This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
Amizade means friendship in Portuguese. It is also the name of a service
organization in the United States that places volunteers in projects mostly in
developing countries. Amizade's executive director, Eric Hartman, thought of
the idea in Brazil in nineteen ninety-four, which explains the Portuguese name.
The Amizade Global Service-Learning and
Volunteer Programs placed three hundred volunteers in nine countries last year.
These American university students and others worked in thirteen communities.
works with local groups and individuals on service and learning projects. The
local groups define and direct the projects. The volunteers learn about local
culture and make friends as they work in the community.
Amizade charges college students as much as ten
thousand dollars for three months of experience.
Volunteers generally provide
labor and do things like teach and assist at local health centers. They can also do
research. College students can earn work-study credits.
Participants in programs have included a
twelve-year-old boy and a man in his eighties.
There are programs in Ghana, Tanzania,
Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico and Jamaica. There are also programs in Germany,
Poland, Northern Ireland and the United States.
Recently, in Tanzania, thirteen Amizade volunteers worked
on systems to harvest rainwater from the roofs of homes. They worked on the
project in the Karagwe area, in the northwestern part of the country. Eric
Hartman, the director, described the water collection systems in blog postings
from Tanzania earlier this month.
Rain falls on the metal roofs and flows into aluminum
gutters. These gutters carry the water to a large collection tank on the side
of the home.
The rain harvesting systems mean that a
family member no longer has to walk long distances to get water. So there is
more time for farming or schoolwork. The systems are especially useful for
those who are too sick to go a long way for water.
In the Caribbean island nation of Jamaica, Amizade places volunteers with a local partner
in the small community of Petersfield. The volunteers live with local families.
They help children with schoolwork and computer skills. They also visit the
sick and work on building, painting and other
restoration projects in the community.
the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Steve Ember.