Internship: The month long Global Brigades Internship has commenced with interns coming from all over the United States and Canada to take part in program specific projects. Abby VanVellet, Danny Casteneda and Allie Dembar are the Microfinance Interns from DePaul and Indiana University.
They are currently working with the community of Pajarillos in Honduras on a consulting project to identify a problem facing the Caja Rural (community bank). The interns had the chance to visit with over 40 families in Pajarillos in order to collect information to assist in identifying an issue facing the Caja Rural. The interns will be working on presenting their findings and coming up with a sustainable solution that can be implemented within the community.
New Advisor: The GB Microfinance Honduras Team would like to introduce their new Program Advisor, Megan Dunlop. Megan graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business this Spring with an Honor’s of Business Administration. She grew up in Canada and came on her first brigade this past February with her school. She is looking forward to working with all of you in the upcoming year and would love to hear any of your ideas for the Microfinance Program! Megan will be the main contact point for all students and presidents, she can be reached at: email@example.com.
Community Health Workers Program: In June, the Community Health Workers (CHW) program externs worked alongside the Microfinance Program in the community of Tomatin to do a health and savings activity.
CHW externs Josh Sperling, Katrina Bandel, Audrey Hertenstein, and Cathy Thuruthiyil interviewed members of the community to find out what their basic diet consists of and how much they are currently spending on food. The externs found out that the community members consume large amounts of sugar, snack items, beans, tortillas, and coffee and little to no fruits or vegetables. In addition, they discovered that the community does not grow or have easy access to purchase fruits and vegetables. The externs visited Cantarranas, which is the nearest commercial center to Tomatin (about 1 hour walking) that sells fruits and vegetables to analyze the prices. After doing a price comparison between the cost of what the average family spends on soda, candies, and snacks and the cost of a combination of vegetables, the price is about the same.
The externs presented their findings to a group of community members focusing on topics such as proper water and sugar consumption, portion size, and the cost and benefits to eating fruits and vegetables. Their presentation conveyed to the community members that by investing into healthier foods, they could be avoiding potentially even more costly health problems in the future. The educational presentation was followed by a homemade pasta making activity with a group of women.
Together the group made a balanced meal including pasta, homemade tomato sauce, and salad. At the end of the day, the externs, GB staff, and community members ate their meal together and reflected on the activities. The community participants were highly receptive to the educational and pasta-making workshop, realizing the potential benefits of changing their eating habits. The Caja Rural is hoping to implement the externs suggestion of finding ways to bring fruits and vegetables to the community!