Manna Project International

The Problem

As an organization our motto is "communities serving communities". Each Program Director (our job title) volunteers for 13 months in one of MPI's three sites (Nicaragua, Ecuador, or Guatemala) working within their respective communities developing friendships and creating new partnerships, all of which are geared towards community development. I view our project (MPI Ecuador) as a cultural exchange where we as volunteers from the United States learn about Ecuadorian culture and the Spanish language on a daily basis while simultaneously sharing our own culture and knowledge. In this sense, all parties involved can be considered both teachers and students.

Plan of Action

The focal point of our site is a community center/library located in Rumiloma, which is a small town about 45 minutes outside of the capital Quitó. There we teach English classes, nutrition and cooking classes, computer classes, and art classes for children. More generally, the center is a library where both adults and children can come in to read, study, or receive homework help. We also have a Teen Center for kids 12 and up which provides adolescents with a safe, fun place to go instead of simply wandering the streets after school. As program directors and volunteers, we are required to raise $8,900 over the course of our time in the country in order to keep our programs running, pay the library rent, buy classroom materials, etc. The Do Something grant would be a significant step for me towards fulfilling my fundraising goals and would be a huge boost for our programs.

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