help by either bringing or sending soccer equipment such as uniforms, balls, cleats (did we mention the kids all play in their bare feet?!) or folks can come and help coach soccer, lead life-skills sessions, or assist in fundraising.

    For more information about the Girls Got Goals Monze program click here.

    Dalumba Awende Kobotu
    Thank you and Safe Journey
    Soccer Without Borders team

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    Mountain Children’s Forum

    The Mountain Children’s Forum (MCF), supported by a grant from Lisle, and mentored by Sharada Nayak will hold an educational workshop for children in the remote mountain villages of the Indian state of Uttaranachal, located in the Himalayan foothills in North India. The six-day workshop will be held in the district of Pithoragarh, which borders Nepal and Tibet. 70 children from all over the state will be participating. During the workshop the children will stay in the homes of local villagers, giving them an opportunity to learn more about one another. In this mountainous terrain travel is difficult, and the young people rarely go far from their villages, let alone to another district.

    Using music, games, art, field trips and other activities, the workshop is intended to help children discuss the important problems and issues in their lives, build leadership skills, learn more about the world around them and acquire new ways of thinking and new tools to address the problems in their communities. The topic of the workshop is education, particularly the high dropout rate of girls. However, this theme will be interlaced with discussions about the environment, leadership and citizenship, overcoming barriers between people, the rights (and responsibilities) of children and how they can help drive the forces of change in their own communities.

    The MCF strives to include senior officials from the district and village governments in these meetings and discussions. That serves the dual purpose of making government seem less intimidating and more accessible to the children, while also carrying the children’s voices and concerns to the government officials. The outcomes of the workshop, including the children’s discussions, will be shared with local and state governments as well as with Lisle.

    The Mountain Children’s Forum (MCF) helps young people improve their lives by giving them a voice and a role in the development of their communities. The mountain communities where the participants will come from are remote, cut-off from resources and opportunities, and are made even more isolated by the difficult terrain that surrounds them: they have long been marginalized and forgotten. By tapping these community’s energy and idealism, the MCF endeavors to create a platform from which the young people of the mountains can discuss their problems and work together to find solutions, and act as the ambassadors of the mountains.

    The MCF is a non-profit organization, registered under the Indian Societies Act . For more information about the MCF, please see:
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    Teens as Coach

    The vision of Service for Peace is a world of peace created by people serving others compassionately every day. This organization prepares conscientious people to take on the role of peacemakers. In 2002, Summer of Service began in Washington D.C. with 350 youth; it has since expanded to nine countries and 25 U.S. states. Oregon was one of many new sites for Service for Peace this past summer. Visit their website at:

    The new chapter initiated the program, Teen as Coach, in August during a week-long program involving nearly 40 teens. Rose Ann Kennett and Vicky Martin (Bali ’98, Leader Training ’98, India ’99) were the co-directors of the Oregon chapter of Service for Peace. In addition to coaching and mentoring talents, Rose Ann was a social worker for 16 years with at-risk youth. Vicky, an elementary school counselor, has taught peacemaking skills in schools and summer peace camps in the U.S. and overseas for 15 years. She also created a successful high school to elementary school mentoring program.

    The Teen as Coach program is a unique mix of leadership, mentoring, mediation and professional life coaching. The researched benefits of mentoring prove that teens who help each other and the younger children they serve have increased self-esteem and are more equipped to contribute to their communities and families. The message and goal: "Teenagers living with confidence and courage create lives of purpose, direction, and contribution." The program instills core leadership values through education and service to others. The summer service projects for 2004 were renovating an after–school teen center and mentoring/coaching elementary school students in a summer camp.

    This grant will help build up this innovative program. For the next eight months, Rose Ann and Vicky will meet with 10–15 of the teens who began their training this past summer. They will provide continued leadership training in communication, coaching, conflict resolution, and community building for two hours each month. Each teen will find a younger child or peer to "buddy" coach. This will provide a foundation of peacemaking, leadership and service skills for each teen.

