Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Win Prizes

"You can provide schools, but children will not learn if they are hungry."
- "Foreign Aid," The Economist, April 1, 2006

Two Returned Peace Corps groups have won $5,000 prizes to be donated to their projects on GlobalGiving.

Returned volunteers from Burkina Faso and Morocco walked away with $5,000 each after each group mobilized more than 100 donations for their projects.

Friends of Burkina Faso supported a project called Noon Meal Improves Girls' Learning in Burkina Faso . This project delivers something very simple, school lunches. But this simple thing can dramatically improve educational outcomes and keep girls in school. And keeping girls in school is one of the most cost-effective things that can be done to spur economic and social development. What I like about this project is that $50 will enable a girl student to eat lunch for a whole year! You can't beat that.

Returned volunteers from Morocco supported the High Atlas Foundation’s project Tree nursery to benefit 10,000 Rural Moroccans . As the project description notes:

This nursery will provide a cash crop that will increase the income of 10,000 inhabitants by at least 150% after two years, offer a more diverse diet with fruits, improve soil and water quality, and combat overgrazing and deforestation.
A $100 donation to this project plants 400 seedlings and sustainably increases incomes for 4 families. Not bad bang for the buck!

Thanks to the National Peace Corps Association for partnering with us on this initiative. Special thanks go to Kevin Quigley, the President of NPCA for proving the leadership to allow this possible. And hats off to Tony Gambino for coming up with the original idea, designing the whole thing, and getting out the vote. Check out Tony's Blog for more details and discussion!


The prize money was provided by an anonymous donor to see if there is potential in mobilizing networks. The results of round one have been very positive, and we will likely run similar competitions in the coming year. If you have ideas for future competitions, please send them to me.