Kansas Paraguay Partners Tribute to Mary Miller

Mary Miller and Charlie Stansifer

Mary Miller and Charlie Stansifer

Mary Miller passed on Wednesday April 8, 2015. Mary was active in the Kansas Paraguay Partnership for many years. One of her successful projects was with the Citizen Participation Committee. This project illustrates one of the strengths of Mary and long-term partnerships like Kansas Paraguay Partners. A significant change in the Paraguayan government presented an opportunity that KPP could successfully take advantage of because of the long-term relationship that had been developed over many years.

In the 1990s as Paraguay was developing democratic institutions after decades of dictatorships Mary Miller and Nan Wilson undertook a several year project in voter education with our Paraguayan partners at Comite Paraguay Kansas. Mary and Nan were active in the League of Women Voters and helped Paraguayans understand how a non-partisan and non-governmental organization could educate its citizens about democratic processes.

This was a several prong project that involved Mary traveling to Paraguay in 1993 to gauge interest in democratic elections. She found eagerness to move forward and get involved. With assistance from the Nation Association of Partners of the Americas (later Partners of the Americas) and USAID a youth conference was held in Asuncion on their roles in a democratic society.

A group of Paraguayan women from Mujers por la Democracia also traveled to Kansas to learn how the League of Women Voters engaged in voter education. While in Kansas they attended city commission meetings and participated in the League Day at the Kansas legislature.

Upon returning to Paraguay three women engaged women in Mercado Quatro that is one of the larger markets in Asuncion with primarily women venders. These women identified issues important to them that related to the municipal government. Once the issues were identified they held public forms around the city and asked candidates to address the issues. These forms attracted 100 to 150 people each. Mujers por la Democracia also used these events to educate people about voter registration and the voting process.

Mary reported on the progress of this project to the Department of State, the Advisory Committee for USAID and the staff of Senators Dole and Kassebaum.

Mary was also an adventurer.  Read more at http://obituaries.ljworld.com/obituaries/ljworld/obituary.aspx?n=mary-elizabeth-phillips-miller&pid=174613625

Ambassador Pangrazio Conquers The University of West Virginia

Last night the University of West Virginia beat the University of Kansas in men’s basketball. As a KU fan I was disappointed.  However Paraguayan Ambassador to the United States Igor Pangrazio (a KU graduate) was also visiting UWV and had a better outcome.  He was promoting studying in Paraguay and supporting President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas program that Partners of the Americas is promoting. The program seeks to have 100,000 students from the north to study in the south and visa versa.  Here is an article from the UWV student paper about the Ambassador’s visit.

http://www.thedaonline.com/news/article_9b0c7d9a-b658-11e4-8e79-a376f726cd49.html

POA President Steve Vetter and Ambassador Igor Pangrazio

This short video is from Partners of the Americas.  Steve is welcoming Ambassador Pangrazio to Washington as he starts his post as the Paraguayan Ambassador to the United States.  Igor is a graduate of the University of Kansas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zj_XhRQP7ZY

How Do Volunteers Accomplish So Much?

International partnerships under Partners of the Americas have achieved amazing results through volunteers.  To find out how that is possible take a look at a new book.  Steve Richard has supplied this short piece on The Power of Partnerships.

The Power of Partnership is the beginning of an ongoing project to document the histories of its chapters, partnerships, and networks. It draws on Partners’ institutional archives and more than 100 interviews with volunteers, staff members, and project participants including some from Kansas in March, 2013. Beyond commemoration, the 50th anniversary of Partners highlights the significance of people-to-people diplomacy in U.S.-Latin American relations. Partners appreciates KPP and the efforts of Merrill and Boots Raber in publishing “A 40-Year History of KS PY Partners” as a leading example. Of course all of this is only possible because of our southern partners at Comite Paraguay Partners.

You can order from www.partnersmarket.net under “Publications.” Discount applies for two or more books.

10428550_10152583190427810_8579477658111021617_n

 

 

 

Kansas Artist Helps Judge Sculpture Contest in Paraguay

Eric Conrad who teaches are at Emporia State University is visiting Paraguay under a Partners of the Americas travel grant to assist the judging of a sculpture contest sponsored by Centro Cultural Paraguayo Americano (CCPA) and Comite Paraguay Kansas (CPK).  The winner of the context will visit Kansas at a later date. Here are a few photos supplied by our partners at CPK.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Paraguayan Artist Teresita Gonzalez at Lawrence Arts Center

Teresita Gonzalez presented some of her photographic work at the Lawrence Arts Center September 29, 2014.  Teresita has documented the Hospital de Clinicas in Asuncion before it moved to a more modern facility.  The hospital was the primary health care facility for the poor.  You can see some of her work on YouTube with the link below.

Hosting Teresita were three Lawrence artists who are also participating in helping judge Paraguayan arts contests sponsored by Centro Cultural Paraguay Americano and Comite Paraguay Kansas with travel assisted by Partners of the Americas.  Judith McCrea is a professor of art at the University of Kansas and a long time friend of Paraguayan artists.  Amber Hansen is a Lawrence artist and lecturer at KU. She went to Paraguay to help judge the photography part of the CCPA – CPK art contest.  Eric Conrad is a Lawrence artist and Professor at Emporia State University.  He will go to Paraguay during October to help judge the sculpture contest. University of Kansas Paraguayan student Gabriel Racca translated for Teresita.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ofhUdOV03A

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers

%d bloggers like this: