Peace Corps Volunteer Installs Milling Machine and Training Center in The Gambia

July 5, 2012

Project generates income for community

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 5, 2012 – Peace Corps volunteer Catherine Janda of Houston, Texas, is working with her Gambian community to install a milling machine and training center that will expedite the production of coos, a form of millet. The new mill and training center will lighten the workload of local community members and serve as a means of income generation. A portion of the funds for the project will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that supports Peace Corps volunteer projects worldwide.

A woman in Peace Corps volunteer Catherine Janda’s community in The Gambia.

“Right now, females in the community spend roughly three hours a day pounding coos for breakfast and dinner. This process leaves the women, especially school girls, physically exhausted, which affects their ability to learn and partake in other activities,” said Janda, who has been serving as a primary school teacher since 2011. ”The mill will save time and energy within the community, and the training center will provide a space for regional specialists to train villagers on milling techniques and income generating projects.”

Funds raised through the PCPP will go toward the milling machine, construction materials for the training center, training for community members and transportation costs. 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.

“This project would not only relieve community stresses but would provide the community with essential training on business-handling techniques, ways to ensure financial transparency, and how to use the profits to further develop the community,” continued Janda, a graduate of Barry University.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Those interested in supporting Janda’s project in the Gambia can visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Janda’s project number is: 635-079.

Coos.

About Peace Corps/The Gambia: More than 1,580 Peace Corps volunteers have served in The Gambia since the program was established in 1967. Currently, 93 volunteers serve in The Gambia. Volunteers work in the areas of education, health, and environment. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: Jola, Mandinka, Pulaar,Sonike and Wolof.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. 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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