RESPECT – Bridging Cultures Through Letters
RESPECT International is about connections,
creating links and deepening understandings. This is done through
the power of the written word in the Global Letter Exchange
between refugee schools and non-refugee schools.
The reaction of the non-refugee schools has been wonderful, with
staff and students alike, dedicating time to contribute to
RESPECT International; their support is invaluable as without
them, the letter exchange would not be possible.
The majority of schools taking part as non-refugee schools are
based in the United States and Canada. Teachers from these
schools apply to take part in the exchange, with the aim of
increasing awareness among their classes of the struggles and
issues refugees face every day. They do this through the
undertaking and cultivation of "pen-pal" relations. At
present schools in France, Japan and Taiwan are also
Solar Success – What's Cooking at RESPECT?
The Republic of Liberia on the west coast of Africa is amongst
the world's poorest countries. Marred by two brutal civil
wars ending in 2003, an estimated 200,000 people were killed and
thousands more fled.
While Liberia's economy lay in tatters, the country became
heavily reliant on foreign assistance for revenue (from the
CIA – The World Factbook). Coupled with bordering countries
also in conflict or in economical turmoil including Sierra Leone
and Guinea, the country and the region became of interest to one
group of RESPECT International volunteers who
cooked up a plan to create clean and affordable energy to a
region approximately 5 million square kilometers in size.
The Power of a Computer and The Sun
A team of RESPECT volunteers comprising engineers,
college students and non-profit organizers from around the globe
researched solar cookers. For the sake of time, the group relied
upon existing designs and ones that were not controlled by any
After studying over 65 variations, they created a prototype.
They were mindful of the West African climate: what kinds of
materials were the most readily available and inexpensive in a
specific country, and the sorts of foods and culinary practices
in a particular area. After extensive research, the volunteers
settled on a design and an ingredient list. Next, it was time to