Paraguay, Peace Corps and Partners

The latest Partners of the Americas blog included this piece about Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Brendan Hughes and Ronaldo a student in the community of Yhu. Ronaldo was chosen as a Youth Ambassador and visited Montana. He missed Kansas but we are still pleased with the success and the connection between the Peace Corps, Partners and Paraguay.

http://www.partnersoftheamericas.net/2014/08/do-you-believe-in-power-of.html?utm_source=August+2014+Blog+Digest&utm_campaign=August+Blog+Digest&utm_medium=email

Kansas American Youth Leadership Program Delegation

The Kansas delegation of American Youth Leadership Program (AYLP) 2014, and family members, got acquainted June 23 evening. We appreciate the hospitality of KPP and especially Tina Williams at International House, Washburn University. Five youth from Topeka and Stilwell Kansas are part of 21 from 7 states who will travel to Washington and Paraguay during July. AYLP engages with new cultures to increase leadership skills and promote volunteer community service. It is funded by the US Dept. of State through Partners of the Americas. Comite Py Kansas will host in PY. Steve Richards is one of 3 mentors with the group.

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Kansas-Paraguay Family Practice Medical Exchange

Dr. Goering from Newton Kansas just received the Kansas Association of Family Practitioners’ Kansas Exemplary Teaching Award. Click on the link at the bottom to read about it.

Dr Goering has also participated in the Kansas-Paraguay Partners Family Practice Medical Exchange. The Exchange is a collaboration between the National University Medical School in Asuncion, the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita and Partners of the Americas. Not familiar with the exchange? Here is what Merrill and Boots Raber’s 40 Year History of the Kansas-Paraguay Partners says about it.

In 1999 Rick Kellerman, M.D., went to Paraguay to support the new Family Medicine residency program that Dr. Wes Schmidt was establishing. Since that time, numerous physicians on the faculty of the respective medical schools have made the exchange. Physicians from Paraguay have found an opportunity to learn concepts and best practices of Family Medicine. Physicians from Kansas have learned international medicine and built relationships with colleagues in Paraguay…. More than 100 Family Medicine physicians are now trained and working in Paraguay. (page 39)

http://www.thekansan.com/article/20140608/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/140609524/0/SEARCH

Kansas, Paraguay and Partners of the Americas participate in a Nationwide Art Contest

Kansas Paraguay Partners, our southern partners CPK and the US-Paraguayan binational center (CCPA) are working together to conduct a national Paraguayan art competition.  The focus is on young Paraguayan artists in the areas of painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography.  The winner will receive English instruction (if necessary) through CCPA, travel to Kansas through an education and culture travel grant and work with artists in Kansas.  Amber Hansen a Lawrence artist, University of Kansas instructor and KPP member traveled to Paraguay through a POA travel grant to participate in the judging of the contest.  Below is a poster for the event.

 

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More Fire Equipment Photos from Paraguay

Our southern partners (CPK) sent more photos of the fire equipment. Read the previous post for the story of the equipment. In the first photo the third person from the left is Ramon Grange one of the key people in getting this project to become a success. Enjoy

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Donated Fire Fighting Equipment from Kansas Arrives in Paraguay

Kansas Firefighter Equipment Delivered in Paraguay

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A container of firefighting equipment has landed in Paraguay and has been delivered to members of Comité Paraguay Kansas (our counterpart) Emergency Preparedness Committee headed by Steve Richards.  This nears the end of a 7 year saga that began with a cultural exchange to Kansas by Jorge Martín.

In 2009 Steve and Lorraine Richards along with several other Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) attended a Partners of the Americas (POA) regional meeting in Chicago.  At this meeting we all learned about the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners remarkable ability to ship donated firefighter equipment to Nicaragua.  Steve came away from this meeting with a smile and the name of the Denton Program.

Steve and Lorraine were the lead KPP members on the Emergency Preparedness Committee and envisioned sending donated equipment from Kansas to Paraguay.  Under a POA travel grant Paraguayan firefighters had been to Kansas and indicated the need for updated equipment.  But why would Kansas’ fire departments donate equipment to Paraguay rather then to the many small rural communities in Kansas? There are standards for firefighter equipment and with technological advancement the standards change and fire departments must update to the latest equipment. This means that Kansas fire departments must get rid of old equipment.  Steve and Lorraine were glad to help out.

Now KPP had an interesting problem.  Steve’s basement was soon out of space to house donated equipment.  Under Steve’s leadership KPP bought an old shipping container and Steve arranged for it to be housed on the Wichita Fire Department’s property.  This storage and work space also came with the beginning of Scott Fromme’s involvement in KPP.  Scott is a Wichita fireman with lots of international experience.  Under a POA travel grant he traveled to Paraguay to make certain that the donated equipment could actually be used rather than sit in some warehouse because it didn’t work in Paraguay.  Scott visited lots of Paraguayan fire departments and learned a few words of Guaraní that helped forge a bond with Paraguayans.

Donated equipment kept coming in and Steve was learning about the Denton Program. Here is how the Department of Defense describes the Denton Program.

The purpose of the Denton Program is to allow U.S. based non-governmental sources to transport humanitarian aid at little or no cost to the donor, while simultaneously putting the extra space on U.S. military transport assets to good use. This program is jointly administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of State (DOS) and Department of Defense (DOD). Transportation is generally available to close destinations such as Latin and South America; however, the availability of transportation to particular countries is affected by current military and political situations. Transportation can neither be scheduled nor guaranteed; and therefore, cannot be used to meet urgent needs or deadlines.

Steve met the challenge of satisfying two government agencies and KPP was approved.  This is far from the end of the story.  I will let Steve tell more of the story.  Please click and enjoy.

 The Rest of the Story

Dr Feltes visits University of Kansas School of Medicine @ Wichita

Dr. Fletes is the latest visiting physician from Paraguay to participate in the Kansas Paraguay Partners (KPP) Family Practice Health Exchange.

Since 1986 the School of Medicine of the University of Kansas @ Wichita has partnered with KPP to engage in an exchange of family practice physicians between Kansas and Paraguay.

The School of Medicine reports that as a result:

  1. Family medicine residency programs increased from 1 to 7 in Paraguay.
  2. The number of family medicine residents increased from 15 to 120 per year in Paraguay
  3. An international elective in Paraguay was established for KUSM students.
  4. The program received the Award for Excellence from Partners of the Americas in 2002.

If you happen to be in the Wichita area tomorrow November 6, Dr. Feltes will is presenting a talk at noon in the Sunflower Room at the Medical School.  The flyer says that lunch is provided.  Dr. Feltes’s talk is Dengue Fever and the Paraguayan Health System.  RSVP to Debbie Bennett: dbennett@kumc.edu

 

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