What’s New2019-06-05T22:04:03-07:00

Stories from the Field and More!

International Friendship Week – Volunteer Highlight

Over the last six years, you may have seen the familiar, smiling faces of a group of friends that have volunteered together at local Concern America events. As they begin a new chapter in their lives, we’d like to highlight these recent high school graduates by asking them about their time at Concern. 

What did you do at Concern America and for how long?

Kahlo: I started at birth because my parents work there. I have been part of volunteering at all kinds of events like the Walk Out of Poverty and Auction. Greeting people and all kinds of aspects of being part of the events.

Rosamond: I got introduced to Concern through Kahlo, so I think I started volunteering there which was around 6th grade, which would make this my 6th year volunteering with Concern. I just helped out with any local events and did whatever I could to make the events as seamless as possible.

Madeleine: I’ve been volunteering with Concern for 6 years, since 6th grade. I learned about Concern through Kahlo, so that was really cool. I just help with events around the area and helped with the Walk, Auction, Summer Celebration. It’s been fun.

Arly: I started volunteering also in 6th grade because of Kahlo. Helping with setting up things at the end of the walk and Summer Celebration.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?

Kahlo: My favorite part about volunteering is just that not only do I get to work with amazing people and volunteers that Concern really brings in a lot of good people, but also the fact that we are doing it for a good cause. You can see the results happen and they are fun events, we are not just working hard but that we get to be a part of the change as volunteers.

Rosamond: I really love going to the events and hearing all the work that Concern is doing. Getting to those personal stories from field volunteers or whoever is speaking that night. It is really touching and reminds me that I am using my life for a good purpose by volunteering.

Madeleine: My favorite part is knowing that I am helping support a cause that means something to so many people around the world and that it is making a positive impact around the world, because we just need to spread positivity!

Arly: My favorite part is all of the people that come together to make positive change. All the people that are welcoming and loving and I feel like we are making a change in this world, and that something that I really love about Concern.

What are your next steps in life?

Arly: My next step is that I will be attending Chapman University in the fall and I’ll be majoring in Biology.

Madeleine: I’ll be attending CSUF in the fall as a Dance major.

Rosamond: I’ll be attending the University of Washington in the fall as a Biology major.

Kahlo: I’ll be attending Vanderbilt University in the fall with a Special Education major.

What is one of the things you love doing outside of school, volunteering etc.?

Rosamond: I love spending time with my family, it’s been especially nice during quarantine in this time of isolation to reconnect with my family because since school gets busy you don’t really see them that often so it’s been really fun to experience life with my family.

Madeleine: I love getting to spend the evenings to do family dinners with my family. They are an entire event by themselves, it’s fun because we don’t really do them during the school year so that’s been very positive during the quarantine. I also love spending time with my friends and dancing!

Arly: I love spending time with my family and nephew who’s growing up. I love spending time being at home and resting because now that I think of it we did a lot during the school year, and it just blows my mind thinking that we would go right to doing homework after dance. So I just really enjoy spending this time with my family and myself.

Kahlo: I like spending time with friends and family and being able to laugh or do simple things like going for a walk or doing a puzzle, just slowing down has been really nice.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor and why?

Madeleine: Mint Chip because it’s minty and it’s chocolatey and it can be fun colors at times. You can never choose just one because they are all spectacular.

Arly: My favorite is Cookies and Milk, not Cookies and Cream, Ben and Jerry’s cookies and milk. It’s really delicious and I  can finish a whole pint by myself which I have done during this quarantine.

Rosamond: My favorite is Birthday Cake, which I know is very unpopular, but it reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of the beach, it’s a nostalgic taste. I know it’s not the best, and I’ve had better ice cream flavors but it is so nostalgic to me so I love it.

Kahlo: Mine is Cookies and Cream or Jamocha Almond Fudge, i know that was two, but I love cookies and ice cream, so together it is even more delicious and Jamocha Almond Fudge has the crunch and coffee-ness and it is beautiful.

Health Update with Program Team Member Toña, Mexico

Health Update with Mexico Program Team Member Toña

“In the first two months of the year we continued with the health workshops and community presentations on the new water filters and why it is necessary to take care of our water. We stopped these workshops starting in March because of the emergence of the Coronavirus and due to the need to provide essential information to all of the communities on what to do to prevent the virus and if there are cases in the community.
 
We also knew that the communities were going to close, and some had already done this, so we had to hurry to be able to reach all of them. We made plant remedies to treat the symptoms of this virus and we distributed acetaminophen to all the communities with the promoters, including a small first-aid kit to be able to support them.

What we are seeing is that there are cases but for now, thankfully, all have been similar to flu-like symptoms. As well, because of our community organizing and having promoters in all of the communities, all of the assumed COVID-19 [as there is no testing in the region] patients and any spread have all been well controlled.”

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Education Update with Ilhui and Alicia

Education Update with Concern America Field Volunteers in Mexico, Ilhui and Alicia

“This year has been quite strange so far, starting with a lot of work in January and February with the schools. I had a music workshop with those in charge of multiplying the lessons by taking the materials to the regions and secondary schools.

 

After the workshop with the elder musicians in the region, it was agreed that the best way for the music lessons to reach all the regions was not to do a single workshop in each region with 1 or 2 participants from the area, but rather to send materials that I had prepared for “distance” classes, held in each high school so that it reaches more students. This is difficult, so we started it in regions where they already have teachers who already know a lot about music and that is why they can reproduce the workshops. It was an experiment to see how this new method for the music workshops turned out.

 

Due to the pandemic, everything related to education in the region was reorganized. We cannot enter the communities for now, as no one from outside is allowed in for safety reasons. Therefore, it was very fortuitous to have already given and practiced these audiovisual materials so that they can continue moving forward on their own in their communities. We learn from this and further improve how to continue to reach everyone with music education.

 

With the appearance of COVID-19, we had decided to create materials with information about the virus, prevention, what’s happening in the rest of the world, how it affects us here, and how to best isolate ourselves for containment. The schools then could distribute the materials for both students and the rest of the community.”

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