W

The Winant Fund

 

Grants for 2010

 

Kyrgyzstan:Disabled Children's Counseling and Learning Center - $1421

 

Resources for children with mental and learning disabilities in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan are both scarce and expensive.Decades of neglect under communism created an environment where children living with these conditions today are too often viewed as sub-citizens, left untreated, and grossly misunderstood.Yet there are people in Kyrgyzstan working hard to help these children and their families get the help they need.The Psychology Department at the International Slavic Institute runs a free center dedicated to the diagnosis, development, and education of children with mental and learning disabilities.For the past year, licensed psychologists and psychiatrists within the department have offered free consultations as well as free counseling and clinical services to children and their families.This is a tremendous step in the right direction.However, due to lack of funds, professors in the clinic lack the proper tools, materials, and furnishings to effectively meet the needs of these children.

 

The clinic is partnering with the Peace Corps to procure diagnostic and assessment tools, developmental and educational materials, much needed furnishings suitable for a childrenís clinic, and local advertisements to raise community awareness. The Psychology Department and the University both equally support this project, and through the funding of this grant, the clinic will not only be able to help children reach their full potential, but the clinic will be able to significantly extend its outreach to the community.

 

Central African Republic:Nothing But Nets - $250

 

A project of the United Nations Foundation, Nothing But Nets (NBN) distributes durable anti-mosquito bed netting to help prevent the spread of malaria.This disease is the leading killer of children in Africa, and claims over one million lives every year Ė mostly children under the age of five.Our donation will support the NBN campaign to provide netting to every vulnerable person in the Central African Republic.

 

Ethiopia:Women's Economic Empowerment through Poultry Production - $500

 

This Peace Corps sponsored project will assist a group of single mothers and their children in a rural community of 60,000 people.Due to the town's remote location, healthcare is inadequate.Many children have lost their fathers to sickness or accidents, and are growing up in female-headed households with little income.The local Women's Association has selected a group of 30 single mothers to become involved in a poultry farming income generating activity.The business seeks to empower these women to improve their circumstances through economics; the project will enable them to provide for their families and send their children to school.

The 30 participants have pledged their own collective savings towards the project and developed the project's budget, timeline, production plan, and training schedule.They successfully petitioned the Town Administration Office for donations, procured a plot of land for the project and cleared the property in order to ready it for the future construction of a chicken house.The town has agreed to provide a vehicle for transporting construction materials and the chickens to the site.The group will receive training from the local Agricultural Office and the Office of Micro-Small Enterprise.In addition, experienced members of the Women's Association will help to implement, monitor and evaluate the project.Overall, the community has contributed almost $4000, or 35% of the total project cost.

Panama:Rainwater Catchment System and Composting Latrines - $250

 

This project will take place in an indigenous community of approximately 220 people.The majority survive on native fruits and tubers that they grow on their land.Twelve families do not have access to the communal aqueduct due to the elevation of the residence, and must collect water in buckets from nearby creeks.Carrying this water is strenuous and the water is contaminated.In addition, there are no sanitary latrines in the community.Community members currently defecate in the creeks and nearby swamp, subjecting themselves and others to dangerous pathogens.

 

The local Peace Corps Volunteer requested funds to support an effort to address this problem.The project has two tangible goals:to construct 12 rainwater catchment systems for the houses that are not connected to aqueducts and to construct one model composting latrine.The rainwater systems will improve the health of families and the latrines will be used as a teaching aid to motivate and show the entire community that using a composting latrine is a more sanitary and pleasant experience than going to the swamp.(Due to the high water table and seasonal flooding, pit latrines are impossible to build. With composting latrines, no holes in the ground are required and flooding will not be able to penetrate the concrete block walls.Another benefit is that these latrines convert human waste into organic fertilizer.)

The families participating in the rainwater project have pledged to contribute $5 for each catchment tank and the wood and nails for each platform on which the tank will sit. They will also provide all the labor.For the model latrine, the community will donate the wood required for the walls and the time for their labor.Our donation will help fund the construction materials and transportation to realize these projects.

 

Peru:Multisensory Classroom - $802

 

The faculty and parents of the only special education school in this community are planning the implementation of a multisensory classroom. The school currently serves 32 students, aged 3 to 20,with severe and multiple disabilities including Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, and autism, as well as physical and behavioral disabilities. The local Peace Corps Volunteer reports that the school has a motivated staff of teachers and professionals including a psychologist, speech-language therapist, and physical therapist.However, many of the teachers lack specific training in the education of individuals with severe disabilities, and the school overall lacks any type of specialized materials or equipment.The classroom will be a stimulating environment of lights, sounds and tactile experiences, specially designed to tap into the unique abilities of individuals with severe disabilities, helping them explore their senses and interact with the world around them.

The teachers at the school will receive training in multisensory stimulation and the use of the materials in the classroom, including adaptive computer technology.In addition to the benefits for current students and faculty, it is hoped that creation of this classroom will motivate more parents to enrollchildren with severe disabilities, who often are hidden in their homes.Finally, the community at large will be invited to participate in an early stimulation workshop utilizing the materials in the classroom to train young mothers in the importance of early interactions with babies and young children.

 

Vanuatu:Youth Vocational Training - $527

 

In the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, a Rural Training Center (RTC) is a promising vocational training center providing practical experience and training for youth that donít get the chance to finish high school.This group of underprivileged youth is surprisingly large as only about 15% complete 10th grade.Many local youth would like to continue school but are unable to pass the entrance exams or canít pay school fees.The RTC helps these youth develop skills in useful areas such as carpentry and agriculture so that they can lead more productive lives.

Our donation will support a Peace Corps sponsored project to acquire three computers, a printer, and three sewing machines, as well as a new classroom to house these new supplies.These resources will allow the RTC to expand its course offerings, help the students gain important skills to change their lives, provide alternative fundraising tools for the school, and help the administration better organize.Over 60% of the project's budget has been provided by the local community.

 

Washington, DC:SOME (So Others Might Eat) - $250

 

So Others Might Eat has operated in our nation's capital for 40 years.It works to feed, clothe, shelter, treat, and train the homeless and poor.Over the years, it has helped thousands of people get off the streets, transform their lives, and live independently. Currently SOME feeds more than 1,000 people each day and meets other immediate needs of the homeless and poor by providing clothing, shower rooms, medical and dental care, and shelter for elderly people who have suffered abuse or neglect.It also offers affordable housing for families and single adults, addictions treatment, job training, counseling, and day programs for seniors and people with mental illness.