Another round of grant applications will be due at the end of October. One of the smaller grant options turned out to be a perfect fit for one of my projects. My coworkers and I, will be holding a nurses training in Permet this winter. Our goal is to educate over 30 nurses, from nine surrounding villages. We are going to focus on two main topics; Domestic violence and Mental health education. The training will take place at the hospital in Permet, over the course of two days.
As I have been working on the grant application, the language barrier continues to sit on the forefront. One of the stipulations of a grant, is that your community must contribute at least 25% of the funds. One of the community contributions in my project, will be the time and wages of the nurses volunteering to help with the seminars. I began by asking my coworkers how much a nurse would normally make for a days worth of work. They replied by saying they do not know, they are not nurses. I then explained I need this information for my application, so that I can show we are contributing to the cause. There was mass confusion on why I would need to know this. Did the nurses need to pay money for the seminar? Weren’t they coming for free? Did the hospital have to pay the nurses for coming to the training? Did Peace Corps pay for the training? As I replied no to every question they sat in a state of mild panic, I continued to explain, or tried to explain, that this was only data I had to collect for the application. This continued for another half hour until we were sitting, confused and staring at each other. We decided to venture into another office where there was a woman who could translate. I explained the application, and what information I needed. She turned to me and said she did not know the nurse’s wages right now because they weren’t getting paid. Um…why not? Well how should she know, she is not a nurse. Okay…So, time for a coffee break?
Regardless of a few hiccups, I completed the grant and submitted it with my fingers crossed. After my first failed application, my coworkers will be less than impressed if I don’t get picked again. Just in case, we began discussing how we would hold the training without any outside funds. I have learned, that it is best to prepare for any and all scenarios. After all, flexibility is a key trait to being a successful volunteer.