Bahamian Students Tour Police Headquarters

(Nassau, Bahamas) On Wednesday March 8th, 2017, Pan American Development Foundation representatives along with 31 students of C.V. Bethel Senior High School visited police headquarters on an activity tour. 

During the tour, the group were given demonstrations by officers of the National Crime Prevention Office, Police K-9 Unit and Drug Enforcement Units. 

The group was led by Mrs. Charo Morley; country Coordinator Pan American Development foundation, Dr. Natasha Tuletta- US Certified RAPP Facilitator and Ms. Murray Guidance Councilor at C.V. Bethel.

Promoting Community Mapping and Open Source Platforms in Guatemala

This article appeared in the American Geographical Society newsletter in March 2017.

Faculty and students at the George Washington University (GWU), including AGS President Marie Price, teamed up with the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) last week to bring digital mapping tools to vulnerable communities in Guatemala. The goal is to make life-saving information available to local planners, humanitarian aid workers and the community members themselves. The work is part of a global initiative called Missing Maps, which aims to improve the disaster preparation and the delivery of humanitarian assistance by mapping the world’s most vulnerable places.
 
“Many urban informal communities are literally not on the map, so when emergencies happen they are hard to assist,” says Marie Price. “Mapping and surveying these areas improve our understanding of life threatening conditions and identify households that face the greatest risk.”  Price worked with colleague Dr. Nuala Cowan, who is an Assistant Professor at GWU and a leader in using open source data and tools for humanitarian purposes. Geography Masters students Andrii Berdnyk and Sudie Brown developed workshops and surveys with PADF staff as part of their capstone project.  These materials were shared with colleagues at the University of Rafael Landívar as well as with community members from Ciudad Satélite in the Municipality of Mixco. 

The project began with students at the George Washington University remotely tracing buildings and roads in Ciudad Satélite from satellite imagery on to Open Street Map.  When in Guatemala, the research team worked with community members to validate and correct the maps using field papers.  Community members conducted surveys on the status of buildings as well as talked to household members to understand the threats faced by residents and the resources that they had to combat them. The maps and information were then shared with the community for planning purposes.  By the end of the week, a community that was virtually invisible on Google Maps was fully mapped on Open Street Map (OSM).

In addition, the research team worked with students and faculty at Rafael Landívar University to trace buildings and roads using OSM, to use mobile phone-based survey tools to collect information on household vulnerability, infrastructure and disaster preparedness.
 
PADF is currently implementing a disaster risk reduction project in Guatemala funded by Taiwan and is expected to facilitate the identification of communities most vulnerable to natural hazards, especially floods and landslides.  Faculty and staff from GWU got involved to pilot this innovative community mapping initiative using open source platforms.
 
“By putting open-data mapping technologies into the hands of local students, researchers and members of these communities themselves, we are building grassroots capacity,” says Aaron Van Alstine, Senior Programs Manager at PADF. “We’re empowering communities to take a leading role in preparing for disasters.”

For more information about PADF's mapping projects, visit padf.org/mapping.

PADF Visits Police Headquarters with Bahamas Students

 

(Nassau, Bahamas) On Friday March 10th, 2017, Pan American Development Foundation representatives along with 31 students of C.V. Bethel Senior High School visited police headquarters on an activity tour. 

During the tour, the group were given demonstrations by officers of the Mobile Department, Fire Department and Drug Enforcement Units. 

The group was led by Mrs. Charo Morley; country Coordinator Pan American Development foundation, Dr. Natasha Tuletta- US Certified RAPP Facilitator and Ms. Murray Guidance Councilor at C.V. Bethel.

Trash to Treasure: LEAD Recycling Business Partners With Timberland

Edouard Carrié, a Haitian entrepreneur, is taking steps to simultaneously address the issues of sanitation and employment. He created a recycling business, Environmental Cleaning Solutions S.A. (ECSSA) in 2010, not only keep the streets of Port-au-Prince clean, but also to provide income to the poorest Haitian households.

