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Fall 2000

Fall 2000

Volunteer Does Double Duty For Jamaica’s Deaf

FAVA/CA’s relationship with the he Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) began more than two years ago when FAVA/CA consultants conducted resource development training for the Uplifting Adolescents Project, funded by USAID - Jamaica, of which JAD was a participant.

This past summer that relationship continued to flourish with two separate emissions by FAVA/CA volunteer Stephanie “Stevie” Fenton, coordinator, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, North Florida Community College in Madison. The training was requested by JAD’s staff development officer, Shirley Reid, and executive director, Iris Souter.

Fenton’s first mission took place from July 10 to July 14 and entailed offering a workshop directed toward administrators of eight special schools for the deaf on the theory and practice of multilingualism in the classroom. She also met with the Deaf Club, a social and political organization for empowering the deaf.

“There are three languages of relevance to the deaf population in Jamaica: Jamaican sign language, English and Patois,” Fenton reported. “These were identified as the languages most involved in the multilingual environment in the schools.”

Follow-up training took place from August 29 to September 3 and focused on training teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, administrators for special schools and practitioners in the area of multilingualism in the classroom. The workshop had a broad impact on the skill base of 95 teachers of the deaf, parents of deaf children, the Jamaican deaf community, and deaf students.

Haiti Volunteer Fire Brigade Learns Fire Management

Volunteer Captain Robert Ratliff of the Jacksonville Port Authority Fire Department and instructor at the Florida State Fire College, traveled to Jacmel, Haiti to conduct a workshop for the Volunteer Fire Department of Jacmel from September 8 through 13.

“The department now has a better understanding of basic organization, lines of authority, and responsibilities of a well organized fire department,” Ratliff reported. “The department was shown ways to better utilize their available equipment as well as information provided to lead to better fire tactics and strategies on the fire ground.”

The training was held at the City Hall in Jacmel and consisted of 26 participants who make up the volunteer fire department. USAID-Haiti’s Secondary Cities Program funded the training under an agreement with FAVA/CA.

FAVA/CA - US Southern Command Collaborate In Central America

“SOUTHCOM” is a Miami-based joint services military command whose responsibility includes Latin America south of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. SOUTHCOM’S Humanitarian and Civic Assistance Project involves medical and engineering activities including rudimentary construction and repair of public facilities. FAVA/CA this fall will coordinate technical assistance to teachers and medical professionals in Honduran and Guatemalan schools and clinics constructed by SOUTHCOM military personnel. The Volunteer Corps also collaborates with SOUTHCOM’S Humanitarian Assistance Program that bolsters a variety of private voluntary agencies like FAVA/CA to help the most needy of the region.

FAVA/CA Relocating Its Office

The week of December 18, 2000, FAVA/CA will move its office to a new location. Please make note of our new address, effective on that date: 1310 Paul Russell Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32301. Phone and fax numbers and email addresses, which changed during the last year, will remain the same. Phone: (850) 410-3100; fax: (850) 922-4849; email:

Global Technology Corps - FAVA/CA Pact Delivers For Teachers In Dominica

The Global Technology Corps (GTC) is a US State Department program that recruits high-tech volunteers for short-term projects worldwide. GTC and FAVA/CA collaborate on projects in Central America and the Caribbean.

Assistant principal Christina New and computer specialist Jaile Lima of Miami Coral Park Adult and Community Education Center traveled to Dominica this past September, under just such a collaboration, to conduct four days of training on instructional technology for teachers.

The two recipient organizations for this project were The Pioneer Preparatory School, a private primary school, and The Nehemiah School, a private secondary school assisted by public funds. Three needs were identified: integrating technology into instruction, Internet use and desktop publishing.

New and Lima showed the teachers how to maximize limited computer access, add and remove soft ware as needed, use new soft ware, conduct Internet searches and incorporate the use of the Internet in project-based instruction. With grant allocations the volunteers also purchased replacement hardware and assorted age-appropriate software for the schools.

