Our Practicum students begin arriving today! Are you interested in becoming a part of their experience here? Read more below in the article that appears in the Summer 2010 Journal, which will be mailed this week.

Each year, community leaders from developing countries come to the SIFAT campus in rural Alabama for 10 intensive weeks to learn appropriate technologies and self-help skills to make a difference in their villages and cities. We refer to them as students, but their ages range from early 20s to late 60s. Some are pastors, while others run nonprofit organizations. All of our students care deeply about their communities and want to learn ways to foster community development and self-help.

During the Practicum, students learn to purify water, make rooftop gardens, build simple water pumps, make low-cost reading glasses for literacy programs, preserve foods, improve child survival, promote safe motherhood, foster microenterprise and small loans, build fuel-efficient cookstoves, prevent tropical diseases and much more. They also learn how to organize communities for action and write project proposals.

We need your help! Would you give or raise a $500 scholarship to enable a student to be trained from Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Thailand, Zambia, the Congo (DRC) and other countries? We have several potential students hoping and praying to be able to come this year to be empowered to return and help others.

Your $500 is a long-term investment in a community leader who returns home to share all that he or she has learned. It is a blessing to see the results and fruit continue to bear from SIFAT alumni through the years. Please contact Kathy at brysonk@sifat.org for more information. Please designate your gift “scholarship fund”.

Our current intern in Ixiamas, Bolivia, is 2008 Practicum graduate Becky Forrest. Becky served on short-term mission trips in 2007 and 2008 in Ixiamas. She is now in her second year as an intern.

The last two months have been very busy with visitors at the Internado. On June 14, Rachel’s parents, Marcia and David Parsons, along with interns Olivia Singleton and Troy Wetherholt arrived in Ixiamas. Each of them worked on many projects around the internado. Troy was here to assist Bolivar Sanga with the water projects in many of the surrounding communities. Bolivar has trained with Water for All, International (WFA) to learn this appropriate technology that uses manual power instead of machinery to dig wells.

The first water project was in Puerto Ruso, where with the help of the Tshimane Indians that live there, two clean water wells were drilled with man power and no mechanical systems. You may read more of the water projects in Troy’s previous blog posts (click here and here).

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We have two YouTube videos to share with you. The first video shows some of the well drilling that Bolivar Sanga is leading in communities near Ixiamas. Troy, our summer intern, shared about the drilling in his previous posts. SIFAT learned how to use this manual drilling system from Water for All International. If you have been reading our blog for a few years, you may remember in Spring 2008 when Ixiamas intern Addison traveled to Santa Cruz to learn how to drill from Terry Waller of WFA. Since then, SIFAT has been teaching this technology in the Practicum and Field Study trainings.

The second video was made by internado director Rachel Parsons Tenorio, Mateo (Rachel’s husband) and her mother, Marcia Parsons. It will give you an overview of a short-term trip to Ixiamas – from traveling to seeing the town to current projects around the internado (boarding home). If you are interested in taking a team to Ixiamas, please contact Peggy (perdidopeg@aol.com) or Ivan (romani@sifat.org).