Monday, April 21, 2014

Zebra baby steps!

If I could pick a word to describe past few weeks it would be change. Starting with the arrival of our new zebra volunteers to the farewell of an amazing first cohort and a whole generation of fellow team leaders. The first, a really happy event; it is always a joy to extend the family and welcome new volunteers full of enthusiasm and passion. The second very surreal, three months of shared memories and so much work done, building true bonds and friendships and then saying goodbye. However, many lessons have been learnt and many smiles and great memories are treasured in the heart!

Certainly a big footprint has been left, and the research on noise pollution made by George and Ben has set a solid foundation for us to look forward and keep aiming high. This document will be published in September, we are so proud! And we are sure that this will be not just a tool but an inspiration for us all.

(from left to right: Mino, Gio, Karina, Joey and Luz)
Continuing the tradition, we received two fantastic new volunteers: Giorgio ‘Gio’ from Manchester in the UK who is 23 and has a background in psychology and Joseph ‘Joey’ from Perth in Australia who is also 23 and has a background in teaching. They both have experience and love to work with children, which is just perfect for the new phase of our project. The team is now complete and we also, want to give a big welcome to yet another new member of the zebra team, Luz, she is the new cooperante tecnica of our project, she is a writer and also film maker. Not to forget Mino the other cooperante who among many other talents is a great rap singer, and me Karina the team leader that helps and guide to the volunteers and cooperantes with all the enthusiasm. We cannot wait to see what the synergy of this brilliant bunch will bring in the coming months.

Building on the noise pollution baseline written by the first cohort, now we get to be more hands on and to implement some of the recommendations left. This translates into designing, piloting and adjusting an educational module for children from 6 to 12 years old to teach in a didactic and fun way how to prevent and recognize noise pollution, with the hope that they will be transmitting this to their families and friends, thus, spreading the message we want to get across. This product once finished will be implemented by the zebras urban educators in the local schools of La Paz.  We have a big responsibility and a great opportunity to make a difference in the area. For this, our team will be designing the activities and have the first piloting and adjustment with the children centres of Aldeas S.O.S, Childfund and some public schools around the city.

Another exciting and major task we have for the next quarter is to bring ideas for raising awareness to what promises to be the biggest event in Noise Pollution that the city has seen so far ‘Day of no honking’ on April the 30th, which is going to prove everybody’s creativity - the zebras themselves are pretty creative characters!  On this day we will have the presence of all of the zebras –around 160- as well as around 13 senior and junior classes of public schools to educate paceños (people of La Paz) on how enjoyable it is to have a peaceful environment and how worthwhile it is to keep it tranquil. Many areas of the local government, some universities, scouts and many more are joining forces to make of this day a hint on this theme. The presence of the Mayor of La Paz is expected, as well as the local media.

This quarter promises to be lots of fun! Thank you for following our adventures! For more about Gio, Joey, Luz, Mino and me, Karina, you can also check us out on our Facebook page!

Written by Karina Guzman.

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