Fighting Hunger with the Hispanic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida by Amy Lamb

Florida has changed and grown since my childhood, but nothing is more normal there than a severe–but short–thunderstorm in the afternoon. I wasn’t surprised when, during a recent Helping Hands meal packaging event with the Hispanic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, the lights flickered and the salsa, merengue or bachata-influenced music stopped for a moment. The energy of more than 120 volunteers, however, never stopped. Helping Handsis a partnership of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Stop Hunger Now.

Fighting Hunger with the Hispanic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida by Amy Lamb

It’s easy to facilitate an event with an enthusiastic host and volunteer group and a strong partnership with another organization (CRS is Stop Hunger Now’s largest non-profit partner), but because I was asked to translate everything I know about Stop Hunger Now’s work, the event and global hunger from English to Spanish, I was required to think about the importance of my language.

The facilitators of Stop Hunger Now meal packaging events have many jobs: transporting  materials, setting up, directing the volunteers and, most importantly, orienting everyone present to the work, mission and organization. I know from past experiences leading volunteers that figuring out how to do this effectively is not always easy. So, when I feel challenged by my own word choice, I usually translate what I want to say into Spanish–because it isn’t my first language, I have to find the central point of what I wish to say quickly.

In translating for this event with the Hispanic Diocese, I remembered the volunteers, their energy and engagement in our mission is the central point of these events. While the meals are a concrete, measurable result, when I attend or help facilitate an event, I enjoy that volunteers have dedicated themselves to being the apparatus of our mission. As I leave my home state once again, I am invigorated by our volunteers and grateful for the opportunity to translate and therefore think about my language’s role in engaging our volunteers.

 

*Amy Lamb is the Davidson Impact Fellow with Stop Hunger Now and is a recent graduate of Davidson College. She performs data analysis to assist program staff in planning and goal making as well as strategizes Hispanic outreach for the organization.

** This article was first published on Stop Hunger Now website. See here for the original post.

A Firsthand Look at Farming, Education and Women’s Empowerment in Belize by Amy Lamb

Visiting Stop Hunger Now’s partner in Belize, Kids Konnect 4 Jesus, in October was the first time I had been out of the country. While traveling with a small team of Stop Hunger Now staff, I discovered one of the most difficult things about leaving the U.S. is letting yourself take in your surroundings without comparing them to what’s familiar.

A Firsthand Look at Farming, Education and Women’s Empowerment in Belize by Amy Lamb

In the U.S., I worked on a few farms prior to  my role at Stop Hunger Now, I worked on a few farms, exclusively for female farmers. And while I didn’t set out to only work on farms run by women, I don’t think it was an accident that this pattern has appeared in my life. I am incredibly grateful for the influence of these women farmers.

While in Belize, we started gardens at four of the five schools we visited. As I’ve experienced in the U.S., it is often difficult to gain the attention of an audience who views agriculture as a traditionally male sphere. However, running a tiller can be a pretty convincing indicator that you know what you’re doing – regardless of any preconceived notions.

There are some spectacular women connected to KK4J. We met principals and teachers who are dedicated to educating and enriching the lives of children in a country with little governmental support to do so. I was incredibly encouraged by the interaction between these women and Karen, one of the co-founders of KK4J. Karen is in her own right a spectacular woman, and she is made more so by her support and interaction with equally impressive Belizean women.

In the short time I spent with those kids, I did far less for them with my American view of gender equality than what Karen and the Belizean women are able to instill. They talk to and listen to these kids, demonstrate strength and resilience, the power of education and most importantly the power of caring for someone other than yourself.

 

*Amy Lamb is the Davidson Impact Fellow with Stop Hunger Now and is a recent graduate of Davidson College. She performs data analysis to assist program staff in planning and goal making as well as strategizes Hispanic outreach for the organization.

** This article was first published on Stop Hunger Now website. See here for the original post.

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