    In addition, the co-directors will assist the teens in fundraising and writing other grants to meet their ultimate goal of working on an overseas project next summer, which will involve teaching, coaching and mentoring children. The plan is to work with an existing children’s program in a country with historical and/or ongoing conflict between different racial, ethnic and/or cultural groups. In June, the co-directors will provide a two-day training to help prepare the teens to participate in this overseas project, which will take place in July and August, for 10–14 days. Supporting an organization like this really does feel great, doesn’t it?

    Service for Peace Final report

    Below is a description of our program, which occurred this past August. I have also attached a few photos. Service for Peace 2006 in the Dominican Republic was a two week long project in the southern city of Santo Domingo involving fifty high school, college, and graduate volunteers assembled from over five different countries. Spreading our time across three elementary school sites - Los Corosos, Frasquito Gomez, and El Cidral - we refurbished the buildings, promoted education and health, and worked with children and entire communities to support the growth and development of educational opportunities.

    The refurbishing process included cleaning the original foundations, painting inside and outside walls, fixing some leaky roofs, painting desks and chairs, improving the plumbing system to allow for working toilets on campus, working on the grounds to plant grass and pull weeds, and cleaning up garbage and other debris. At each of the sites, the children worked alongside us and participated arts and crafts classes. Part of our team also painted murals at each of the schools. Local leaders informed the parents about the importance of education as a key to the development of their country and society. Community seminars on health, agriculture and sanitation also took place. The presenters were experts from the various government ministries. These were important educational experiences for the participants in addition to being very helpful to the community.

    Daily educational content on leadership and community development was provided to the participants each morning by Service for Peace and local leaders. (I led three of these sessions). Guided reflections and journal writing plus a combination of team and general meetings were also a part of the program. A final community celebration at Los Corozos was attended by participants, community members and representatives from several partner organizations. Despite its standing as a developing third world country, the Dominican Republic is very close to reaching the United Nation's millennium goal of Universal Primary Education. Accordingly, the Service for Peace project was highly geared towards supporting that goal, and it was exciting to contribute to an international initiative. It was especially encouraging when several United Nations representatives interviewed Service for Peace and reported on our work of advancing the educational development of the country.

    Thank you again very much for the mini-grant. It really made a difference over the past two years in being able to provide training for some wonderful teens who are already providing leadership and other skills to make a difference in the world.

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    Shunku Llacta

    Shunku Llacta (meaning "heart place" in the Kichwa language) is a grassroots organization in northwest Ecuador that brings together local residents and international volunteers to advance rural community development projects. Lisle is generously supporting our trip in June 2005, when the communities of Guayabillas and Santa Rosa will host 10 international participants for 14 days. The two communities are located in the rainforest of northwestern Ecuador and are so remote they can’t be reached directly by car. Volunteers will work with community members on projects including building a community center, working with children in local elementary schools, and practicing sustainable forest management work. They’ll enjoy homestays with local families and explore the beautiful and dramatic natural surroundings, including pristine rain forest, diverse native flora and fauna, waterfalls and swimming holes.

    Volunteers will also meet with local community groups, including Community Councils, Artisans’ Committees and Youth Committees from both communities. Together, international and local participants will create a community action project in order to work together, learn from each other, and promote Shunku Llacta’s mission of developing sustainable and viable economic opportunities for the communities.

    This project will outlast the duration of the trip, allowing the local communities and the volunteers’ home communities to benefit from cross-cultural exchange and cooperation after the trip is over. The trip will end with a community celebration bringing together both local communities and the volunteers for a night of traditions, music, Ecuadorian cooking and fun. To learn more about the project or to participate:

    You can also search for Shunku Llacta at for the full volunteer description. Abby Rosenheck is the granddaugher of Vede Rosenheck (Lisle ’39). Besides working with Shunku Llacta, Abby works as a garden educator in San Francisco public middle schools and is starting a non-profit to support urban school gardens, called Burbank Sprouts.