Since its founding, ECSSA has grown to employ thousands of Haitians who deposit bags of discarded bottles at collection points throughout the Port-au-Prince region. ECSSA collects, compacts and ships hundreds of millions plastic bottles for further processing into recycled plastic pellets that are used in over 120 countries to make everything from t-shirts to tables.

In fact, they're used in Timberland clothing. The above video shows how trash collected from the streets of Haiti is turned into high fashion, creating jobs and empowering people along the way.

ECCSA received support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through an initiative called LEAD (Leveraging Effective Application of Direct Investments) that focuses on developing Haitian businesses. Implemented by PADF, the LEAD program provides grants to Haitian entrepreneurs to help them access much-needed capital. The program also offers technical assistance to help enterprises implement their business plans and strengthen their operations.

“USAID and PADF’s LEAD investment is allowing ECSSA to ramp up collection and provide more Haitian households with the opportunity to earn income," says Carrié.

Programa de Agricultura entrega pequeñas donaciones a agricultores de Guatemala a resistir a las sequías

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Ciudad de Guatemala, 2 de marzo de 2017 – El programa Promoviendo Seguridad Alimentaria y Resiliencia a través de la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres en la Agricultura (“Yo Me Adapto”) busca ayudar a familias vulnerables en los municipios de Sansare y Sanarate en el Departamento El Progreso. A través de capacitaciones impartidas a los agricultores, PADF ha fomentado el uso de nuevas técnicas de agricultura que son consideradas climáticamente inteligentes. Con el apoyo de la Oficina de los Estados Unidos de Asistencia para Desastres en el Extranjero de la Agencia de los Estados Unidos para el Desarrollo Internacional (USAID/OFDA), esta iniciativa ha incentivado el uso de técnicas para maximizar el rendimiento de los cultivos y así mitigar la inseguridad alimentaria en Guatemala. 

PADF está trabajando con agricultores afectados por la peor sequía en décadas. Al compartir metodologías que pueden mejorar los rendimientos de los cultivos en las zonas afectadas, PADF tiene como objetivo mejorar la vida de 9,000 agricultores y familiares vulnerables. En asociación con la Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), se ha expandido y fortalecido la red ya existente de Centros de Aprendizaje de Desarrollo Rural, o CADER, gestionados por el Ministerio de Agricultura, Ganadería y Alimentación (MAGA) de Guatemala.

Durante el último año y medio, PADF ha establecido 20 nuevos CADER y ha fortalecido las operaciones de 40 adicionales en donde un promedio de 25 familias participa en las actividades agrícolas de cada CADER. Asimismo, se ha establecido una Finca Demostrativa en Sanarate donde se han evaluado las técnicas y cultivos agrícolas para determinar su eficacia en las zonas propensas a la sequía. A través de la Finca Demostrativa, PADF está compartiendo estas buenas prácticas y tecnologías agrícolas con las familias que participan en los CADER. El programa ha incentivado entre los CADER el uso de invernaderos (macro túneles), técnicas de conservación de suelos, sistemas de riego eficientes y sistemas de monitoreo climático para mejorar la producción de cultivos. Estas técnicas se están trasmitiendo a más de 1,500 familias.

Elsa Maritza Ruano Morales, del CADER “Los Aritos” en Sansare, expresa: “De las mejores cosas que hemos aprendido es producir nuestra propia comida, en beneficio de nuestros hijos y de esta forma prevenir enfermedades por tener una mala alimentación. Además, hemos conocido métodos que son buenos tanto para el medio ambiente, como para mantener nuestros cultivos y prepararnos para la sequía y sobrevivir”.

Durante el proyecto, PADF y sus socios realizaron talleres con miembros de 60 CADER y brindaron asistencia técnica para el desarrollo de Planes de Acción Comunitaria. Con estos planes, los agricultores lograron identificar y entender las amenazas a su seguridad alimentaria, así como estrategias para mejorar la producción de alimentos, apoyar la generación de ingresos y mitigar y superar las barreras a la seguridad alimentaria. A través de donaciones, incluyendo macro túneles, sistemas de riego y equipos de bombeo, PADF buscar darles los recursos necesarios para planificar y poner en marcha sus planes de acción.