According to Laurel Scott, principal of Pioneer School, a great concern is that their children do not become victims of the “digital divide” which furthers the gap bet ween developed and developing nations.

“We were very pleased to have Jaile and Christina do training with the school,” she said. “The type of training and assistance we received from FAVA/CA helps us in mitigating this threat. I certainly hope that FAVA/CA and Pioneer can continue to build on this relationship.”

“We wrapped up by exchanging email addresses and taking group photographs,” the volunteers reported. “The teachers at the Pioneer School dedicated a song to us and gave us each a t-shirt and cards made by the st students.”

Barbados Council For Disabled Hosts Technology Seminar For The Blind

Tallahasseeans Robert Miller, owner of Easy Talk, Inc. and president of the Florida Council for the Blind, and his wife, Sila Miller, conducted training August 28 to September 1 for 11 members of the Barbados Council for the Disabled.

The Council’s president, Clevedon Mayers, along with his staff, had identified a need to address the lack of knowledge and equipment to allow the visually impaired access to computer technology.

The training covered several programs that are available at low cost along with scanners and a refreshable Braille display. The Millers trained the Council members in a computer lab set up in a local college.

The training covered several programs that are available at low cost along with scanners and a refreshable Braille display. The Millers trained the Council members in a computer lab set up in a local college.

“We also did some training on Braille production and printing,” Miller continued. “We really opened up adaptive technology in Barbados. They had not been introduced to it before.”

Miami Expert Provides Drug Counseling Model In Panama

Nationally-recognized drug expert, Dr. Doris Amaya of Miami, provided the first in a series of week-long training sessions for volunteer drug counselors in Panama this past July. The training program is a result of a continuing collaboration, begun in September 1999, bet ween Regis House, a drug treatment facility in Miami, FAVA/CA and Cruz Blanca in Panama. The ultimate goal of the training is to have a group of certified addiction professionals who can train others in Panama.

“This group will be the pioneer group in the process of credentialing and certification,” said Amaya. She has been to Panama many times before to offer training, but this was the first time that the goal of establishing a licensing program was the express purpose of her training.

“It was wonderful,” Amaya said, who teaches courses in ethics for counselors at the University of Miami. “The students were there faithfully. They worked very well. I offered them the same course that I teach at the University of Miami, and at the end we had a special ceremony to award them certificates. Some high-ranking officials came and television crews were there. It was very special for them.”

Bahamas Health Care Professionals Receive Trauma Skills

Dr. Lawrence Kaplan, trauma physician and independent consultant, Body Wise, and Alice Forthman, critical care nurse and course community training coordinator, Florida Hospitals, Orlando Campus, traveled to Grand Bahama July 16 to 22 to train 32 physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals from six of the outer islands.

The volunteers visited Rand Memorial, a government-managed hospital with an emergency department that treats both emergency and accident patients. The two volunteers instructed nurses, physicians and emergency field personnel in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support.

“The trip was very rewarding from the educational perspective. The hospitality shown to us by those at Rand Memorial Hospital was appreciated,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan noted that while he and Forthman were there, they found trainees, physicians, nurses and paramedics alike, already beginning to incorporate into their medical routines some of the skills and information which had been taught in the workshop.

“The training was very important to them and we have established a long-term teaching relationship with them,” Kaplan continued.

“The workshops went off very well,” said Paul Newbold, EMS Field Director of the Public Hospitals Authority. “The doctors and nurses and other staff were so exhilarated they wanted them hem to come back. They were thoroughly impressed with the trainers and how they presented the material.”

Organization Of Eastern Caribbean States Accord Offers Technology

Corps lead volunteer Assistant Professor Dave Clay of the Department of Computer Sciences at the Florida Institute ute of Technology in Melbourne, consulted with various representatives of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on August 16.

“The investigative trip identified some interesting possible collaborations within the education, telecommunications and sports units of the OECS,” Clay said. “It may be possible to support the efforts in e-commerce and in use of educational soft ware with skilled volunteers.”

Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris initiated this partnership with OECS with an agreement on December 8, 1999, entitled ”Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and The State of Florida Cooperative Partnership Agreement.”

The agreement is designed to promote better understanding, closer cooperation, and good relations between Florida and the OECS member countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St.Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, and the British Virgin Islands.

Hometown Volunteer Returns To Train Fellow Dominicans In Advanced First Aid

Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic is a popular, mountainous tourist site with few medical resources. Recently the he Dominican Red Cross identified a need for the training of volunteers in advanced first aid for that area and called on FAVA/CA for assistance.

In response, veteran FAVA/CA volunteer Marta Lopez of Miami trained 30 participants in CPR, poison prevention, labor and delivery, and other advanced first aid techniques from July 29 to August 5.

“My trip to Jarabacoa was great,” Lopez said. “The people were exactly what I had expected since I lived there myself for four and a half years while studying medicine. They are very humble, hospitable and appreciative.”

Lopez observed that in the remote areawhere she did her training, there is no 911 system and so most emergencies are handled by Red Cross volunteers.

“The training for them in that remote area of the Dominican Republic was of utmost importance since Jarabacoa is a little town up in the mountains, very far from most major cities,” she said.

“I think that they will or have already used these skills to save a life in that beautiful little town of theirs,” Lopez continued. “I thank FAVA/CA for giving me the opportunity to be able to feel that from far away I may have been able to help someone in the Dominican Republic today.”

According to Martin Reyes, director of the Cruz Roja Dominica, Lopez was a very good trainer who was very knowledgeable in the material.

“The training was very valuable,” he said.

Belize First Lady Targets Male Aggressive Behavior

First Lady of Belize and Commission president, Joan Musa, and National Women’s Commission director, Agnes Flowers, recently targeted male aggressive behavior as a factor in domestic violence and requested assistance for training from FAVA/CA.

FAVA/CA volunteers Lou Reed, former supervisor of the City of Miami Beach Police Department’s domestic violence unit, and Shirley Hawkesworth, assistant director of Miami’s Victim Services Center, presented a series of workshops this past July to address the issue.

Reed spoke to staff and students of the Youth Enhancement Academy. Then the team conducted a two-day workshop for more than 50 members of the National Women’s Commission, including private agencies, government officials and police officers.

“The Belize government is very advanced in this area,” Reed said. “We were able to give them a lot of information. They’re very progressive. Belize could be a leader in intervention and prevention of domestic violence in the Caribbean.”

Reed has recently formed a non-profit organization in Florida, offering consulting services in domestic violence and family counseling. “It was a very rewarding trip. I look forward to doing some follow-up training in the future,” he said.

Agnes Flowers said the workshop was a huge success. “Participants expressed that they learned a lot and were ready to implement some of the strategies discussed. Of particular interest were the many audio/visual materials used,” she said.

The workshops resulted in recommendations to the Minister of Human Development and Women for further discussion with other government ministers.

“For 95% of the participants, most sessions were new to them,” Flowers added. “The workshop was timely and impacted those who are front-liners in the social sector.”

Volunteers Boost Youth In Grenada

Two youth intervention programs were conducted by Corps consultants as part of Grenada’s “Operation Save Summer”, a July drug demand reduction initiative supported by the United States Embassy, Barbados.

Volunteers Mary Hausch and Bonnie Harrison of Gainesville’s Hippodrome State Theater conducted IMPROV, an improvisational youth theater development exercise. The program is the fifth of its kind that the volunteers have provided to Caribbean nations on behalf of FAVA/CA.

In addition to the IMPROV project, volunteers Danny Pietrodangelo, Amy Olk, Glenn Sharron, Pete Winter and Rebecca Roberts orchestrated the media development program designed by youth to produce effective anti-drug mass media messages.

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