    Shunku Llacta: Interim Report to Lisle, Inc., April 15, 2006

    Shunku Llacta has been working to plan our upcoming 2006 Team trip in December, and to carry out the efforts initiated during our 2005 program. Shunku Llacta's in-country staff meets bi-weekly with community leaders from the Artisans' Groups of Guayabillas and Santa Rosa, the two communities involved in the project. Shunku Llacta staff and community leaders are developing work projects for this year's volunteer trip and are prioritizing the subject areas for capacity-building that community members have requested. Shunku Llacta staff will seek volunteers with expertise in the areas requested by the Artisans' Groups, in order to provide more targeted support and training workshops for the communities during the 2006 program. Suggested subject areas include accounting, small business management, and marketing crafts and food products under organic and fair trade labels.

    Second, support from 2005 volunteers has continued to expand the impact of the work started during the volunteers' stay in the communities. Volunteers gathered donations at home which allowed the communities to buy materials and add expansions to the work projects started during the trip. Santa Rosa has completed public sanitary facilities for their community, and Guayabillas has completed a water system, finally providing a much-needed water source for all families, as well as public sanitary facilities at the community center. Volunteers have brought home their experiences, and shared with their home communities the transformation and cross-cultural experiences they enjoyed with Shunku Llacta. One volunteer from Denmark sent us these reflections:

    I planned a presentation to the Scouts, ages 10-15 years old, and my biggest problem was too short time and too much I wanted to show. I showed them pictures and they had Melcocha, Panella and peanuts to taste. We listened to Cumbia, smelled leaves from Jim and Mimi's garden and we played with the small marbles. We sang "Los Pollitos" in Spanish, looked at beautiful handicrafts from the women's groups and to end we had dinner; quinua soup, bananas, patacones (mashed plantain), coca tea and sugar water.

    To do all of that we had only two hours, which were all too short. But I think they had a good time and learned more of Ecuador, communities and life there. And I had a great time doing that and telling and remembering it all again :-)

    Sometimes I read my postcard to remember what I promised myself, and now I did some of it. I will still try to sell the handicrafts.

    In Denmark it is windy and rainy now, but the good thing is - it is very soon Christmas :-). I love Christmas time. I want to travel some more in the spring. I never know where I'll end up.

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    Crane Culture Theater

    Crane Culture Theater (CCT), a local theater group in Sacramento, California,

    with the consultation of Lisle mentor Sonja Brodt, serves to cultivate the values of living in harmony with the earth through cultural contexts. Stories of cultures from around the world are brought to stage to help attendees gain greater respect for all life, appreciation of diverse cultures and inspiration to both visit and protect natural environments in their greater community. Lisle Foundation funding will be used, in part, for the production and presentations of a 30 minute reader's theater, live music and dance performance of "Arap Sang and the Cranes", an East African folktale retold by Humphrey Harman, and adapted by CCT. The story is about an old man's search for assistance and respect, the kindness he finds in cranes, and his realization of the need to protect the cranes.

    Multi-cultural first-third grade classes from two schools will participate in a local habitat improvement project which will stress team building and cooperation across cultures, and end with a tour of a Sandhill Cranes Reserve. Students' global awareness will be strengthened by learning of the various countries (USA, Canada, Cuba. Russia) that Sandhill Cranes live in, and other regions of the world that are home to other species of cranes.. Students will also see and learn about the diversity of other wildlife at the Reserve. A second field trip for each class will visit cultural sites in Sacramento reflecting the three dominant ethnic groups of the classes (eg African American, Chinese American and Mexican American). Mask-making sessions in classrooms will be led by a local Mexican American artist and continued by the school teachers. Children will make masks to represent both local animals and the many countries reflected by their heritages and will present their masks to their peers in school parades. Language arts (through free writing and haiku poetry) will also be incorporated.

