Here is a screenshot of my most recent article in the LSU Alumni Association Magazine. The text from the article is posted below the screen shot. Enjoy!
Greetings Tiger Nation,
Hot weather, sports, seemingly endless food, group activities and an element of learning by fun. Yes, it has all the symptoms of summer camp season and even half a world away few things feel different other than the language and towering mountains engulfing a summer of inspirational camps and fun.
A Peace Corps Volunteer’s role often turns into that of a camp director in summer time. This summer I had many rewarding service opportunities conducting camps and special trainings for kids from all around Kyrgyzstan.
Themes have ranged from HIV/AIDS education, to making appropriate decisions in healthy relationships, to implementing social media strategies in rural areas serviced by community radio.
The experience that most touched me, however, was a bit of a special situation. Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to travel to the southern regions of Kyrgyzstan so a camp from the Jalalabad region brought their kids to me in the north. The camp was a seven-day English camp for 15 students and after the seven days participants traveled to Bishkek where we then made a two-day training in basic computer skills. Some of these students had never even touched a computer before but upon completion of the camp all participants demonstrated skills in basic Microsoft Word and Excel, used email to send, receive and save files and messages, explored a variety of information on the internet searching with Google and registered with Twitter via SMS.
A main goal of the camp was to inspire these students to think about their future and to see what possibilities exist outside of their village. Meerim, the university student who organized the camp, is from the same village as the camp participants but found scholarships to study in America, is a recent university graduate and has many opportunities in life. She wanted to use her own example, and example of others, to inspire these students to realize that they can have dreams and follow them. Brining them to Bishkek to work with me was a large part of showing them things outside of their own environment. Hands down this was extraordinarily effective at inspiring the students and it was a great inspiration to me as well.
At the end of summer I changed my worksite to the capital city where I will develop syndication agreements between the community radio stations throughout Kyrgyzstan and the Kloop Media Foundation (www.kloop.kg) who will broadcast content from the rural areas onto the internet. I conceptualized this project and will be working with local and national media as well as several multi-national organizations to develop a sustainable plan.
My last ten months of service promise to be full of challenges and rewards!
I continue to love my life and have great pride in my service to the Kyrgyz people. I hope that you find a way to serve your own community and find your own inspiration to better your world. As always, you may follow my adventure at https://www.judsonlmoore.com and @JudsonLMoore.
Judson L Moore US Peace Corps 2011-13 Volunteer, Talas Kyrgyzstan
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