For the past 12 months we have been raising funds for the purchase of over 1000 backpacks but that is one part of the work and activities of Umbrella Initiatives through the Backpack Project. Just as critical is the work of the volunteers and volunteer coordinators that work tirelessly within their own organizations and also with the local schools they will be partnering with. To better explain the work of the coordinators let’s follow the work of Miguel Garcia in Piura, Peru. Over the last three years Miguel has coordinated the Backpack Project in six different schools and this coming summer he will coordinate in two more schools in Piura.
Miguel’s work begins with reaching out to the local school Principal to see if the school would sign an agreement with Umbrella Initiatives and his church to allow for the Backpack Project to use the school facilities. The school through signing up to take part provides use of the building and helps to identify students that have academic needs or are live in poverty and could benefit from the project. Afterward he reaches out to the students and the entire community to encourage those identified to participate.
Then he begins the process of talking with his congregation to see if they would be willing to participate for the week. In addition to meeting with volunteers, he is also developing lesson plans for the week. Though, Umbrella provides a general guide of suggested activities and materials the final determination is up to the coordinator.
With just over five weeks from the start of the Project, Miguel’s New Year and Christmas season is busy in coordinating, planning and developing a fun-filled experience for all the children who participate. The work of Miguel, Katty (image above), and other coordinators is an integral part of the work and allows for your donation to go further and reach more children in need.