doing some drifting

 

Some World Vision coworkers and I have been working on a Youth Leader Small Grants project, teaching Armenian village students about project design and management and, through a series of steps, awarding some of these village kids with small grants to do projects in their communities.  In one small village, Yaghdan, the students applied for furniture and supplies for their new youth center.  The first thing they wanted to do with these new supplies was a small weekend camp.  So, after World Vision supplied the furniture, myself and another Peace Corps volunteer went to the village with a couple days of summer camp planned.

The camp was inspired by a project called Little Drifters (check it out at the killer creative blog,  BOOOOOOOM).  The two of us PCV’s expanded the idea to a two day workshop exploring creativity and nature.  The kids made journals, wrote nature poems, and discussed how creating art that explores nature helps protect nature by helping others come to value it.  We made posters out of their poems to hang on their youth center walls, and just before sunset we hiked up to a hill peak above their village.  Most of them, including the Youth Center Director, had never hiked up the hill; they watched the sun go down with the excited chatter of kids discovering.

The next day we discussed litter, wrote more poems and then talked about creating found art using examples of garbage art and the boats pictured at BOOOOOOOM.  Then the kids went out to collect garbage from their village fields and likewise picked up natural refuse to create their own Little Drifters.  We waded out into Yaghdani Get to let the boats go, splashing at the boats and each other and ignoring the blazing sun.

Enjoy the pics below from our Little Drifter creation:

My Armenian friend teaching about volunteering to protect the environment.

Yaghdan’s very supportive mayor, one of the few woman mayor’s I’ve met

Below: Collecting, building, and sending off our Little Drifters.

43 Comments

  1. This is awesome, Brent!!

    1. Awesome and encouraging.

      David & Antonia http://www.forantonia.com

      We needed to see this in the midst of our struggle.

  2. I love this post, including the photos. Bravo to you and to others who are making this planet a brighter place.

  3. wow what an experience! :)

  4. Such a great story! Those kids will remember this summer and you for the rest of their lives…. North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  5. Sunflowerdiva

    This is great! Looking at all those pictures of the kids with their drifters was so sweet. Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! It was so great to spend that time with the kids and fun to share!

  6. Great post! Thanks for sharing this post and the photos!

  7. What a cool idea…thanks for sharing!

  8. The 8th photo from the bottom is amazing! What a fun, cool way to engage kids with the natural world.

  9. Thanks for sharing this–you all are doing some great work there.

  10. What a neat idea and cool pictures..!

  11. What a great idea! I love it!

  12. These images really made me smile. I love that the children are out enjoying nature and being creative (they are very talented and resourceful!) and just having a great time, as you can see on their faces–all while learning!

    This is the way I like to see all children learn. I think they will remember this experience forever. And, maybe, it will inspire their teachers to do more of this kind of learning where everyone, including the teachers, get to enjoy the process.

    1. I hope to see some of that capacity building with teachers throughout the next year while I continue my work here. Thanks for enjoying this with me!

  13. Congratulations for good work!

  14. It sounds and looks as if the weekend camp was a big success. Keep up the good work!

  15. Keep up the great work!

    <3 Milieu

  16. cool! love this!

  17. Great post, very interesting.

  18. very nice photos :)

  19. I love this, its so simple they are content making little rafts.Not like America where the kids are media consumed.

    1. I have noticed that kids in the villages respond so much more than kids from Armenian cities, and you’re right, I think that has a lot to do with media. Thanks for visiting!

  20. To see young children expand their mind and work, is a beautiful art form. The boats were beautiful, some of them would be great center pieces.

  21. These photos are beautiful. I’m glad that there are people in the world who do the kind of work you do. It gives me faith in human goodness.

    1. What an incredible compliment! Thank you!

  22. Wonderful. Amazing. And all other adjectives of that tone. I am going to show this to my girls and hope it inspires them as well.

  23. Well done, Brent! Good to see you and Joy up to such cool stuff! Apres!

  24. Look at you, all Freshly Pressed. Much deserved, my blogfriend. Cheers!

  25. Brent, you are a treasure! Do you remember picking up rocks along the creeks as a child? Children do learn by doing. What a great project!

  26. sayitinasong

    I enjoyed all the pictures, and such important work. I had never heard of this project, thanks for posting this!

  27. Love this post! It must feel good in your bones to be Freshly Pressed and stinkin’ awesome.

  28. Looks like the activity was successful, thanks for sharing it’s highlights special moments.

  29. This is so sweet. I love the delight in those kids’ faces.

  30. zul-mokhtar

    Volunteer works is always been my admire to help people. you are a lucky person I guess…

  31. another trope

    wonderful. it is projects like this that give me hope we might actually right the ship.

  32. Johnny Walker

    Great Lesson Brent!

    Ya, if only people would also start to value their own money and local communities, then people would stop giving their money for corporate “conveniences”!

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