I am a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to an NGO in Georgia (country). The Union of Chiaturians has worked for a decade to remedy severe environmental problems directly caused by manganese mining operations here. The photos show the Kvirila River where it runs through the middle of the city Chiatura, blackened with effluent resulting from first-stage washing of manganese ore, resulting in the death of all aquatic life the remaining length of the river.
We have been awarded a Peace Corps Partnership Program grant to educate and train students in grades 9–12 from schools in and around the Chiatura district how to discover environmental problems in their communities and make presentations from what they've learned to their schools and communities. A core purpose of the project is to connect and communicate with youth in the United States also interested in environmental concerns, share experiences and offer mutual support.
Items of Value for Teachers & Students
— Young people and their schools around the world share concerns about the environment
— Global warming is a concern in Georgia on the somewhat far horizon, due to its small size and minor impact, so it is important for Georgians to begin feeling a sense of responsibility by establishing a bond of understanding with people in places where global warming is both having an impact and creating an impact
— What has happened here can now happen in the U.S. The mining company in Chiatura (Miami, FL, based Georgian American Alloys) owns a West Virginia subsidiary ("strategically located along the Ohio River, near New Haven, Mason County" – http://www.fpiwv.com/), where the river is so far protect from damage experience in Chiatura, but recent moves toward deregulation could threaten the Ohio River similarly.
— Our student participants are among the most motivated and accomplished in the local schools. Their determination to go to college means they have to work with multiple tutors after school and on Saturdays every week, due to the low level of instruction they receive that leaves them unprepared for university qualifying exams. They're great kids with huge hearts, who meet at our organization every Sunday afternoon, because that's the only free time they have.
If my personal experience is at all indicative, your students will feel energized grateful and inspired to pour themselves into their work, and they'll never forget the time they spent with us.
Feel free to respond here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – and we can Skype: jcwareham