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February 06, 2007

Working with The Pangaea Project

For the next three weeks, I am here in South Africa with my friend Deb, helping her with Pangaea's trip here next July. We have a week in Cape Town, then we drive along the southern coast of Africa to Durban, then Jo'Burg.

The Pangaea Project is a Portland-based non-profit leadership development program that engages low-income, at-risk teens in both local and international service-learning projects. This year's program theme is housing and homelessness in Portland, OR and South Africa. We are here in S.A. to set up partnerships with local groups and meet the "change makers" who work on these issues.

What this means is that for the next three weeks we are meeting with loads of intereting projects, places and people related to housing and homelessness... everyone from very grassrootsy groups to official NGOs to City agencies and everyone in between.

More about Pangaea is on their website at www.thepangaeaproject.org... The program begins in March of each year with a four month local training period in Portland before the students travel to another country to gain a global perspective on local issues. Upon return to Portland, they spend five months giving educational presentations and engaging in social action campaigns to schools, public audiences, at conferences and on radio shows, allowing them to become community leaders involved in social change. The program emphasizes the notion that anyone can make a difference, regardless of life obstacles or socio-economic status. Students are inspired to take a stand by introducing them to both local and international grassroots
community leaders.

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