We are very pleased to congratulate Amy Zimmerman, who has been selected as the WHA Bureau recipient of the 2012 Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad (SOSA). This is in recognition of her exceptional volunteer work supplementing the education, nutrition and care of disadvantaged children in Brasilia through the founding of Project T.E.A.C.H.
Amy’s efforts are exceptional in that the project is both greatly enriching the lives of Brazilian children, and also providing a fulfilling and sustainable volunteer opportunity for the mission community. Several other mission members who have volunteered with Project T.E.A.C.H, as well as the principal and teachers at the school provided compelling testimonials for inclusion in the nomination. In a little over a year the over 40 volunteers of Project T.E.A.C.H have given over 500 hours of service to the school Estação Vida in Aguas Lindas. Funds raised from bake sales, combined with donations of food from the restaurant Carne de Sol, have allowed the group to donate 850 kg fresh produce, 52 dozen eggs, 260kg chicken breast, 90 kg beef to the school over the past year. Amy also wrote a grant proposal to the Kirby Simon Trust in early 2012, and was awarded a grant to purchase furniture and create a welcoming and functional reading area at the school.
Amy will be presented with the award at a ceremony in the Benjamin Franklin Room of the Main State Harry S. Truman Building on Tuesday, December 4, 2012.
Congratulations are also due to two other members of the Brasilia U.S. Embassy community who were nominated for the award:
Kelly Dzurny was nominated by Public Affairs for spearheading the opening of the first English Language Resource Center at the Centro Interescolar de Linguas (CIL) in Brasilia. She spent nearly two months sorting and organizing more than 6,000 books, audio, video and reference materials, unpacking boxes, alphabetizing and organizing all of the materials onto the shelves and serving as a consultant to PA in the development of the best strategy for cataloging the materials. Because of Kelly’s exceptional act of service, PA was able to launch the center within two months and now thousands of CIL students have access to a center purely dedicated to learning English.
Liz Amen was nominated for her work in creating and championing a Facebook group, Diplomatic Baggage in Brasilia, which has quickly become a vital communication tool for a large number of Embassy spouses and employees. Many spouses have commented that the group has made a huge difference in their quality of life at post. AAFSW asked Liz to submit an article for the AAFSW November newsletter and website detailing the creation and success of the group.
The U.S. Embassy community in Brasilia is incredibly fortunate to have such a large number of caring people who are willing to give of their time to these and other causes. Continue reading