Gracias a estos esfuerzos, tanto los nuevos CADER como los existentes, tienen la oportunidad de aprender a determinar las mejores variedades de cultivos que se deben sembrar, utilizando el equipo óptimo. Es por ello que se les ha brindado herramientas que son necesarias para poner en práctica todo lo aprendido. Asimismo, se les ha dado semillas de frijol y maíz, semillas para hortalizas, y pilones, que les brindarán una mejor alimentación para el tiempo de sequía en estos municipios.

“Con todo lo aprendido y obtenido por parte de la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF), esperamos producir más alimentos, que no solo sean de beneficio para nuestras familias, sino también que podamos ponerlas a disposición del mercado local” señala Melvin Morales, del CADER San Rafael, Sanarate.

Según el Programa Mundial de Alimentos (PMA) de las Naciones Unidas, Guatemala tiene la tasa más alta de desnutrición crónica en América Latina y el Caribe. PADF ha sumado todos sus esfuerzos para ayudar a los agricultores locales a estar mejor preparados para el impacto del cambio climático y así asegurar la sostenibilidad alimentaria. La respuesta de la comunidad permitió que ellos identifiquen los problemas y soluciones y que PADF los asista con sus necesidades para así mitigar la inseguridad alimentaria en el país.

USAID administra el programa de asistencia al extranjero de los Estados Unidos a través de asistencia económica y humanitaria en más de 80 países en todo el mundo.

 

Celebrity Chefs, Influencers Launch Campaign to Plant 1 Million Trees in Haiti

The Root Project—Envisioned by Chef Dominique Crenn—to Help
Coffee and Cocoa Farmers After Hurricane Matthew

March 14, 2017 (Port-au-Prince, Haiti) — A group of celebrity chefs are joining forces to raise funds for Haitian farmers who suffered the loss of 100 percent of their crops during Hurricane Matthew. A campaign envisioned by Michelin-starred Chef Dominique Crenn and Michelle Jean from Zesa Raw, with others such as the Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern, Martha Stewart and designer Phillip Lim lending their support, the Root Project has plans to plant 1 million coffee and cacao trees in Haiti.

Proceeds of the fundraising campaign will go to the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), a leading development organization in Haiti, which will implement the project alongside local partners including Agridev. In addition to planting the trees, PADF and Agridev will support Haitian fair-trade and organic farming cooperatives, helping them cultivate specialty-grade coffee and cacao.

Hurricane Matthew was the worst hurricane to strike Haiti in more than 50 years, destroying 100 percent of crops in some areas and leaving 1.4 million people in need of immediate humanitarian aid. Today, as many as 400,000 Haitians in the affected areas still do not have reliable access to food. Many people cannot feed their families, and their income from the harvest is diminished.

“Farmers in Haiti have lost their livelihoods and are struggling right now. Through this campaign we want to support them and do our part to see them through this difficult time,” says Crenn chef/owner of Atelier Crenn, a Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant. “We strongly believe in sustainable agriculture as a means for economic development. When we support farmers, it opens up a world of possibilities for future growth.”  

Dominique Crenn officially launched the campaign Feb. 25 in Camp-Perrin, Haiti, by planting the first tree. Her visit included meetings with government leaders, local partners, the private sector and farmers and a fundraising dinner with Haitian chefs.                                             

With the tagline “Plant Today, Grow Tomorrow,” the campaign aims to protect and revitalize Haiti’s rich agricultural history and put farmers back to work to achieve long-term economic growth for Haitian communities.

PADF has worked in Haiti for more than 35 years as a catalyst for community-driven development. The foundation has implemented hundreds of projects in agriculture and rural development and employment generation as a trusted partner of the Haitian government and local grassroots organizations.