    The Project's purpose is to build community by empowering students to develop values of respecting and protecting nature and one another by increasing their natural and cultural awareness. By juxtaposing activities that focus on natural with activities that focus on different cultures, and by interweaving the two in the theater program, the project aims to increase students' awareness of the value of both natural and cultural diversity within their own communities.

    Classes will be targeted in low income areas of south Sacramento with a high mix of cultural diversity inclusive of African Americans. These communities have among the highest degree of social and cultural friction in the region. In addition, children residing in these communities have very limited awareness of and opportunities to visit local natural areas, despite their relative proximity to these areas. Schools with Healthy Start programs (wide array of social service programs in areas of high need) will be given top priority. One hundred eighty students at each of two schools will attend the theater program and have mask making instruction. Three hundred twenty students from each school will participate in the field project, followed by a slide show presentation of the field trip and discussion on diversity.

    Lisle funding will help to catalyze additional activities beyond this 7-month project. For example, these same schools might receive other CCT theater programs on a fee basis. The African theater program created through this project can also be brought to other schools and community groups in the future. The field trip component can also continue for other schools and community youth groups if additional funding is secured for transportation.

    CCT is open to suggestions for other schools that could get involved, prospective public performance venues and people that could assist with the field trips, classroom instruction (either a currently planned activity or a new culturally focused activity) or the theater performance.

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    Medica Mondiale Uganda Project

    Cross-cultural exchange of experiences in Northern Uganda

    medica mondiale e.V., a German based NGO, supports traumatised women and girls in war and crisis regions with a particular focus on survivors of sexualised violence.

    In Northern Uganda war has waged for the last 18 years. It led to the killing and maiming of thousands of civilians, the massive displacement of entire district populations into IDP (Internally displaced people) camps (approx. 2 million) which are under deplorable living conditions; it included the abduction of over 25,000 children, rape, sexual slavery, forced marriages, physical disfigurement, spread of HIV/AIDS, destruction and erosion of moral and social values of the community and severe poverty. Thousands of women and girls are affected by severe war traumatisation through sexualised violence.

    Medica Mondiale is in the process of developing a training programme for Ugandan health workers and other professionals working with traumatised women and girls. With the support of Lisle mini-grant and hereby mentored by Annerose Heck, medica mondiale will conduct a workshop and additional meetings in Lira, Northern Uganda with 40 women living and working in Northern Uganda. Participants will have diverse backgrounds concerning age, social status, profession, religion, ethnicity, sex/gender, population group and district.

    The content and goal of the workshop is an exchange of existing concepts and ideas for trauma healing both in the medica mondiale project countries (like Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Kosova) and in the various districts of Northern Uganda. Through this process of mutual learning the danger of just importing western concepts of healing and treatment will be diminished. The workshop and meetings offer the possibility to enhance Medica Mondiale's knowledge about the needs and coping strategies of survivors of war violence in Northern Uganda, about the working circumstances of local staff and about suitable cooperation partners and trainers for the planned Medica Mondiale training programme.

    The participants of the workshop have the chance to make a crucial contribution to the concept of the training programme which implies that their needs can be met in a more appropriate way in future trainings. They learn about models of "best practice" for the support of survivors of war related violence in other conflict regions of the world and can discuss what might be useful and helpful within their work context and their own specific cultural background. Their knowledge about violence against women and girls and its specific consequences in different countries will be increased. Additionally, workshop participants from diverse backgrounds, districts and population groups will have the opportunity to exchange their experiences of war related violence and specific coping strategies which have been developed in their communities.

    For more information on the work of Medica Mondiale e.V., please see:

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    Human Rights Across Borders

    Human Rights Across Borders to Bring Together Poor People Across Borders

    In January, the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) will be taking a delegation of leaders of various community organizations which belong to the PPEHRC to Caracas, Venezuela for the World Social Forum (WSF) in January 2006. The World Social Forum (this year being held simultaneously in three locations around the world) is a gathering place for people of every ethnicity, religion, country and race from around the world to come together to strategize for humane, collective solutions to world problems, and in particular war, poverty and social injustice.

