Diego Fernández, the Secretary for Social and Urban Integration of Buenos Aires, visited Cultural Agents at Harvard this past fall to give a presentation for the Cultural Humanitarian Agents Seminar series on his work in the Buenos Aires impoverished neighborhood, Villa 31. He recently gave an interview on Radio Belgrano with Viviana Canosa. The following is a translated excerpt:
Viviana: I truly felt impressed by what I saw when I went to Villa 31. After we said goodbye, I stayed talking with stall owners…Tell me about how the idea to urbanize Villa 31 arose.
Diego: What we want to achieve is that everyone has the same opportunities and responsibilities. Esperanza, the stall owner you met, breaks her soul everyday working. It is good that she has the same opportunities: access to credit in the formal economy, a bank account that pays for her living and costs, etc. The most important thing is that neighbors begin to see the future with more optimism, when I think that I can do better and that my effort is going to get more results, I get more strength to work.
Viviana: It’s beautiful to see a city in action. For me, the truth is that it really excites me: 3 schools, headquarters of the Ministry of Education. Tell me what has been done and what there is to do.
Diego: Look, first, in terms of infrastructure, for December of next year, the whole neighborhood is going to have an electric sewer drainage system. We are improving and transforming all of the homes so that they are secure. The ministry is going to have three schools next to it. The building was created in a public contest and is going to be the largest of the public buildings.
Viviana: What happens to the people that need to move?
Diego: The concept is that they cannot live under a highway, so we are relocating all of these people by 2019 to a new housing group that we are building in a neighborhood adjacent to Villa 31, where there had been container stores.
A call to Cambridge-area volunteers! Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and Y2Y seek volunteers from now to January 23. To learn more about HSHS (the first student-run homeless shelter in the nation!), HSHS’s services or other volunteer opportunities, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the HSHS website! You can also learn more about Y2Y (the first student-run youth homeless shelter in the nation!), serving the needs of young adults aged 18-24, by visiting the Y2Y website or emailing email@example.com.
Sign up with HSHS here and Y2Y here!
DESCRIPTION OF SHIFTS:
Dinner: 6:45 PM – 9:15 PM
Evening: 9:00 PM – 11:15 PM
Overnight: 11 PM – 8:30 AM
Breakfast: 6:30 AM – 8:30 AM
*But if it is Saturday morning (and Sunday morning at Y2Y), then it is*
Friday Overnight: 11:00 PM – 9:30 AM
Saturday Breakfast: 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM
DINNER — You’ll be making and serving dinner, and perhaps be lucky enough to run on a food salvage trip or collect pastries from the many shops that donate to us.
EVENING — This is a relaxed time to visit with guests as they prepare for bed. It’s usually very quiet and a great opportunity for some wonderful conversations. Help is also often needed in the kitchen to clean-up after dinner and prepare plates of food to hand out at the door.
OVERNIGHT — You’ll stay awake with other volunteers and night-owl guests, basically having more good conversations, watching movies, doing laundry, reading, baking cookies, etc! This is a fantastic shift because it’s a rare opportunity to have long conversations and get to know people well. People often say it’s the best shift! And never fear, we do take turns sleeping — the night is typically divided into three shifts (12-3 AM, 3-5 AM, and 5-8 AM) and you will be awake for one of them (there is a staff room with bunk beds, so you will be able to sleep when it is not your turn to be awake).
BREAKFAST — Come in bright and early to greet our guests as they begin to wake up! You’ll be making breakfast and helping to clean the shelter (an invaluable service!) after all the guests leave at 8 AM.
Refugee Program Intern/Research Assistant, Job Description
Research Program on Children and Adversity, Boston School of Social Work
The Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA) seeks to understand trajectories of risk and resilience in children facing multiple forms of adversity, including poverty, conflict, and infectious disease. Through quantitative and qualitative research methods, the program investigates key mechanisms shaping child development and mental health. The “community based participatory research” Refugee Program in Boston is targeting families in the Bhutanese Lhotshampa and Somali Bantu refugee communities for a Family Strengthening Intervention (FSI).
The student would perform his/her internship/research assistant for the Refugee Program, one project under the RPCA. The student would have the ability to assist in a range of diverse tasks, yet the internship could be tailored to the student’s individual skill set and interests. The main scope of work would be project management and research program management support to the Program Manager. Responsibilities may include:
· Creating project related materials, tracking timelines, assisting with budgets, attending meetings (sometimes at other agencies) and taking/sharing meeting minutes, assisting with data collection and the electronic data collection platform, assisting with staff training, assisting with program design and implementation, implementing project improvement initiatives, and building relationships within the community and across stakeholders.
· Data organizing, cleaning, and analyzing, as well as assistance on manuscript preparation, are also possible tasks.
We are looking for someone who:
- Is a self-starter who takes initiative
- Is culturally humble and has experience working with people from diverse cultures
- Has skills in project management
- Is able to problem solve and be creative in proposing solutions
- Understands social and behavioral determinants of physical and mental health
- Has experience working in a research setting
- Has skills in data management or analyses (preferred, but not required!)
Minimum hours per week: 10; flexible
Start date: Spring 2017
The position is unpaid but we are happy to work with students on obtaining academic credit or field placements.
Cultural Agents wishes everyone happy holidays!
We hope this new year sparks our imagination to find innovative ways to communicate and collaborate.
May our creative spirits light the way.
For more information on upcoming events, please visit our website: http://www.culturalagents.org