Update from Sarah Montgomery, Director of Garden’s Edge and Qachuu Aloom in Guatemala:
“Olga, a former scholarship student from Qachuu Aloom and another member of Qachuu Aloom, Valentina, stayed with me for a month and attended the traditional medicine class at the University of New Mexico. It was so neat to watch them share some of their skills with the class and also take home new skills to share in their communities. They also spent some time in a midwifery clinic, learning how to do intake forms, and keep records of their patients. Olga, has graduated with a degree in midwifery, and hopefully will continue studying next year in Guatemala. In Guatemala they are continuing to work on the maternal health and nutrition project, and each year we are seeing better results, as families learn new recipes and improve their gardens. They also have a new project this year, of bringing back the traditional milpa systems. The milpa system is where a diversity of plants were planted together–like corn, beans and squash and then other plants would come up as “weeds” like Amaranth and other medicines. It has fallen out of use because of the heavy promotion of weed killers and fertilizers in government programs. So unfortunately, many people have stopped planting this way. They are not as easy to recuperate as one might think because so many people have lost the traditional corn seeds, and soils are very depleted. The hybrids do better in that kind of monocrop situation. So this year, we are hoping to build up a surplus of native corn seeds and next year add more growers. Thank you for helping us grow our work in Guatemala.:
“This summer the Emily Sandall Foundation was able to invest in the ‘York Factory’ program which maintains and restores Menogyn’s canoe fleet. Items purchased include, but are not limited to: canvas, brass tacks, skid plates, new ribs and gunnels, foam pads for whitewater, PDF’s, and paddles. Individually these items seem relatively insignificant; however, the sum of the parts are the heart and soul of our trip progression. We aim to launch three refurbished wood canvas canoes this summer with a fourth well on its way for an early season launch next year.
One other unique aspect of York Factory is our paddle building program. Campers hand-make a paddle before embarking on their canoe trip. As campers start with a raw shapeless paddle blank that evolves into a work of art, the pride of craftsmanship beams from their faces.
You are likely aware that during Emily’s last summer at Menogyn, she wrote a good bye letter to Camp. This letter continues to be shared at “First Light” multiple times a summer and remains a treasured piece of writing for the community. In it Emily speaks of the beauty and simplicity of camp life. As I visited the Em Sandall bench and gazed out at the sparkling waters of Bearskin today, Emily’s appreciation for the beauty in nature and her commitment to community washed over me. Emily’s legacy continues to inspire all of us, staff and campers alike.
It is an honor for us to carry on Emily’s legacy and we look forward to our continued partnership.”
-Meghan Cosgrove, Executive Director, YMCA Camp Menogyn
We are very proud of this partnership and very proud of Em!
In honor of Emily and her passion for encouraging education and outdoor play for kids around the world, The Emily Sandall Foundation continues its partnership with Rise Now to sponsor building playgrounds in Mexico.
“Now we have multiple playgrounds we are working on, the first in a small community in Oxchuc, a small indigenous municipality. The teachers asked that the build be a workshop so they can replicate and reproduce the playgrounds around their school district. That is music to our ears and we will probably be working with the teachers and community of Oxchuc on a few playgrounds until they feel comfortable doing it on their own. It generally takes more than one playground before someone understands all the tire technics and safety considerations.
In addition to the Oxchuc project we are focusing efforts on organizing with the small town of Na’ha for a very interesting build in the Lacandon, an especially sensitive area for multiple reasons. The park would be part of a larger eco-tourism project with another NGO in an effort to promote and protect the shrinking jungle and disappearing culture of the lacandon through sustainable development. It is through partnerships like this where multiple organizations work amplify one another that I have seen the most impact so I am excited about this project.
We would really love to continue amplifying the mission and purpose of the Emily Sandall foundation through these programs and projects. “
Bret Ingold, Director, Rise Now Inc.
Foundation pledged their donation to the Sankhu Palubari Community school. A House party will be held at David and Mary Parker’s house for the Sankhu Palubari Community School and our pledge will be matched.They will take a moment to thank Emily’s Foundation for continued support of the school.
We will be supporting eight additional students to attend the school.This year the students have a new school, as their school was destroyed in the earthquake.
The Sankhu-Palubari Community School (SPCS) in Nepal provides a free education — from pre-K through grade 10 — to the neediest children in this rural Kathmandu Valley area. Founded by The Advocates for Human Rights and operated in partnership with Educate the Children-Nepal and the local community, the school gives a genuine alternative to child labor and a brighter future.
Beginning its first year with 50 students, SPCS now has more than 350 students enrolled. In 2014, the third class of students that began kindergarten at the school graduated from 12th grade. All graduates have continued on to study at a university in Nepal.
The SPCS curriculum includes Nepali, English, grammar, math, science, and social studies. Extracurricular opportunities include poetry, art, music, Nepali dance, speech, and sports. Students also learn the fundamental principles of human rights through “Alfulai Chinau,” a human rights curriculum developed especially for the school. The school also provides a daily meal, health checks, and immunizations for all students.