    Our delegation will be made up of lead organizers from organizations of welfare recipients, homeless people, public housing tenants, uninsured people and the unemployed from around the US, most of whom have never traveled internationally (if at all). These organizers have much to share and to learn with and from other delegates at the WSF from around the world, as well as from communities in Caracas that are confronting the same problems of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and struggles for health care and education.

    Delegates will attend the (polycentric) World Social Forum to be held in January 2006 in Caracas, Venezuela. In addition to attending the World Social Forum, delegates will stay in a poor neighborhood in Caracas and will visit communities in Caracas and possibly beyond. Following the trip, delegates will hold educational sessions in their communities (which are all poor US communities around the country) and organizations to share the experience with fellow grassroots organizers, from among the poor, unemployed and homeless in different parts of the US.

    We are very grateful to the Lisle Fellowship for helping to make this important project possible. For more information about the PPEHRC and/or this delegation, please contact or see


    For a report on the World Social Forum (WSF) held in Caracas, Venezuela got to humanrightsvenesuela2005report.doc

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    Connecting Myanmar Students to the Rest of Southeast Asia

    The Connecting Myanmar Students to the Rest of Southeast Asia project

    Thanks to Lisle, seven students from Myanmar (better known as Burma) who are freshmen and sophomores at liberal arts colleges, joined the first professional conference of their lives on November 10-12, the Southeast Asia Conference at Yale. This report highlights their fresh learning and invites you to welcome a student from Myanmar to visit you for a few days this spring or summer. A word of background on the students and practical details of hosting are at the end.

    In Ketterschwang '57 Hans Spiegel introduced Dotty Hess (Guyot) to Lisle and to life in small town Bavaria. In November 2005 at a Yale conference, Hans and Ellie Spiegel and Dotty introduced the seven lively Burmese students to Lisle, to students from elsewhere in Southeast Asia, to American students studying that region, and to the experts who gave the major papers. The papers delivered dealt with economic, political, and social developments in contemporary Southeast Asia. A powerful keynote address was given by Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a Yale graduate from Indonesia who is now UN Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development. The papers are available on the Yale Southeast Asia Council website at www.yale.seas.

    Our students even asked questions of the panelists. They discovered a wide array of cultural and social similarities between Burma and other Southeast Asia countries. Prior to the conference they had chosen a country for focus, selecting between the two where Yale has special strength, Indonesia and Vietnam. They all chose Vietnam, greatly attracted by Darlene Damm, a Stanford graduate who served as a volunteer in Vietnam and then came to Burma to guide our students into weekly service and internships. How working in Washington for Asia Society she attended the conference to help the Burmese students to reflect on their lives in their first months in America and on the conference as it was occurring.

    Particularly valuable at the conference, as at Lisle deputations, were the informal exchanges that took place among students. A small team of Yale undergraduates and graduate students organized the conference so as to maximize the interchange between the Burmese students and other conference participants. They also invited students from Wesleyan, which has an impressive number of Southeast Asians thanks to the Freeman Foundation. The Burmese students shared rooms in the residence halls with Yale students attending the conference. For Burmese students to meet fellow Southeast Asians their own age is a special privilege since Burma has experienced forty-four years of isolation. The cultural evening on Friday was a high point as our students were on-stage clapping rhythmically as a mixed Burmese and American group from Yale performed a Burmese folk dance celebrating rice planting. At both of the dinners for the invited speakers, our students were invited to participate and thus able to talk informally with researchers and activists who have a passion for Southeast Asia.

    The substantive goal for the project is that Burmese students will begin their life-long, multi-layered connections to people of their own geographic region and to Americans who care about their region. The process goal is that they begin early in their college careers to integrate their learning from personal interactions with academic learning. After the conference, at the end of the semester, they completed reflective papers on how what they learned at the conference connects to their understanding of their own country. These diverse papers are based on their interactions, impressions, and personal understandings that stem from meeting at the conference plus email exchanges. They each have taken a first step to synthesize their experiential learning with their ongoing academic learning. They have all had wonder in their eyes as they discovered fundamental cultural similarities with other societies of Southeast Asia thanks to long night conversations with their student hosts.

