Friends of Guirgho (Aired February 8 and 9, 2020)

Victor Guirma and Pascal Guirma along with Bob Rich visited RadioRotary from their
home Rotary Club, New Paltz. All three are part of Friends of Guirgho, a 501(c)3
nonprofit that is trying to improve the school and other facilities in the village of Guirgho,
Burkina Faso, the ancestral home of the Guirma brothers. Burkino Faso (formerly
known as Upper Volta) is a landlocked nation in West Africa whose people are mostly
Mossi. Roughly 100 years ago when France controlled this part of West Africa, French
Jesuits wanted to start a boarding school, but few natives would attend. Finally the
Mossi emperor had his second son, known as Bila Victor, hogtied and carried off to the
school, which signaled the other Mossi that it was safe to attend. Bila Victor became
educated and his children did also, one of whom became the first ambassador from
Upper Volta to the United States and later the ambassador to the United Nations, which
is how his sons Victor and Pascal came to attend school at SUNY New Paltz and later
settle in the town. They always had remained connected to the ancestral village of
Guirgho, a rural settlement about 60 km from the capital of Burkina Faso. Visiting the
village of they saw the need for a better school and for other modern improvements.
One of their most complicated projects was bringing computers to the school, since
there was no infrastructure. Listen to the program, which tells much of the story.

Learn more
Friends of Guirgho: https://www.friendsofguirgho.org/
New Paltz Rotary Club: https://www.newpaltzrotary.org/
Burkina Faso: https://www.britannica.com/place/Burkina-Faso
Ambassador Frédéric Guirma: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frédéric_Guirma

Did you like this? Share it:
February 20, 2020 · Posted in International Programs, Rotary Club Projects ·  

Helping Victims of Domestic Abuse (Aired February 1 and 2, 2020)

RadioRotary interviews Branka Bryan, Executive Director of Grace Smith House, a shelter for
persons confronted with domestic violence in Dutchess Country, about 10% of whom are men.  Domestic violence includes psychological as well as physical abuse of a person in an intimate partner relationship. The abused and the abuser can each be any age, ranging from children in middle school to persons over 90 years old. Grace Smith House started nearly 39 years ago when a small group from Poughkeepsie’s First Presbyterian Church (including a church elder named Grace Smith) recognized that there was a need for housing to protect victims of domestic violence.  Today Grace Smith House also provides transitional housing, counseling, and education in the schools and the community. Victims can easily reach help by calling the hot line, (845) 471-3033, where trained volunteers will direct the caller to help. Services of Grace Smith House are free and highly confidential. Women with young children can be accommodated in the shelter as well as adults and teenagers.

Learn more
Grace Smith House: https://www.gracesmithhouse.org/
Domestic Violence Services, Dutchess County: https://www.dutchessny.gov/Departments/Community-Family-Services/Domestic-Violence.htm
Gaslighting: https://www.healthline.com/health/gaslighting

Did you like this? Share it:
February 20, 2020 · Posted in Domestic Violence, Support Groups, Women ·  

40 Years of Hudson River Housing (Aired January 18 and 19, 2020)

Back in 1980, Dutchess County Executive Lucille Pattison recognized that there was a
homeless crisis in the county and appointed a Task Force to address the problem, which
resulted in the formation of Hudson River Housing and the first emergency shelter for the
homeless. This vital service has been at the heart of the program as Hudson River Housing
expanded over the years to include transitional housing; affordable apartments and houses;
housing for veterans, for youth, and for seniors; historic preservation; rehabs of existing
structures as well as new construction; employment assistance; and help for first-time home
buyers. In this program, Christa Hines, Executive Director of Hudson River Housing, tells the
story of this amazing agency and the work that it does. With a staff of 160 as well as many
volunteer workers, the Housing Agency has become central to improving Poughkeepsie—and it has extensions to Beacon and to northeastern Dutchess (Amenia, Pine Plains, and Millerton)
where there are considerable needs as well.

Learn more
Hudson River Housing: https://hudsonriverhousing.org/
Family Partnership Center: http://familyservicesny.org/family-partnership-center/
Mental Health America of Dutchess County: https://mhadutchess.org/

Did you like this? Share it:

Grace Year—A Time to Do Good (Aired January 18 and 19, 2020)

Jessica Davis is interviewed about her experience of taking a “gap year” after graduating from
SUNY New Paltz. She is living with other young persons who are working to help others in a
program called “Grace Year.” Grace Year allows recent college graduates to spend a year
of intentional living from a base in Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook, NY, focusing on
spirituality, religion, and justice It is a year-long opportunity to live in a small community
of young adults as they prepare for lifelong journeys of sustained leadership for the
common good. During the year, the fellows live together along with the program leader,
Abby Nathanson, in the Grace Church vicarage while they volunteer to work with local
nonprofits. These include a preschool; youth programs for teens; EPIC (Engaging
People in Change), a bilingual leadership program for high-school students; programs
for immigrants; local farms; Hudson River Housing; and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem
Studies. Ms. Davis is helping senior citizens by working with the Church Alliance senior
residence and Millbrook at Home, which helps senior citizens who are aging in place.
When her Grace Year has passed, Ms. Davis plans to attend graduate school with the
intention of becoming a guidance counselor.

Learn more
Grace Year: http://www.graceyear.org/
Grace Year Program (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/graceyearprogram/
EPIC (Engaging People in Change): https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/e04b940c57a74a4da68d634d44982d1e-engaging-people-in-change-epic-millbrook
Church Alliance of Millbrook Gardens: https://www.nyconnects.ny.gov/services/the-church-alliance-of-millbrook-gardens-bartel-place-housing-sofa45301
Millbrook at Home: http://www.millbrookathome.org/
Grace Episcopal Church in Millbrook: https://www.gracemillbrook.org/

Did you like this? Share it:
February 4, 2020 · Posted in Aging, Humanitarian Service, Support Groups, Youth ·  

« Previous PageNext Page »