The University of Nebraska's Student-Community Leadership and Service has done it again! For seven days in a row, students, parents, teachers and children of all ages joined together to complete service projects for others.
During the week, volunteers helped trace and cut pieces tocreate more than 100 chimpanzee puppets for Conservation Fusion educational programs promoting conservation in Senegal, Africa. Our partner, Dr. Kelly Boyer, will hand deliver the puppets this summer as part of the The Falémé Chimpanzee Conservation Project (FCCP) established in 2010.
Thanks to all who made this week such a great experience! And a special thanks to Dr. Kathe Oleson-Lyons who orchestrates more than 16 service days throughout the year. And of course, the amazing Lindsey Scott, student coordinator!
On March 18, 2012 students, parents, community partners and even the Mayor gathered at Norris Jr High to engage in an evening of FUN promoting summer activities such as reading, healthy eating, excersize and serving others...that is where the Conservation Fusion piece fit into the puzzle.
Participants created bracelets for children in Madagascar. WHY?
Because we are all connected. Many students in other parts of the world do not have the opportunities or education we are so lucky to enjoy in the US.
With less than 10% of Madagascar's original forest remaining, CF works with teachers, schools and community members to educate about the importance of conservation and promote tree planting.
Each child in Madagascar who "digs in" and plants trees will receive a hand-made bracelet created by Omaha youth.
The students in the amazing Dr. Lee Kallstom's Engineering and Technology class did it again! Along with Conservation Fusion, two teams who participated in the prestigious Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Student Mentoring program were awarded First and Second in the overall regional competition.
The Student Mentoring Program (SMP) is designed to stimulate students' interest and excitement in engineering, architecture, and related sciences. Each year the Omaha Post’s SMP impacts over 300 students from many local High Schools and Middle Schools. The program relies on sponsors as well as volunteers to mentor the students.
Check out the WINNING project for Team #3...
Project: Filter For Life, a sustainable water purification system
Lack of clean water accounts for 80% of all diseases in poor nations. The island of Madagascar is a developing nation and home to over 20 million people surviving on less than one dollar a day. It is also the habitat of the world’s greatest biodiversity that is currently endangered with only 10% of the original forest left. There is a direct link between poverty and deforestation and at the root of it all is clean water. To address the problem, our team looked into two topics: acquiring and purifying water. We researched the water purification techniques of solar disinfection, chemical disinfection, and sand filtration. Our team determined the most effective and eco-friendly solution for Kianjavato, Madagascar to be a solar-powered BioSand filtration system. Successful health improvement programs require involvement from local communities; therefore, we have added an educational component to our tangible solution.
Check out the WINNING project for Team #4...
Project: Reduction of Deforestation in Third World Countries: Optimizing Sustainable Biofuels
The island of Madagascar harbors wildlife found nowhere else on earth. It is also home to over 20 million people; dependent upon the forest to meet their basic needs, including fuel-wood for cooking. This places tremendous strain on the ecosystem, which has resulted in the destruction of over 90% of the original forest. To address this problem, our project provides a sustainable alternative to forest destruction. The key is “Telo Hevitra”- “Three Thoughts” and introduces a three pronged approach to include rocket stoves, bio-fuel briquettes, and a grinder, all working in combination to improve the lives of the Malagasy people while conserving the environment.
More to come!
It's what the FUSION is all about, empowering KIDS (and young adults) to BE THE CHANGE!
THANKS UNO! The University of Nebraska's Service Learning Academy hosted a week-long event during spring break for students to volunteer. The Seven Days of Service was amazing! Thanks for inviting us to participate. The group of students and mentors helping was above and beyond.
With their help, we:
-Created over 750 bracelets for Malagasy children participating in the reforestation efforts. Each was assembled with a tag that reads "One for you. One for me. Let's work together to plant a tree!" and was printed one side English and the other Malagasy.
-Painted 130 paper plate "tortoise shells" and cut 400 tortoise body parts to be made into tambourines by Malagasy children to celebrate their biodiversity.
-Colored and assembled 84 buttons with conservation messages for youth in Madagascar.
-Cut out 1,000 lemur faces to make paper sack puppets, along with 1,080 lemur ears for the art project.
-Traced over 300 hands, cut and glued them to tongue depressors with their names on them. Primary school children in Madagascar will write 5 things the forest gives them in the fingers of their new friends from the US as we learn about the importance of the forest and ways we are all connected.
I would like to mention, this was a great experience. Most of the students helping were refugees from Korea. They worked so hard to accomplish as much as they could to give something to someone who does not have everything. They understood that and mentioned several times how excited the Malagasy children would be to receive a bracelet or participate in the art projects because they would have loved it in the refugee camp.
On the last day as we were working hard...cutting, glueing, counting...the students were all syncronizing their i-pods and listening/singing "We are the World" !!! Over and over!!! I just don't think a day of service gets better than that.