    These students from Burma have become close friends through fourteen months of liberal arts immersion in Rangoon in the Pre-Collegiate Program which Jim and Dotty Guyot helped create. To date eighteen students have won scholarships to college in three countries and all aim to return to Burma to begin their careers. The seven with an asterisk attended the conference because they live relatively close to New Haven and could leave their academic responsibilities for a long weekend.

    The Diplomatic School, Yangon, which is the only Burmese-run independent school, offers the Pre-Collegiate Program, a course in liberal arts and community service open to exceptionally promising high school graduates. The Myanmar Foundation for Analytic Education, a U.S. non-profit operating foundation, supports the program while a distinguished Academic Advisory Council advises the foundation. The core faculty of the Pre-Collegiate Program is led by Dr. Khin Maung Win, emeritus professor of philosophy at Yangon University and a former Minister of Education. Assisting the Program are his friends, Drs. James and Dorothy Guyot, whom he met more than forty-five years ago when all were graduate students at Yale. They have served on the faculties of UCLA, Columbia, Baruch-CUNY, and St. John's College, Annapolis. Visiting teachers have come from Berkeley and Stanford, while each year graduate students from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies or Princeton have worked ten weeks to open service and internship opportunities for the students. Professors and all sorts of international travelers drop by to give a talk or a mini-workshop.

    The courses are Comparative Literature and Philosophy, Modern World History, Comparative Life Cycles, and Environmental Biology. As an integral part of all courses, students discuss, write papers and take field trips -- reflecting on what they know, what they want to learn, and what they have learned. Touchstones Discussions are an essential means to learn to discuss cooperatively. Described at , they encourage students to reason together. The whole integrated program develops a community of learners who surmount the local tradition of rote memorization as they learn to think in new ways.

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    Shunku Llacta

    Lisle is generously supporting our trip in Summer 2006, when the communities of Guayabillas and Santa Rosa will host 8 international participants for 14 days. The two communities are located in the rain forest of northwestern Ecuador and are so remote they can't be reached directly by car.

    Next summer, Shunku Llacta volunteers will work closely with an artisans ’leadership group in each community. Members of the artisans' groups will host volunteers in their homes, as part of a community tourism program they are developing. Volunteers will help with projects in each community, like working on construction of the community center, teaching children in local elementary schools, helping with sustainable forest management work, and leading workshops to share their expertise. Last year, volunteers taught about knitting, children's health in the home, and Brazilian dance. Volunteers will enjoy homestays with local families and will explore the beautiful and dramatic natural surroundings, including pristine rain forest, diverse native flora and fauna, waterfalls and swimming holes. International and local participants will experience cross-cultural exchange, will learn new skills, and will grow personally in many ways. A community resident from Guayabillas told us after last year's trip, ’I felt proud because the little bit that I knew I was able to share with the whole group. This experience helps me to remember that the same way the volunteers helped us, we also can help others.’

    Together, the volunteers and community members will build on the successes of last summer's project, to further develop the artisans groups' international network and business skills. The artisans groups work to market local handicrafts and community tourism opportunities, and to promote Shunku Llacta’s mission of developing sustainable and viable economic opportunities for the communities of Santa Rosa and Guayabillas. The trip will end with a community celebration bringing together both local communities and the volunteers for a night of traditions, music, Ecuadorian cooking and fun. If you would like to join us this year, please visit our website, or

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    Sarvodaya Kendra(SK)-Lisle's Cultural Initiative Project

    Regeneration of integrated transformation of tribal community through their cultural initiatives in four tribal villages of Banaskandtha District in Gujarat, India

    "Sarvodaya" means welfare of all. This meaning itself speaks loudly about the aims and objectives of the Organisation. A groups of dedicated social workers decided to form a mechanism to undertake various service oriented activities for the welfare of downtrodden strata of our society. Be it social disturbances or natural calamities or developmental work, this most vulnerable lot of our society has always remained at the focal centre of the SK. Compassion is the only humanitarian way to create sense of belongingness among poor to the other groups of society.

    This broad worldview has inspired us to carry out several humanitarian activities since its inception in 1959. The track record of the activities undertaken so far, by the SK underlines its overall worldview. SK aims at bringing about total transformation in the lives of less fortunate brotheren of our society through various peaceful means. Service to the humanity is its motto in spirit and action. Besides, running three formal primary and secondary schools for the tribal children, SK has undertaken various developmental projects in 200 villages with participatory approach. Its activities include watershed development, water conservation, women empowerment, low cost housing, provision of sustainable livelihood through various programmes including handicraft. One hundred thousand marginalized rural poor belonging to 10000 families have been directly benefited by several projects undertaken by SK.

    SK has always been at the disposal of the natural disaster affected people. During past unprecedented floods and cyclone, draught and earthquake the SK had rushed to the rescue and relief operations with a team of doctors and volunteers with medicines and relief material. SK has also established a core group of trained volunteers who provide their selfless services during natural disasters. SK has constructed 312 houses, 2 Schools, one temple in 4 earthquake-affected villages in Kutch.

    For the last six years, SK's intervention in 42 tribal villages of Virampur area of Amirgadh Taluka in District Banaskantha located in North Gujarat, adjacent to Rajasthan, through various socio economics programmes has resulted into shaping out a sustainable model of development. These villages are still alienated from the mainstream of development. The tribal population living on small patches of their farm land of these villages along Arvalli mountains barely manages to make their two ends meet. Consequent droughts had made their lives more miserable. Basic needs such as education, healths are, by all standards, inadequate. Tribal habitat area is so invulnerable and difficult that it takes hours together to walk down to people's huts. They have no access to any other income generation source except agriculture and animal breeding which provide supplementary income. Development of this area is strangled to some extent due to social evil customs and addictions. Innumerable families in these villages are to unfortunate too have two times meals and roof to shelter their family members. The literacy rate among girls is less than 2%. This is 8th lowest ranking area in the country as far as girls' literacy is concerned.

    In such a horrifying situation, SK has been striving to transform the face of this area by taking up several sustainable activities without any support from Govt. funding agencies. Construction of 65 check dams and deepening 6000 water wells of tribal farmers with the help of American Red Cross has provided additional water to farmers, which has substantially helped them in agriculture operation, which is the only source of their livelihood. Formation of 70 self help groups comprising 1000 illiterate tribal women is also a landmark work done so far.

    Lack of infrastructure and inaccessibility deprived 500 tribal children living in the remote hilly areas from schooling. Many brilliant children had to leave their studies half way and are forced to look after their animals. In the era of globalization, if proper education is not imparted to the children of these native people, tensions of all nature may occur resulting social imbalances as happened all some South American and African Countries. To avoid this awful situation. SK was instrumental in starting 10 informal schools for these 500 deprived tribal children in the deep inaccessible hilly regions.

    There has been close bond between Lisle and SK. The perception of Lisle very much matches with the worldview of SK. Cultural intervention and initiatives could be moving spirit of strong base of peaceful and just society. Children are the best ambassadors for spreading and strengthening cultural values. Taking into consideration the rich cultural values. SK has selected four tribal villages where its informal schools are located for the development of a model of just society through cultural initiatives. SK intends to take up several activities in these four villages with the help of Lisle. Ms. Sharda Nayak, an old Lisler has been an inspiration for SK volunteers to take up the challenging task of transforming the tribal community where SK has been located. The activities under Lisle Mini-Grant Project include,
    1. Motivating tribal leaders to change their conservative out look.
    2. Creation of awareness among tribal women about having less children [ Each women has not less than 10 children]
    3. Creation of awareness for literacy
    4. Intervention with the other sections of the other sections of the society.
    5. Motivating SK volunteers to interact actively with the tribal community.
    6. creation of new tribal young leadership and provision of exposure to this new generation of leadership. The medium, to carry out all aspects of project shall be songs, dances and festivals keeping their cultural values at the focal center of Lisle Mini Grant Project.

