Kids proud of their work at one of the Summer Camps
The Glenn Family Foundation uplifts communities by providing them with sustainable access to their most basic needs. This includes but is not limited to access to clean water, access to solar power, improved sanitation to reduce incidence of disease and improved living conditions to foster a sense of pride.
We also recruit international and local volunteers to enrich these communities through education, health initiatives, skills sharing and technical expertise. Volunteers form an integral part of our strategy. Our volunteers work in small teams of two or three and are enmeshed in these communities for a six-month period to ensure they have a meaningful impact. GFF covers your flights, visas, insurance and all basic living costs.
For the last six months, GFF Representative in Sri Lanka, Tharaka Munidasa, has been identifying new opportunities for GFF in this brand new location for the HELPS programme. One of the areas of need he identified was the lack of resources at a local SANASA Campus to train local youth in information technology (IT) – a much sought after skill in this region.
Sarah McLaughlinOpening of the Information Technology Department in Sri Lanka
By Michael Fanning, GFF Representative – Philippines
Elementary school summer holidays begin in April and end at the end of May here in The Philippines. That meant GFF would not be able to call around to schools and continue its workshops, mobile libraries and digital tablet training during these two months. Instead, we created some posters and a summer camp plan and called around to some local barangays (villages) to inquire about potential interest. Out of the 6 villages we asked, 5 of them replied that they would like a summer camp held there, which we are holding in local sports halls or classrooms.
Image: Pavithra Gunasekara (right) and first Sri Lanka GFF Representative, Tharaka Munidasa (left) standing at the entrance to SANASA Campus.
Hi there, my name is Pavithra Gunasekara. I am a recent graduate from SANASA Campus, Kegalle, Sri Lanka, having completed a Bachelor of Science in Regional Science and Planning. My degree programme was based on community development where I got the opportunity to engage and work with a SANASA Primary Society (local cooperative community groups). With their collaboration, I developed an “Integrated Rural Development Plan” for four years under five pillars: community empowerment, uplifting the low-income families, developing infrastructure facilities, improving education & health and developing the local cooperative community groups. The second project was on encouraging small to medium entrepreneurs in Makola South area by aiding credit finance.
Sarah McLaughlinIntroducing Pavithra, GFF Sri Lanka
By Willyn Carrascal, GFF Representative, Philippines
In October 2018, GFF HELPS Philippines set out a new venture to bring light to those in need in the form of solar power in Madalag, a predominantly rural municipality in Aklan, Philippines. This area was chosen for the trial of the solar project after a long and careful consideration of necessity, accessibility and safety.
Access to electricity is a basic need in any household and the lack of it may affect an individual’s life in different ways. Families with no electricity will have shorter productivity as they heavily rely on sunlight during the day to do housework. At night, they would typically use kerosene in a glass bottle as light. This may be harmful to their health and a huge fire hazard, especially to houses made of bamboo and nipa (palm leaves). Students also find it difficult to do their homework without adequate lighting. By providing this necessity, we would not only help eliminate these problems but also create a safer place and turn a house into a home.
Sarah McLaughlinLighting up Homes in Panipiason, Philippines
GFF Representatives, Shona Warren and Sulochana Thapa, visited two rural villages in Kavrepalanchok, or ‘Kavre’ for short, last week as part of their research for the GFF Village Development programme. They were met by the local women in their special dress and talked to them to understand their way of life in the village, what their main sources of income were, and what the primary needs were.
The Kavre district is just east of Kathmandu and has a total population of 381 937. It was an area that was greatly affected by the 2015 earthquake. There are numerous concerns in the broader region.
By Willyn Carrascal, GFF Representative, Philippines
As society evolves with its 21st century technological advancement, children’s way of learning is changing. Therefore, schools and teachers must adapt their pedagogy into 21st century learning. Children today have shorter attention span and are more inclined to learn through student-oriented learning with proper teacher-guidance. Based on our observation during our visits in schools in the Banga area, many of them have computers that were never used or already broken due to poor maintenance. School children in Banga do not have access to engaging materials to support their learning. Teachers also expected to do more administrative work whilst ensuring their students are not falling behind, taking their time away from their personal lives. This makes their job more stressful and may lead to teacher burnout.
Sarah McLaughlinDigital Learning Project – Philippines
Saom Tshering Namchu of GFF India, facilitating a village meeting in Kalimpong, India
The Glenn Family Foundation supports charities, institutions and individuals around the globe in the upliftment of poor communities and alleviation of suffering. The philosophy of its founder is in offering a hand up, not a hand out, and in so building communities that are empowered, self-sustaining and proud.
The Foundation uplifts communities through its “Village Development Model” by providing them with sustainable access to their most basic needs. This includes but is not limited to access to clean water, access to solar power, improved sanitation to reduce incidence of disease and improved living conditions to foster a sense of pride.We also recruit international and local volunteers to enrich these communities through education, health initiatives, skills sharing and technical expertise. Our volunteers are enmeshed in these communities for a six month period to ensure they have a meaningful impact. The National Standards for Volunteer Involvement (2015) attest to the valuable contribution that volunteers make toward the attainment of an organisations goals by extending the capacity of the organisation through their time, skills, expertise and points of view. GFF works to embody these standards in all its engagements with volunteers and considers volunteers as a vital part of its strategy.
Pioneer GFF Representative for Sri Lanka, Tharaka Munidasa, and Project Coordinator, Pavithra Gunasekara
The Glenn Family Foundation (GFF) has selected Sri Lanka as the next destination for our HELPS programme. This programme aims to empower and uplift vulnerable communities by providing them with sustainable access to their most basic needs. This includes but is not limited to access to clean water, access to solar power, improved sanitation to reduce incidence of disease and improved living conditions to foster a sense of pride.
We also recruit volunteers to enrich these communities through education, skills sharing and technical expertise. Our volunteers are enmeshed in these communities for a six month period to ensure they have a meaningful impact. We are entering a Sri Lanka as a new location and looking for volunteers to develop our projects there.
It is with great sadness that I am writing of the sudden, tragic passing of one of our GFF representatives, Thanh Vu a few weeks ago. She was a kind, giving, beautiful soul who touched the lives of everyone she encountered. Thanh had the challenging task of initiating GFF’s work in Vietnam and despite many obstacles she encountered along the way, through her sheer determination, she always found a way to drive the project forwards. She had such a big heart and wanted to help make the opportunities she had available from her education in Sydney, more accessible to other children in her home city of Ho Chi Minh.