Villlage Empowerment

University of Massachusetts - Lowell, 2008 - $31,000

Village Empowerment was founded on a commitment to sustainable partnerships among students, faculty and professional volunteers from a wide range of disciplines and institutions along with Quechua villagers in Peru. VE has installed over 80 systems that address renewable energy, health care, education, communication, water, food production and housing needs in 44 villages/towns with the help of more than 120 students, volunteers and 5 faculty from Umass Lowell. The long-term vision for this grant is to develop and offer a multi-disciplinary course on global poverty focusing specifically on Peru as a representative case study. Instructors will work together to develop a course on overcoming poverty using Peru as a case study. It will be a multi-disciplinary undergraduate course, which will involve service-learning projects, according to a student’s major, for installation in a Peruvian village. The course will be structured to foster team-work and efficiently and effectively use the knowledge of Peruvian villages to innovate systems to help alleviate poverty throughout the world. Some of the students will travel to Peru. The course should provide students with the opportunity to complete a community-service project in Peru as well as give them a deeper understanding of mass poverty.