“PADF is proud to partner with renowned chefs who are passionate about empowering Haiti’s farmers,” says PADF Country Director Nadia Cherrouk. “Agriculture is one of the most promising sectors for economic growth in Haiti, but it has been threatened by natural disasters, climate change and other factors. With the Root Project we see an exciting opportunity to turn the tide and invest in Haiti’s future.”

For information about the campaign or to donate, visit www.rootproject.org.

 

Maps, Drones Bring Life-Saving Information to Disaster-Prone Guatemala

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PADF, George Washington University Train Students to Map Using Mobile Phones

Guatemala City (March 10, 2017) — The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is working with faculty and students at George Washington University (GWU) to bring digital mapping tools to vulnerable communities in Guatemala. The goal is to make life-saving information available to community planners, humanitarian aid workers and residents. PADF is carrying out this work as a member of the global initiative called Missing Maps, which aims to improve disaster preparation and the delivery of humanitarian assistance by mapping the world’s most vulnerable places.

The Municipality of Mixco, Guatemala has vast areas of densely populated settlements located along steep hillsides that often lack adequate roadways, storm drainage, retaining walls or evacuation routes. These conditions make residents especially vulnerable during floods, landslides and other disasters.

A team from PADF and GWU will travel to Guatemala this week to teach students from Rafael Landivar University how to use mobile phone-based survey tools to collect information on household vulnerability, infrastructure and disaster preparedness. PADF is also using drones to capture high-resolution images of communities that can improve the identification of at-risk areas and facilitate the distribution of aid in a disaster. The Humanitarian Information Unit at the U.S. Department of State has supported these efforts by supplying additional high-resolution satellite imagery of targeted areas that are especially vulnerable to landslides.

“By putting open-data mapping technologies into the hands of local students, researchers and members of these communities themselves, we are building grassroots capacity,” says Aaron Van Alstine, Senior Programs Manager at PADF. “We’re empowering communities take a leading role in preparing for disasters.”

High population density, deforestation and land degradation make Guatemala one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. Storms, landslides and floods were responsible for more than 90 percent of disaster-related fatalities in the country between 1990 and 2014.

“Many informal urban communities are literally not on the map, so planners ignore them or when emergencies happen they are hard to assist,” says Dr. Marie Price, Professor of Geography and International Affairs at George Washington University. “Mapping improves our understanding of life threatening conditions and identifies the households that face the greatest risk.”

Dr. Nuala Cowan, Assistant Professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at George Washington University, supervises the pro-bono consultancy services that two GW students currently provide to PADF as part of their graduate program. Geography students Andrii Berdnyk and Sudie Brown will join Dr. Price and Dr. Cowan in Guatemala where they will conduct field assessments and trainings with local communities to improve the use of mapping tools for reducing vulnerability to disasters.

“Residents need to be part of the decision-making process where their welfare is concerned,” says Dr. Cowan. “Training on accessible technologies, understanding and mapping the risks in their own communities, increases local confidence, awareness and bargaining power from a community perspective.”

PADF is currently implementing a disaster risk reduction project in Guatemala funded by Taiwan and is expected to facilitate the identification of communities most vulnerable to natural hazards, especially floods and landslides.

In addition to training disaster-response teams and implementing small-scale infrastructure projects, PADF is organizing a series of mapathons that bring together volunteers from around the world to trace buildings, roads and other geographic information in Guatemala using satellite imagery. Once collected, this data is stored online and made freely available to the public, including humanitarian assistance organizations and other local groups.

For more information, visit www.padf.org/mapping.

Mapas y Drones traen información salva vidas a una Guatemala propensa a los desastres

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PADF y la Universidad de George Washington entrenan a estudiantes
para mapear mediante teléfonos móviles

Ciudad de Guatemala (10 de marzo de 2017) - La Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (PADF) está trabajando con profesores y estudiantes de la Universidad George Washington (GWU) para traer herramientas cartográficas digitales a las comunidades vulnerables de Guatemala. El objetivo es poner a disposición de planificadores comunitarios, trabajadores de asistencia humanitaria y residentes de las comunidades, información valiosa que puede salvar vidas en estas zonas. PADF está llevando a cabo este trabajo como miembro de una iniciativa global llamada Missing Maps, que tiene como objetivo mapear los lugares más vulnerables del mundo, para mejorar su preparación ante desastres y el acceso de ayuda humanitaria.

