My name is Amanda Masse and I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). For the past two and a half years, I have had the privilege to live in the village of San Benito Poite, Belize. During my first year of service, I began working with the village health committee to write a grant requesting funds for a community wide project. We chose to implement a project that would bring sustainably designed latrines to the community to reduce the number of people who had to “go to the bush” to defecate. We completed the construction of five communal latrines in April of 2017 and then wrote a working manual that same September to be used as a reference guide in support of future latrine project expansions.
In November 2017, as I extended my service into a third year so we could continue our work, we submitted a second grant to the Peace Corps Partnership Project to expand the project and provide materials for household latrines. Two weeks ago, while the grant was in the final steps of the application process, I unexpectedly had to end my Peace Corps service and say goodbye to my host family, friends, and home in San Benito Poite. With my departure, the grant proposal was canceled. The over 100 men and women who had dedicated their time to this project, so much so that they sacrificed planting their spring crops last year, are now left to seek funding elsewhere to achieve their vision of a healthier and cleaner community.
How you can Help
By donating to our GoFundMe, you will help the community reach the goal they had envisioned two years ago. The people of San Benito Poite value the importance of their health and the health of their children and are motivated to see this project through. I am extremely humbled by their work ethic and dedication and I want to continue supporting them by helping to seek funds. During my two and a half years in San Benito Poite, the community graciously opened their homes and hearts teaching me the ways of their culture and of life. I could not be more grateful for the things I have learned, the experiences I have had, and the long-lasting relationships I have built.
I have decided to return to San Benito Poite at the end of March to help pick up the project where we left off. We are hoping to have this project completed by June 2018 before the rainy season begins, which makes material delivery and latrine construction impossible. Any donation that you can provide is deeply appreciated!
How the Funds will be Spent
Your donation will help provide the materials to build 12 household composting latrines. The community has already secured funding for eight latrines. The estimated average cost of one latrine is $580 USD. The families who receive materials for a latrine will provide all the lumber for the housing structure as well as the labor to build it.
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