The Crayon Project

A Peacemaking Project by Niamh K.

What is the injustice we are solving?

In Guatemala there is no free schooling like we have in the United States. The goal of my project is to send school supplies down to an organization in Guatemala that will help distribute the supplies to schools in Guatemala. Many families cannot afford to pay for the education or the supplies to help get their children an education. By sending supplies down I hope to help more children go to school so they can have a brighter future.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of the lack and cost of education in other countries around the world, starting with Guatemala
we will address the expense of education for a child and his or her family and try to lower it
by sending school supplies down to an organization in Guatemala that will help distribute the supplies to different schools and students.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • With our project we have the goal of sending school supplies down to an organization in Guatemala that will distribute them to others. This will help more and more families send their kids to school and help them have a brighter future.

We will increase my / our compassion by...

By pursuing this project we will be able to better understand the struggles of people who cannot afford school supplies or other necessities go through to ensure their children can receive an education. We have already seen how hard is is to get money to buy just supplies, to factor in other costs of daily life it would be much, much harder. By sending supplies we will know more about the struggles of people who are living in poverty and how difficult it can be to buy things we see as simple such as pens, pencils, crayons, and other supplies.

How will you show courage?

We will show courage by advocating for the children of Guatemala who cannot speak up about the pricey cost of education. We have put ourselves out there in our community discussing the issues of education in Guatemala. Not only have we spoken to those in our community but there has been an article written about our project and we have used social media to raise awareness about the issue we are fighting to end.

How will you collaborate with others?

So far I have teamed up with a club at my school, the Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CCSR), and with a classmate, Haley Cuff. Haley and I have worked hard so far to collaborate with an organization in Guatemala called, Mayan Families. This organization will help us distribute the supplies we have collected and sent down to different families who are in need of them and to other schools in the area so their students can receive supplies too.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

We will know that we are moving in the right direction after we send the supplies and they are received by the Mayan Families organization. The organization will be able to give them to classrooms and children that need them. Mayan Families will let us know about the reactions of the children and then we will know that this project was a part of making a difference and the right thing to do.

Key Steps

  • 1. Advocate and speak up about our project to the community and on social media.
  • 2. Collaborate with an organization in Guatemala to help us distribute the supplies.
  • 3. Apply for grants to receive money.
  • 4. With the money received buy supplies like crayons, pencils, pens, and paper.
  • 5. Use the remaining money to ship the supplies down to the Mayan Families organization in Panajachel, Guatemala.
  • 6. When contacted by organization saying they got the supplies, see what other countries are dealing with similar issues and set up connections there and do the same thing!

Our Updates:

The Crayon Project

Niamh K. 28 February 2018 17:09 This is a collage of photos I made from my last trip to Guatemala where I handed out crayons to children there. 

Comments:

Kelsey T.
8 May 2018 16:51

Hi Niamh! Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths: I think your project is deeply compassionate and I appreciate that your motivation comes from an experience of interacting with children in Guatemala. I also appreciate your focus on collaboration -- I think it is critical that you are working closely with an organization based in Guatemala who has a deep understanding of the needs of the community. I also think it is great that, despite facing some challenges around participation, you have attempted to run a drive in your local community/school to gather supplies.

Things to Consider: I’d encourage you to use this opportunity of collaboration with Mayan Families to learn even more about the situation in Guatemala and how you could expand your work to address the root causes that lead to this lack of access to school supplies. Thinking through root causes is a really helpful way to come up with a sustainable solution -- and this can take ongoing work as we continue to grow and develop our understanding of the community we are helping. I’d also encourage you to continue to think about how to engage your local community. How might some of these same issues around unequal exist to education persist locally? I wonder if redirecting some of your energies locally might help you broaden your base of supporters and get more folks to participate in drives since they will better be able to feel their impact.

Congratulations and best of luck!
 

Adrian B. Peace First Staff
28 March 2018 18:41

Hi Niamh,

We're excited to hear more about your ideas to address this important injustice! I wanted to let you know about an opportunity -- if you are interested in getting some funding for materials that you need to carry out your project, you can apply for mini-grant of up to $250.

The deadline to submit your Project Plan and Mini-Grant Application is March 31st if you want to remain eligible to apply to attend a Peace First Accelerator.

As you craft your plan, be sure to consider the feedback we gave you on your compassionate insight, and check out our project planning tools for help turning your insight into a concrete action plan: https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project

Then, through your dashboard you can make any changes you want to make to your "compassionate insight," record your plan in "Make a plan" and then "Apply for a mini-grant" for the materials you need.

Let us know if you have questions. We're looking forward to supporting your project!

Best,
Adrian  

RaulPF C. Peace First Staff
6 March 2018 12:40

Hi Niamh,
Thanks again so much for posting this project.

As part of the Peace First project-making process, we give formal feedback on your compassionate insight. Once your insight is all set, then you can move forward with your mini-grant application if you need funds to help move your idea into action!

I want to give you feedback on your insight:

"To solve this injustice of
the lack of education in other countries around the world, starting with Guatemala
we will address
the expense of education for a child and his or her family
by
sending school supplies down to an organization in Guatemala that will help distribute the supplies to different schools and students."

I think it is great that you are thinking already about very practical ways to address the injustice you have identified.

I think that your insight could be made stronger if you spent a bit more time exploring the different perspectives of the injustice which can help you think about different angles. We have a great toolkit that you can use with your team to think a little longer about the injustice and about your understanding of the root cause. You can find the toolkit here: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/peacemaker-manual
You can select the areas that you want to focus on.

I would love to see if you can identify ways in how you can combine what you already do with other ways to address the root cause that you may identify after using the toolkit.

I look forward to hearing more.

Best,

Raul
 

Kelsey T.
2 March 2018 16:02

Hi Niamh-- it is great to hear your updates and read your compassionate insight! Someone will be providing you with some feedback on your insight soon, but for now I'd encourage you to continue to explore the root causes of the injustice to think about how to create a sustainable solution. Have you checked our our tools? I think the problem and solution tree tool would be a great exercise for you to do as you continue to dig into the situation. You can find that here, along with other tools that will help you think about who you can talk to to find out more about the injustice:
https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion

I am curious about why you've chosen to do this work in Guatemala -- do you have ties there? Would love to hear more!  

Niamh K.
1 March 2018 15:46

Hello sorry for the late reply! So far I have contacted the organization in Guatemala called Mayan Families. This is where we will be sending out supplies. We have contacted Crayola but they have only donated coupons for their products and no supplies. We need some funding and we are hoping your organization can help!  

Fish S. Peace First Staff
15 December 2017 23:50

Hi Niamh! Thanks for posting this project! Equal access to education is so important, and I'm glad you're working on this issue. Have you been able to send supplies yet? Or are you still working on planning your project?

Whatever stage you're at, we'd love to help you put your project together. Let us know how we can help!  

RaulPF C. Peace First Staff
15 December 2017 16:22

Thanks for sharing your project, Niamh! Can you tell us a little bit about what you have done so far and what you hope to do next?