This extended MHConnect opportunity is made available through the MHC-International Internship Program. Interested students should refer to these application guidelines. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so students are encouraged to apply ASAP.
Location: Managua, Nicaragua
Duration: 9-10 weeks, likely starting in June and ending in August
Housing: Homestays organized by the program
Qualifications: Comfortable with conversational Spanish, experience working with community-based organizations and children/youth
Podcasts for Peace is a youth-focused community center that enriches the lives of over 400 young people in Acahualinca, Managua, Nicaragua. We teach digital arts and offer a variety of other enrichment activities and educational classes to children and youth. Our classes and projects equip participants to become agents of change by starting with their own lives and then looking out at the needs of their neighbors. A central component of Podcasts for Peace is its Youth Media Program, which promotes media literacy and production skills, social justice values, community activism, critical thinking, and leadership.
Mission: Our programs engage children’s curiosity, kindness, and creativity, while developing the leadership potential of adolescents through collaborative community engagement.
Podcasts for Peace facilitates creative and intellectual expression through digital media to empower youth leaders and promote social justice through collaborative community engagement.
Community: Acahualinca is located on the northern part of Nicaragua’s capital city, Managua, which borders the shore of lake Xolotlan and the municipal dump. The community is divided into seven smaller sections including Alemania Democratica, where Podcasts for Peace is located, which is home to around 800 people. More than 70 percent of the population works in the informal sector and 70 percent live in extreme poverty.
Participants: The most active participants range from 5-12 years old, but some activities and classes are offered to children as young as 2 years old or adults as old as 70.
Current & Past Activities:
- Artisanship and Personal Savings
- Technological Education: Basic Computing, Typing, Photography, Digital Arts
- Reading and Homework Hour
- Dance Classes
- English Classes
- Movie Night
- Community Soccer
- Education/Activism around Gender Equity and Environmental Stewardship
- Counseling and group work led by a psychologist
- Community gardening and other projects
- Field trips and workshops
Prospective interns are invited to select 1-3 options that interest them, and to speak to their qualifications and motivations for their preferred areas of focus in their application. All interns will participate in Reading Hour and support classes, activities, and trips led by the Podcasts Team.
Reading Hour Facilitation and Curriculum
Interns will work to create a dynamic and interactive educational curriculum centered on a selection of children’s books. Each lesson plan will include a drawing or craft activity and basic educational concepts (colors, numbers, basic math, basic grammar, etc.) Reading hour will be held every morning and afternoon 4-5 days a week. US interns will work alongside Nicaraguan interns and community members. Reading hour will often be followed by outdoor games and physical activity.
English Language Instruction and Curriculum
The interns will teach English as a foreign language at the public elementary school. The interns will work as a team with the help of a Nicaraguan intern to teach classes, reflect on their experiences in the classroom, and develop a curriculum that can be used by future volunteers--both native English speakers and Nicaraguans. Possible opportunities to lead classes for elementary school teachers on ESL and pedagogy for qualified interns.
Public Health and Environmental Education:
Interns will have the opportunity to be fully immersed in an urban community with many risk factors for poor health. They will execute public health projects and workshops focused on nutrition and physical fitness with children from the neighborhood. The expertise of Podcasts for Peace will make the incorporation of digital arts and media a key component of the projects, which will produce innovative tools for health education in Managua communities.
Interns will also work alongside youth to design environmental learning experiences, which include workshops and trips outside of the capital city to learn about environmental stewardship and Nicaragua’s natural resources. They will also plan community projects with youth that focus on environmental stewardship and public health.
Database and Documentation: Qualitative and Quantitative
Interns will work alongside the coordinator to help develop a comprehensive participant database. This database will help Podcasts staff to better track the progress and participation of children and youth. The students will identify user-friendly ways of collecting and entering data in addition to some basic reporting formats that give a snapshot of Podcasts current activities and participant involvement. Students will help to develop a standard electronic storage flow for all Podcasts team members to ensure that, photos, digital arts projects and basic reporting is backed up and stored in a use friendly format. A quality improvement perspective is essential to execute this task. Some basic qualitative evaluation instruments will be created to aid in documentation of Podcast’s participants and activities with photos, and audio and video interviews.
Outreach and Fundraising
Media savvy interns with strong writing skills in either English or Spanish can help in outreach and fundraising. Activities could include spearheading a crowdfunding campaign, grant-writing, writing blogs for the website, posting updates to Facebook, starting and maintaining a Twitter or other social media account, conducting short interviews for promotional use, and subtitling videos.
Interns with the appropriate skill sets may choose to work with children and youth in one or two of any of the following areas: art (including photography), music, dance, theatre, community art (murals or sculptures), digital arts, advanced computer classes, sports, or another educational or otherwise enriching activity. Students who work in these areas will be expected to document their classes with lesson plans or activities with internal reports. Prospective interns can also refer to the list of activities (above) for ideas.
Co-founder of Podcasts for Peace, Mika Kie Weissbuch (Mount Holyoke Class of 2011), will serve as intern coordinator. Interns will participate in an orientation, weekly meetings and group discussions, and self-reflection time facilitated by members of the Podcasts for Peace team. As a culminating project, each student will create their own digital story (a 3-5 minute video narrative combining storytelling, images, and music) reflecting on the personal significance of their experiences with Podcasts for Peace. Interns will also have the opportunity to connect with college-age Nicaraguan students who are involved in the program and to attend weekly talks on a variety of topics.
Please feel free to email Mika at PodcastsforPeace@gmail.com with questions.
Please refer to the guidelines for applying to Late-Breaking and Extended Opportunities.