La Municipalidad de Mixco, Guatemala, tiene áreas extensas de asentamientos con alta densidad poblacional situados a lo largo de laderas empinadas que a menudo carecen de carreteras adecuadas, drenaje, muros de contención o vías de evacuación. Estas condiciones hacen a los residentes especialmente vulnerables durante las inundaciones, los deslizamientos de tierra y otros desastres.

Un equipo de PADF y GWU viajará esta semana a Guatemala, para enseñar a los estudiantes de la Universidad Rafael Landívar cómo utilizar herramientas de encuestas basadas en teléfonos móviles para recopilar información sobre la vulnerabilidad de los hogares, la infraestructura y la preparación para desastres. PADF también está utilizando drones para capturar imágenes de alta resolución de las comunidades, que pueden mejorar la identificación de las áreas en riesgo y mejorar la distribución de la ayuda en un desastre. La Unidad de Información Humanitaria del Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos, ha apoyado estos esfuerzos proporcionando imágenes satelitales de alta resolución adicionales, de áreas especialmente vulnerables a los deslizamientos de tierra.

"Al poner las tecnologías de mapeo de datos abiertos en manos de estudiantes guatemaltecos, investigadores y miembros de estas mismas comunidades, estamos construyendo capacidades comunitarias", dice Aaron Van Alstine, Gerente Senior de Programas en PADF. "Estamos empoderando a las comunidades para que asuman un papel de liderazgo en la preparación ante desastres".

La alta densidad poblacional, la deforestación y la degradación de la tierra, hacen de Guatemala uno de los países del mundo más propensos a los desastres. Las tormentas, los deslizamientos de tierra y las inundaciones, fueron responsables de más del 90 por ciento de las muertes relacionadas con desastres en el país entre los años 1990 y 2014.

“Muchas de las comunidades informales en zonas urbanas literalmente no están en el mapa, por lo que los planificadores urbanos los ignoran, o cuando suceden emergencias es más difícil asistirles,

dice Dra. Marie Price, profesora de Geografía y Asuntos Internacionales de la Universidad George Washington. "El mapeo mejora nuestra comprensión sobre aquellas condiciones que amenazan la vida, e identifica a los hogares que enfrentan el mayor riesgo".

Nuala Cowan, Profesora Adjunta del Sistema de Información Geográfica de la Universidad George Washington, supervisa los servicios de consultorías pro-bono que dos estudiantes de GW actualmente proveen a PADF como parte de su programa de postgrado. Los estudiantes de geografía, Andrii Berdnyk y Sudie Brown se unirán a las doctoras Price y Cowan en Guatemala donde realizarán evaluaciones de campo y entrenamientos con comunidades locales para mejorar el uso de herramientas de mapeo para reducir la vulnerabilidad a desastres.

“Los residentes deben ser parte del proceso de toma de decisiones en situaciones donde su bienestar se ve comprometido” afirma la Profesora Cowan. “Entrenamiento, compresión de estas tecnologías y el mapeo efectivo de los riesgos presentes en sus comunidades, incrementa la confianza local, la sensibilización ante desastres y el poder de negociación desde una perspectiva comunitaria”.

PADF se encuentra implementando un proyecto de reducción del riesgo ante desastres en Guatemala financiado por Taiwán. Se espera que este facilite la identificación de las comunidades más vulnerables a los desastres naturales, especialmente las inundaciones y los deslizamientos de tierra.

