Chapter Grants Help PTPI Chapters do Humanitarian Work
Originally founded as a “personal diplomacy program”, People to People International functions today much as it looked like when it was founded in 1956, with the members themselves at the heart of our mission to create peace through understanding. Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than our annual Chapter Project Grant program.
Each year, chapters around the world submit applications for funding to complete local service projects. Funded by donations and revenue from the travel program, chapter project grants support cultural, educational and humanitarian projects that focus on cultural competency, education and humanitarian need.
Chapter grants are part of the core of our non-profit mission and truly speak to the heart of why we exist.
This year, four chapters submitted grant applications that exemplified the mission of the organization and the intent of the program: Tanzania-Nyargusu refugee camp; Lome, Togo; Imo, Nigeria; and Santa Fe de Bogota, Columbia.
Among the criteria for funding, chapters must demonstrate the project addresses a local need, makes a long-term impact and is sustainable.
For the past three years, the Tanzania chapter has clearly demonstrated they want to make their community a better place through job skills and education. An estimated 138,000 are registered exclusively in the Nyarugusu camp. About half the population of the camp is between age 5 and 18 and the majority of that group are unaccompanied young people.
Unaccompanied young people are not only at higher risk for long-term poverty, they are at higher risk of being trafficked by gang members, acquiring sexually transmitted infections and remaining uneducated. The Nyarugusu vocational training project addresses their community needs through a vocational training program to teach job skills 210 youth per year to increase their opportunities for employment and to rise from displacement and poverty. The training program aims for an equal representation of both girls and boys, as unemployed girls are at higher risk for violence.
Since its inception, the project has trained nearly 800 young people in the trades of tailoring, hairdressing, soap making and construction. The beneficiaries of this project are not only the individuals who attend, but also the entire region. Young people with the skills to work are helping improve the local economies and improve outcomes that help developing areas stabilize.
Togo is an agricultural state with a young economy and a government still developing much of the infrastructure for long-term stability. The Lome chapter addresses their local need by partnering with local schools to provide school supplies for orphans and provide materials for the schools. This year, the chapter will be building desks for local schools to increase access to education. Their project empowers young people to contribute to the future development of their community and provides resources for schools that at this time are unavailable from the government. As a direct result of their involvement, more children are able to attend school and lift their families out of poverty.
As a result of the partnerships and the programming the Lome chapter is developing, PTPI is engaging in its first-ever direct engagement activity as part of an adult travel trip. Travelers on the Ghana-Togo trip in 2020 have the opportunity for a homestay in Togo hosted by the Lome chapter and they will visit the schools the chapter is partnered with to see first-hand the impact PTPI members are making in their communities.
Nigeria also earned a chapter grant to address the nearly 6,000 deaths of children under age five annually due to poor hygiene. They have partnered with the World Health Organization and local schools to educate children about hand-washing and provide hand-washing stations in classrooms. Their project not only addresses local health outcomes, but also education outcomes through a decrease in school absence.
And to address a regional issue in South America, the Bogota chapter has created a large-scale human trafficking awareness campaign to educate potential trafficking victims, which are primarily women and children, about the warning signs of a potential trafficker, how to get help through graphics and videos. The program also educates the public to help increase awareness of the signs of human trafficking and how to alert authorities.
There is a popular saying that you can’t eat an elephant all in one bite. Our chapters are taking on many regional elephants, including poverty, disease, violence and instability one project at a time. They’re focused on what they can do now to make sustainable impacts to their communities. Your memberships and donations make these projects possible. On behalf of the thousands of people impacted by your generosity, thank you!