Students to Impact Guatemalan Community

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Nourish-InternationalThe university’s Nourish International chapter is raising funds for its summer 2014 project abroad. The group will be traveling to Guatemala City and hopes to raise its budget of $1,000 by February 26.

Nourish International is a nonprofit organization across forty-five campuses nationwide, engaging students in partnerships with small communities abroad and helping them invest in sustainable change to end poverty. The UT chapter has gone on previous trips to Uganda, Peru, and Guatemala.

In addition to raising $1,000 through the Global Giving Challenge, the chapter hosts events such as percentage nights and benefits concerts, and sells Ugandan jewelry on campus weekly. The group hopes to raise another $3,000 through these efforts. Donations can be made online.

This summer, chapter members will be working with Guatemalan organization called Unidas Para Vivir Mejor (UPAVIM), which they worked with during the summer of 2013. Students will be working in the La Esperanza community teaching English and a variety of other subjects.

The goal is to help increase the literacy rate so children can rise out of dangerous and unhealthy circumstances. They also hope to provide a safe environment for learning in an area plagued by gang and domestic violence, illiteracy, malnutrition, and other societal problems.

Six of the UT chapter’s fifteen members plan to travel to Guatemala where they will teach at a UPAVIM school for six weeks. Nourish chapters partner with communities that are dedicated to maintaining their programs once Nourish members leave.

UT Nourish chapter leader Elizabeth Sherrill said the local group sought out UPAVIM in 2013 and hopes to continue building the relationship through 2015. “UPAVIM has been an established children’s education and women’s empowerment organization in the La Esperanza community for several years and was gracious in facilitating our involvement last year,” she said.

UPAVIM is devoted to empowering women in the community, many of whom are the sole caretakers of the family and provide economic support. The group began in 1988 in a pairing with a Sister Parish group in Bemidji, Minn.

Find out more about Nourish International and its projects on its website.

Find out more about UPAVIM here.

C O N T A C T :

Katherine Saxon (865-974-8365, ksaxon@utk.edu)

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