Además de capacitar equipos de respuesta ante desastres e implementar proyectos de infraestructura a pequeña escala, PADF está organizando una serie de mapatones que reúnen a voluntarios de todo el mundo para trazar edificios, caminos y otra información geográfica de Guatemala usando imágenes satelitales. Una vez recopilados estos datos, son almacenados en línea y se ponen a disposición del público de forma gratuita. De esta manera, organizaciones de asistencia humanitaria y otros grupos locales pueden tener acceso a la información.

Para obtener más información, visite www.padf.org/mapping.

PADF Delivers Donations to Help Guatemalan Farmers Combat drought

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Guatemala City (March 2, 2017) - The Program Promoting Food Security and Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction in Agriculture ("I Adapt") seeks to help vulnerable families in the municipalities of Sansare and Sanarate in the Department El Progreso. Through trainings given to farmers, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) has encouraged the use of new climate-smart farming techniques. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), this initiative has encouraged the use of techniques to maximize crop yields and alleviate food insecurity in Guatemala.

PADF is working with farmers affected by the worst drought in decades. By sharing methodologies that can improve crops in affected areas, PADF aims to improve the lives of 9,000 vulnerable farmers and their families. In partnership with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG), the existing network of Rural Development Learning Centers (CADERs), managed by the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA), has been expanded and strengthened.

Since 2016, PADF has established 20 new learning centers and strengthened operations for an additional 40, with an average of 25 families participating in the agricultural activities of each center. A “Finca Demostrativa” (Demonstration Farm) has been established in Sanarate where agricultural techniques and crops are evaluated to determine their effectiveness in areas prone to drought. PADF is sharing best practices and agricultural technologies with the families that participate in the learning centers. The program has encouraged the use of greenhouses, soil conservation techniques, efficient irrigation systems and climate monitoring systems to improve crop production. These techniques are being transmitted to more than 1,500 families.

Elsa Maritza Ruano Morales, from the "Los Aritos" learning center in Sansare, says: "One of the best things we have learned is to produce our own food, for the benefit of our children. In this way, we can prevent diseases due to poor diet. In addition, we have learned methods that are good for the environment, how to maintain our crops and prepare for drought and to survive.”
To date, PADF and partners have held workshops with 60 learning center members and provided technical assistance for the development of Community Action Plans. Through these plans, farmers are able to identify and understand threats to their food security, as well as strategies to improve food production and support income generation. Through the donation of greenhouses, irrigation systems and pumping equipment, PADF seeks to provide communities with the resources necessary to implement their action plans.

Thanks to these efforts, both new and existing CADERs have the opportunity to determine the best crop varieties to be planted using quality equipment. Now, they have the tools necessary for them to put into practice what they’ve learned. They have also been given seeds of beans, corn and other vegetables to provide more food during the dry season in these municipalities.     

"With all that has been learned and obtained from the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), we hope to produce more food that not only benefits our families, but also to sell our crops at the market," says Melvin Morales of CADER San Rafael, Sanarate.

According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Guatemala has the highest rate of chronic malnutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean. PADF has redoubled its efforts to help local farmers to be prepare for the impact of climate change and to ensure food sustainability. In this case, the community’s response allowed them to identify problems and solutions and to collaborate with PADF to mitigate food insecurity in the country.

*The content is the responsibility of PADF and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the Government of the United States of America.

Relief Delivered to Colombian Families Displaced by Flooding

Families already displaced by Colombia's civil conflict are now displaced by severe floods.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 24,000 people have been affected in Nariño Department after intense rains. At least eight rivers are said to have flooded in the region.

PADF Colombia has been coordinating with local government officials and UN agencies to provide comprehensive care for families affected by flooding, particularly in Tumaco, where PADF has been working to support indigenous and Afro-Colombian groups for several years.

On January 26 and 27, PADF hosted two “Days of Care” with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Norwegian Refugee Council.

During the event, PADF delivered the following:

  • Food kits to 140 families
  • Psychosocial support sessions for more than 95 people
  • Medical treatment at the Hospital Divino Niño de Tumaco for 72 people
  • Oral hygiene care for more than 30 people

For more information about PADF's work in Colombia, visit padf.org/colombia.