In the summer of 2016, Jamil Lalani volunteered with Progressio ICS in a rural community in Nicaragua. He was supported in his volunteer work with a £200 Individual Grant for Volunteering awarded to him by the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Jamil was stationed in a rural community called Parcila, near the town of San Juan De Limay, where he worked alongside five other British volunteers and seven local volunteers. During their three-month placement, Jamil and his team built 26 water filters and 17 eco-stoves with new chimneys. The water filters remove arsenic from the river which comes from the local gold mine, providing the community with safe, clean drinking water. The eco-stoves help to reduce the amount of wood used when cooking, which also means that the users now spend less time collecting fire wood. The chimneys also reduce the amount of smoke that the users are inhaling when cooking in their homes, improving their health.
Jamil and the team also painted a mural on the local school which promoted the importance of education and raised awareness of the effects of climate change. They also organized two football tournaments to get the local young people involved, where they also spoke about the work they were doing and gave a talk about the things that the community could do to help reduce the impact of climate change.
He not only vastly improved his Spanish speaking skills, he also learnt a lot about climate change, he said, “I learnt [about] and experienced climate change first hand, which was really interesting as we don’t see such extreme effects from it and has given me the drive to try and reduce our impact to the environment, as it clearly impacts their lives. They have had droughts for the last 3 or 4 years which has had a dramatic effect on their livelihoods and ability to look after their families.”
Jamil also learnt about the importance of working as a team and learnt some valuable schemes whilst leading on some parts of the project.
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