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Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome Cohort 8

Cohort 8 Focapaci-Fundace Team 

I would like to welcome Cohort 8, my name is Pedro Calero and I will be facilitating the fresh input brought by the last round of British volunteers. The new team is highly committed, categorically motivated and eager for getting stuck in on their projects and duties. Our strategy in this cohort will be focus on community engagement and development; family’s nutritional enhancement; urban agriculture modernization and entrepreneurial self-sufficiency.

 Before giving away too much detail about our objectives I would like to introduce the team: Laura Prieto is a half-Spanish anthropology graduate from London, she is very passionate about development in South America, especially Bolivia. She is very excited about working with Focapaci and the opportunity to build relationships with lots of new people. Roisin Mulligan is originally from Ireland but spent the last few years in London working in the charity sector. She is fascinated by Bolivian culture and volunteering in an international settings. Her Irish skin is slowly adjusting to the incredible El Alto sunshine. William Doe is from Portsmouth and has recently graduated with a degree in Microbiology. He has been working in a hardwood joinery workshop and designing / assembling high class exhibition stands. He is fervent about the upgrading of the greenhouse and getting involved with nutritional investigation. Daniel O’Neill is from Southampton and always has been interested in other countries, he got an international relations degree and is passionate about opportunities abroad. In his spare time loves music, both listening and making it. Pedro Calero, myself, has experience in community-based art projects along with engagement and education. I am looking forward to bringing innovation, prosperity and quality to our intervention in the El Alto community. Ariel Celiz and Edelweiss Morillo are the in-country volunteers who will inspire and guide us during this adventurous and significant journey, they both have extended global understanding, due international activities, and local knowledge on multiculturalism in Bolivia, that will make possible our integration and understanding. The team are eager to get started and I am optimistic that our work will pay off.

In more detail, the team has already been looking into which areas we would like to focus on this cohort. Laura is excited to be taking on the role of coordinator of commercialisation. For the next few weeks she will be working on expanding our service inside APAUA (Asociación de Productores en Agricultura Urbana Alteña – El Alto Association of Producer in Urban Agriculture) from 8 families to around 25. Furthermore, this will involve two other local organisations, Aprodam and Buena Amistad. The aim of this union is to expand the net of restaurants and clientele. Roisin will be coordinating a module on human rights and exploitation to be presented at conference for urban producers this May. She will also be working with families and producers to fortify and enhance their capacities and yields. William will be coordinating the ongoing nutritional research with the aims to publish a report on balanced diet and optimal cooking guidelines. Daniel will be coordinating the ongoing production unit, publishing a series of technical video manuals for new and advanced agricultural producers. In addition, the full team will be supporting families’ needs where required, potentially involving construction, general maintenance on greenhouses and crop growing, community reinforcement, training and synchronization. Without further ado, I would like to thank my team for their efforts and energy thus far, and I know that with your ongoing commitment to the project, we will have made a significant impact.

Focapaci-Fundace Team working at El Alto 9th Urban Agricultural fair

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