DESCRIPTION OF PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER SERVICE

 

Mr. Hans N. Lechner entered training on: July 14, 1999 in Kingston, Jamaica, and completed an intensive six week Community Based Training (CBT) program, which required all Trainees to be placed in an environment most similar to that in which they would serve.  CBT had four major components:  Community development training, cross-cultural training, technical training, and orientation to the role of a Peace Corps Volunteer.  Community development training included exposure to community entry skills, facilitation skills, conducting needs assessments, and project planning methods.  Technical training consisted of learning more about the environmental issues facing Jamaica and how the volunteer could adapt their skills and education to tackle those issues.  Volunteers were also introduced to the Jamaican education system and learned how to work within it, and how to identify resources and collaborate with other agencies.  During training, numerous fieldtrips were conducted to familiarize volunteers with the geography of the island and to strengthen the introduction to the issues and resources that are found in Jamaica.  Mr. Lechner was enrolled in Peace Corps on August 20, 1999 at the Hilton Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.

 

Mr. Lechner was responsible to the Jamaica 4-H Clubs during his service in Jamaica.  He served as an Environmental Educator/Promoter assigned to the Central Region 4-H, which encompasses the four parishes of Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, and St. Ann.  As a Peace Corps Volunteer and Environmental Educator/Promoter, he worked with 4-H Clubs in the primary, junior high, high school, and college level.  He also worked with the regional and national offices developing an environmental curriculum.  As an Environmental Educator/Promoter, Mr. Lechner was responsible for the following:

 

Environmental Education and Promotion

    Developed new and enhanced existing national environmental curriculum for Jamaica 4-H Clubs. 

        Enhanced the rules and guidelines for the environmental events (Poster Competition, "Crafty Trash," and Vermicomposting) at 4-H Achievement Days.

        Conducted training of over 1000 students and teachers in environmental awareness.  Training was usually conducted in a classroom setting; however, hands-on-learning was also implemented.

        Performed numerous visits to 4-H Clubs in over 150 schools throughout the central region to conduct training, project assistance, and project maintenance. 

        Created and implemented lesson plans for resource and waste management, recycling, organic gardening, eutrophication and water pollution.  These lessons were designed to be adaptable to a wide range of age groups and education levels. 

        Designed and launched Vermicomposting program throughout the 4-H Clubs.  Using compost worms as a method to reduce household waste while simultaneously creating quality organic fertilizer. 

        Collaborated with environmental non-governmental organizations, schools, and local businesses to fund and mobilize 300 students and community members in four beach cleanups and one river cleanup.

        Director and counselor of Environmental Education at 4-H Clubs Summer Camp (July 2000 and 2001) and Winter Camp (December 2000). 

        Coauthored national 4-H environmental handbook for leaders.

        Established a network of referrals, resources, and links between the 4-H and environmental non-governmental organizations.

 

Secondary Projects

        Generated and strengthened an environmental newsletter for children and teachers.  Using resources and funds from a dormant environmental NGO volume 11, issue 1 of "Crocodile News" was generated.  The target audience was students from grade 4 and up.

        Drafted project proposal for Yam Stick/Tree Farm aimed at reducing deforestation by supplying yam sticks (straight poles usually obtained by chopping down young trees) to local farmers. 

        Devised a Yo-Yo Tournament and trained 20 youth in skills for competition.