    Transformation cannot be achieved overnight and hence one has to try tirelessly. Bigger should be the efforts if challenge is big. This is a short story about what crazy people have been doing.

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    Global Visionaries Project

    Global Visionaries Youth Leadership Program

    The Global Visionaries Youth Leadership Program is directed by Chris Fontana with Lisle Mentor Betsy Bridwell. The program will provide students of differing backgrounds the opportunity to interact, problem solve, and develop friendly relationships which aides in breaking down both racial and economic barriers and in providing youth a wide range of perspectives and experiences. Participants learn to be global citizens with a greater awareness of how their actions create a social and environmental ripple effect on a global scale. In addition, students accept responsibility for those actions and develop a strong community interest. Students gain a broader inter-cultural understanding through study of and interaction with Guatemalan, Mayan, and Latino cultures. Overall the students develop lasting leadership skills that continue to benefit the community.

    The Leadership Program educates and trains students in cross-cultural understanding, environmental awareness and social action, empowering students to take critical steps to eliminate racism and social inequalities and become environmental stewards both at home and abroad. The program provides opportunities for participants to build friendships across racial, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds locally and internationally. The program trains participants to develop tolerance, respect and acceptance of those different from themselves. One way that students do this is by staying with Guatemalan families. The Leadership Program is targeted at high school youth aged 15-18. As of now, 40% of the participants are from low-income backgrounds are receiving scholarship support, and 37% are students of color.

    Through culturally and environmentally focused class nights and involvement in local volunteer work teams, Global Visionaries strives to provide participants with a better understanding of regional environmental and social justice issues as well as build their own capabilities in community leadership, communication, outreach, acceptance, and self-esteem. A paramount focus of Global Visionaries' class curriculum and work team collaborations is making youth and local communities aware of their own "ecological footprint" and consumption habits.

    For more information on the work of Global Visionaries, please see:

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    Jamaican Computer Lab Project

    Jamaican Teacher Computer Lab Training Project

    The Jamaican Teacher Computer Lab Training Project is directed by James Burke with Lisle Mentor Bill Kinney. The purpose of this project is to increase access and skills in Information Technology (IT) for women, teachers, and children in developing countries by giving participants the knowledge to assemble a 10-computer mini-lab and deliver it to the Sheffield All Ages School in Negril, Jamaica during the summer of 2007. We hope to forge a positive cross-cultural bridge between the Jamaican and American participants.

    Project participants under the co-guidence of Lisle mentor Bill Kinney will acquire basic skills in an IT curriculum, knowledge of computer hardware assembly, basic MS Office applications, and internet usage. Students and teachers involved will establish a "pen-pal" type of communication with their counterparts prior to the program. American participants will prepare for the experience by assembling computers and researching Jamaica. In the process, classroom presentations, home-stays, and community outreach will help develop the relationships for the participants. Students will have the opportunity to train Jamaican teachers how to use the equipment.

    Current and future middle school students will be in constant communication with the trainees at the Jamaican school through web page development and email conversations. They will be responsible for assessing the needs, engaging in necessary fundraising to get support for technology, helping implement improvements, and teaching new information in the following years to maintain the lab.

    The Jamaican Technology Exchange would impact student lives in many ways. They learn valuable lessons in leadership, respect, problem-solving, communication, positive self-esteem, and generosity, through this cross cultural exchange. By sharing technology skills with a middle school in a developing country, we empower a population to improve themselves and build stronger communities. In addition, the Jamaica Project encourages parents, families, and corporations (through in-kind labor and ongoing maintenance) to strengthen our commitment in helping others help themselves.

    The project has a website at . You can also contact the project leader James Burke at

    Contact Information for Past Projects

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