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Peace Corps Volunteer to Create Small Dairy Business in Kenya

Funds generated through milk sales will offset school fees for deaf students

Washington, D.C., February 21, 2013 - Peace Corps volunteer Kelsey Full of Elizabeth, W.Va., is working with her local community in Kenya to purchase dairy cows and create a small milk-producing business. Money generated through the business will help pay the tuition fees of deaf students in the area.

“Keeping children in school is an essential element of securing their future, and in a rural village this can be a challenge,” said Full, a graduate of Glenville State College.

Opportunities for education are particularly important for children with special needs, and Full wants to help parents of deaf children keep their kids in school. “Financial hardship is primarily responsible for preventing children from completing their education. In a community where job opportunities are limited, there is a great need to enhance the prospects of earning an income and living independently for deaf children.”

Full hopes to raise funds for two dairy cows to be kept at the local school for the deaf, where she works as a volunteer. She intends for money that is generated from selling the cow’s milk to go to families of deaf students and will encourage them to keep their children in school.

“Money will be reallocated to the school fees fund,” said Full, who has been working as a deaf education volunteer since October 2011. “This will alleviate the financial burden placed on parents sending their children to school in my community, ensuring that deaf children and those with learning impairments are living in a safe place and acquiring skills to enhance their job potential.”

As part of the project, students will learn cattle rearing and milking skills, as well as financial, management and small business skills.

A portion of the funds for the project will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that helps support Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide. The school’s head teacher proposed the idea for the project, and parents and community members formed a committee to raise funds. The community will provide the materials and labor for the project’s implementation and maintenance.

In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability. One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Those interested in supporting Full’s project in Kenya can visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Full’s project number is: 615-208.  

About Peace Corps/Kenya: More than 5,090 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Kenya since the program was established in 1964. Currently, 123 volunteers serve in Kenya. Volunteers work in the areas of business, deaf education, math and science education, health, community economic development and water sanitation. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: Kalenjin, Kenyan Sign Language, Kikuyu, Kiswahili, Luo and Luyha.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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