In a thousand words; The Global PeaceMakers (GPM) storyMarch 28, 2012
“I left plates on the table and everything else including the house”.
These are the words of a community member explaining to the Service For Peace (SFP) team her escape from the flooding that engulfed their community following the building of a sewer.
The community in this case is La Rapressa in the Dominican Republic. A group of SFP team members together with international volunteer participants had arrived in this community to implement one of SFP’s programs – the Global PeaceMakers (GPM). It was already clear what the task at hand was – to find a solution that would bring to an end the flooding ensuring that the community had their homes safe again.
Twelve days is what it took to make a difference. During this period, the GPM participants together with community members joined together lifting blocks of stone and placing them together to construct what is now a levee along a section of the community. Through this form of focused service that the GPM provides, the community was left feeling safe again that when the rainy season arrived, they would have nothing to fear as they would have their houses safe from the floods.
And well, they say ‘a picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words’. How can we best relay the GPM story other than sharing the experience through this video taken during the construction of the levee in the community of La Rapressa?
Service For Peace has been working in the community of La Rapresa starting in 2006 and has built a model school, in addition to a multi-purpose sports court. And while the organization has largely had a focus on education as the key factor in driving development, thus, the focus on building model schools, the organization also recognizes the need for interventions that enhance the development process. In the same way, a school feeding program serves as an intervention in enhancing the learning goals, the construction of the Levee was an urgent problem that was on the minds of the community residents in La Rapressa and having solved that increased greater trust in having SFP as a partner in development in this community.
We hope this highlight connects you to the GPM experience. We would like to hear your feedback, which you can provide based on (but not limited to) the questions below.
- What are your thoughts about the Global PeaceMakers Program?
- Did you ever think that 12 days or 2 weeks of your life could have significant impact for a developing community? And would you consider being part of such a program? If so, what would motivate you to join the program?
To learn more about the Global PeaceMakers program, please visit http://serviceforpeace.org or write to Janna Gullery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GPM has helped me see that alone I can make it a little better, however if we work together we can make it a lot better. On the GPM projects, we could never have accomplished our goals with out everyone's participation; the volunteers and the community members. ~ GPM volunteer alumni that well reflect the ideals of community driven development to harnesses all available resources.