Among the in-country projects funded by Friends of Colombia last year was the local purchase of 12 video beam projectors for PCVs to use in the field. No more old-style movie projectors! PCVs can now go higher-tech by checking out the available video beam projectors for use in classrooms, conference sites and other gathering places. This grant was managed by the ICT4D Committee in Peace Corps Colombia by Alyssa Galik and Maya Cross.

We currently have distributed projectors to three geographical hubs (Barranquilla, Santo Tomas and Fundacion). Volunteers from two programs—Community Economic Development (CED) and Practical English for Success (PES) have sent positive feedback about the use of the projectors in their primary projects and secondary activities. Here are some of their success stories:

PES volunteer Kati uses her projector in her community English class, which she holds at the local university. While her host organization provides the class space, like most volunteers she must provide any other resources herself. An experienced teacher, Kati is particularly happy with how the projector helps her save class time. She can, she says, “project things onto a whiteboard and then correct or fill in things with marker” rather than writing everything out longhand. She is also pleased that she can use the projector “for showing video and image examples to my students for practicing vocabulary”, a common struggle for education volunteers here.

Sage, a PES volunteer working in a much smaller community with very limited resources, also uses her projector for community English classes. It can be very expensive for volunteers to print worksheets or visual aids for all of our students. Sage uses her projector to show worksheets to the students, which they can then copy or even answer directly on the whiteboard. She also mentioned that the projector greatly increases classroom efficiency as she is not having to constantly erase and recopy material.

CED volunteer Megan is currently using a projector in her articulación class and has raved about its effects. She tells me she “went from having huge behavioral problems to it going smoothly!!!” I copied the number of exclamation points exactly. She even told me she’s considering buying her own projector when she goes home in July, as her checkout period will soon be ending (to give other volunteers an opportunity) and the effects have been so positive.

Chaney, a CED volunteer who is also a member of our project committee, writes: “During my Entrepreneurship community class we watched the movie ‘The Founder’ with one of the projectors. This movie shares the story of Ray Croc, an example of one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. After being on site for a little more than six months, this was my first time showing a movie in class. We ate popcorn and applied what we were learning to the movie. I think this will become a tradition for my community classes. Thank you for providing Peace Corps Colombia with resources to enrich the way we serve our communities.”