Slum work forms future – Local News – Bay of Plenty Times

Kirsten Hauschild has just returned from an eight-week volunteer internship in the Philippines.

The Tauranga-based 22-year-old Massey University student wanted some practical experiences to enhance her post graduate work in Development Studies, which is the next step after obtaining an honours degree in Resource and Environmental Planning.

“A lot in class already had years of practical experience and had come back to do the theory; I felt I needed something to gain the practical work experience,” she said.

Kirsten was accepted for a summer internship through Massey University with worldwide student organisation AIESEC. She used all her savings (about $4000) to pay for the internship with Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement.

Her time was spent in slum areas of Quezon City where she carried out various projects in the urban community.

Gawad Kalinga builds small dwellings using local labour. Kirsten said the houses are well-built using permanent materials complete with power and water. The new owners are responsible for the interior decoration.

“The aim of GK is to empower the people with houses first, then comes community and from this employment will come.

It empowers them to work it out for themselves. Better to have a grass roots solution than a top down one,” said Kirsten.

Her host family, who had previously lived in squatter accommodation, now live in a GK-built house in the urban community, the first to be built in that area. She paid them an allowance of 1000 pesos (about $30) per week as part of the host-family arrangement.

“Philippine culture is family oriented. To feed or cook is their way of showing hospitality. They love to share whatever they have. We had a cooked meal every meal. The food was wonderful.”

Kirsten’s primary research project took her door-to-door to ask set questions about how their village was being built, to get some feedback on the project.

She struggled at times with the language difference but was “adopted” by a young Filipina, 10-year-old Eunice, who helped with her survey visits, translating and offering help.

“Kids followed us everywhere – they were a big part of the community life.”

The interns were encouraged to develop their own project. Kirsten’s plan was to develop community space for outdoor seating where the local people could socialise.

She also looked into the dental health of the children as she was horrified by the terrible state of their teeth and gums.

“Most had badly decayed, black gums and missing teeth as a result of their diet of fizzy drinks and lollies which the kids seem to always have because they were so much cheaper than healthy food.”

She approached Colgate in the Philippines asking if it would provide education material to the poorer urban communities and was pleased when the company said it would also provide dentists.

This project will continue with help from the next intake of volunteer international interns.

Kirsten now heads back to Massey University in Palmerston North to complete her post graduate diploma with the eventual aim of specialising in disaster relief in developing countries.

here is an excerpt of article found at http://www.bayofplentytimes.co.nz/local/news/slum-work-forms-future/3947292/

Kirsten was accepted for a summer internship through Massey University with worldwide student organisation AIESEC. She used all her savings (about $4000) to pay for the internship with Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation and nation-building movement.

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About rictandag

http://about.me/rictandag http://LVHelpGro.net @rictandag @LVHelpGro Returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Republic of the Philippines 1979-1980; Financial Management training Program [FMP], G.E., Appliance Park, Louisville, Kentucky 1981-1982 Champion [two days] Jeopardy 1986 Attorney, Los Angeles, CA 1989-1995 Disabiility Rights Attorney, www.NDALC.org, Las Vegas 1998-1999 Immigration Asylum Attorney, throughout the State of Kansas 1999-2001 Supply Logistics Specialist, UPS Las Vegas, 2006- present http://www.ups-scs.com [business] http://InternationalAidAdvocate.com http://rictandag.tumblr.com/ http://www.facebook.com/rick.passo http://www.linkedin.com/in/rickpasso http://www.twitter.com/rictandag http://paper.li/rictandag http://rictandag.i.ph/blogs/rictandag/ http://ricktandagvegas.blogspot.com/ https://rictandag.wordpress.com/ advocate for: http://www.gk1world.com [Gawad Kalinga, tagalog for "to give care"] http://www.jacintoandlirio.com http://www.civitan.net/diverse http://www.Rags2Riches.ph
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