2015 LPCA Community Grants Recipients

Part of the LPCA’s mission is to promote charitable, cultural, educational, scientific, and social exchange and interaction between returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the community at large for the purpose of promoting cooperation, understanding and goodwill. The Community Grants Program is one way that we achieve this goal. In 2015, we revised the Community Grants Program, making the process more robust while increasing the grant awards. We are pleased to announce this year’s grant recipients BienEstoy and Green Light New OrleansAnd to all interested, get your applications ready for more grants next year!

BienEstoy is a collaboration between Cooperativa Coopasi and Peace Corps Volunteers in Misiones, Paraguay. Cooperativa Coopasi is a community cooperative in San Ignacio, Misiones, Paraguay that is
focused on community development through activities that include financial planning, access to medical care, educational seminars, and more. The $233.47 grant awarded to BeinEstoy will go toward a regional
health and wellness workshop for community youth. The wellness workshop teaches participants about the eight dimensions of wellness and how to define and achieve (or maintain) their own optimal state of
well-being. BienEstoy operates in agreement with the World Health Organization’s belief that “health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or
infirmity” as well as the idea that wellness is a conscious development of oneself through an active process of continued growth and the improvement of qualities that make one happy and healthy. This
event is being organized by Tulane University Masters International student Jazmine McKinney. She is current serving in the Community Health Sector of Peace Corps Paraguay. To find out more about the program check out: https://donate.peacecorps.gov/donate/project/bienestoy-taller-de-salud-y-bienestar/

Green Light New Orleans
Green Light New Orleans invests their energy in people by assisting New Orleans residents in person, one household at a time. Our volunteers install free energy efficient light bulbs and backyard vegetable gardens to demonstrate that a mass movement of individual actions creates a significant impact on our environment and community. Green Light’s Backyard Vegetable Garden program was started in 2012 to help households learn how to grow some of their own food, right in their yard. Over half of our applicants have never tried to grow food before. New gardeners attend the basic “Intro to Organic Gardening” class at Green Light’s Edible Teaching Garden, a blighted lot that has been transformed into a demonstration food garden. Composting, watering techniques, planting calendars and general garden care are all topics covered in the class. In addition, gardeners put together a garden plan and plant seeds for their new garden bed. There are currently over 400 households growing their own food through Green Light’s program, and 300 more are on the waiting list. The $400 grant award will go toward Green Light’s Edible Teaching Garden which was built at the front portion of their community garden, and is accessible to passersby and neighbors to pick fresh produce and herbs. Green Light has planted this Community Area, but still needs to develop creative plant labels and signs to tell garden visitors the amount they can pick and the health benefits of each particular food. Green Light has a long-term intern with a background in art, who is designing signs to educate the public on the specific plants, proper planting and harvesting information, and basic gardening practices. This project was submitted to the LPCA by Megan Bayha, Green Light’s Garden Coordinator, whose passion for gardening arose from her experience living in a small village in the Fiji Islands as a PCV. To find out more about the program check out: http://www.greenlightneworleans.org/backyardvegetablegarden

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