Saturday, September 5, 2009

carmen pampa credit

When Mary Murphy, a Smith College math professor who frequently comes to volunteer at the UAC-CP, arrived back to the States a couple months ago, she e-mailed Hugh and me to tell us of a serendipitous encounter she had with a woman at El Alto airport.

The woman, Barbara Flynn, organizes and leads Quaker community services trips and had recently led a trip to the rural town of Sorata, Bolivia, where Benito Jallurana--a UAC-CP Education thesis student--works as part-time administrator of a supervised, student residence funded by the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund. It is a program for students who live too far away from town to walk to school each day; it provides them with guidance and educational support in a safe place to live, study, and eat.

Both women were, understandably, excited to make the connection that Benito is a product of the UAC-CP. In fact, they later exchanged e-mails and Mary forwarded me a link to the BQEF website where it explains that the Pallcapampa Boarding School "is the fulfillment of a dream of...Benito Jallurana, who made the 3 1/2 hour walk [round trip] for 3 years. Benito recently completed his university degree in alternative education with a specialty in administration of rural internados [boarding schools]. He is now part-time administrator of the Internado."

Barbara later wrote in an e-mail to Mary that people at the UAC-CP "...may be interested in knowing something of Benito's impressive record of accomplishments since completing his course work. These include guiding the internado expertly--3 of our 4 graduates are enrolled in university study; public service--as an elected representative to a council for 28 communities he was part of the executive committee. Called on frequently to settle disputes in a community, he imposed community service instead of the traditional fines; and volunteer work--he has organized other recent university graduates in Sorata to offer support to young people. He is certainly a credit to Carmen Pampa."*

It is exciting for us to make connections with other organizations doing good work in Bolivia--especially so after attending a brainstorming meeting in Coroico yesterday about ways the UAC-CP can work together with NGOs and Government entities in the Nor Yungas to coordinate projects that efficiently and effectively support the healthy development of people living in the rural area. As the College works to make change, we recognize that it's essential to build and maintain partnerships with other efforts that have similar goals. Thanks to the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund for their work to provide education to young people--maybe some day some of those students will find their way to the UAC-CP!

*Special thanks to Barbara Flynn for allowing me to share her words.

No comments: