In order for the project to become a reality we needed to obtain funds to purchase the materials and hire the laborers. My partner and I determined that the best possible source of funding could come from the Peace Corps Small Project Assistance (SPA) and USAID Project, so we began the grant writing process. The overall goal was not only for us obtain funds for the project but for my partner to learn transferable, tangible skills that she could use later after my service in Moldova is completed. A few examples of the skills learned during the proposal development were: conducting needs assessments, proposal development, i.e. statement of need, collection of price points for materials and labor needed for project, goals and objective development, budget development, and monitoring and evaluation development. After arguing the need for funding in a public meeting the center was granted full funding of $3000 USD.
And that was when the real work began. My first responsibility was to obtain the funds from Peace Corps, which involved opening up a new bank account and my partner’s first responsibility was to secure the contract for the contractor that was going to be overseeing the installation project. We also had shared responsibilities which included purchasing the materials and confirm the volunteer laborers schedules and to being work on a fundraising project to raise the 20% Community Contribution, which is required when applying for SPA funds. We broke ground on April 22 and completed the bulk of the construction for the project by April 30th.
The next phase of our project was to make sure that some part of the work we did relating to the project was sustainable, something that had a lasting effect upon the recipients. In order to achieve this, my partner designed several Health Seminars that are offered to the children and parents of the center and also to the people of the community. Some of the topics covered in the seminars include proper Handwashing Techniques, Dental Hygiene and Healthy Cooking Practices. The seminars were designed and conducted by the center staff and will be continue to be offered every year for the beneficiaries and the general public. This phase also includes reporting all the progress and details of the project in a comprehensive report to Peace Corps and USAID.
I believe that the overall project was truly a success since my partner, the staff, and the children of the center, their parents and other people from the community help in all aspects of the project. Some volunteered their time to dig holes for the new water pipes, some mixed concrete for new floors, and some painted walls of the new kitchen and some donated funds for new fixtures for small sinks that will allow the children to wash their hands. It was truly a community project and an overall achievement.
Second Graders during their Dental Health Seminar