Chris Markomanolakis (Uganda)


Chris Markomanolakis (Uganda)

Christopher Markomanolakis graduated from Towson University in 2012 with degrees in Political Science and Metropolitan. He served in the United States Peace Corps as a community health volunteer for three years (2014-2017). During the first two years, he worked on a wide variety of projects/programs including water sanitation, youth empowerment, HIV/AIDS awareness, increasing the capacity of health care providers, and many more. After the first two years, Chris became an Assistant Project Manager with Catholic Relief Service’s Accelerating Stunting Reduction Program which focused on reducing stunting by providing pregnant women with nutrition counseling and giving them to tools and skills needed to maintain a home garden. Chris’ responsibilities included facilitating seminars, distributing inputs, designing and constructing solar dryers, and reporting on project indicators. Now Chris has begun studying to earn a Masters of Public Management from the University of Maryland. He has been rewarded several fellowships including the TIAA Nonprofit Leaders Fellowship, Coverdell Fellowship, and the Global Philanthropy Service Fellowship. During the winter of 2017, he worked as a consultant with the Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders and the Wildlife Trust of India(WTI). His team conducted a quantitative analysis to measure the WTI’s impact on female empowerment and conservation within the Valmiki Tiger Reserve. With June just around the corner, Chris is eager to begin training with The Advocacy Project and help the Gulu Disabled Persons Union promote sustainable WASH practices in Gulu, Uganda. After returning from his fellowship over the summer, Chris discussed with AP the impacts the fellowship had on him. "AP gave me the opportunity to stand on my own two legs. Graduate school loves to teach theory and best practices, but AP allowed me to take those lessons and apply them in real life. It was the best ten weeks of my life and it gave me the confidence to pursue a career in international development."



Final Project Update

04 Sep

Final Project Update

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In less than 10 weeks, GDPU and I went above and beyond the original scope of work.

In less than 10 weeks, Awach Central Primary School went from having one latrine know the verge of overflowing.

In less than 10 weeks, the lives of 991 students has fundamentally changed for the better.

Before :

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Pit Progress

Pit

After:

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That’s right. Project complete. Mission accomplished, and I have all of you to thank for making this possible. Over fifty people donated to this project so let’s give them a round of applause. I’ll wait…

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But in all seriousness, it has been an amazing experience working alongside GDPU. Hot days in a hole, blisters throbbing on my hands. Long hours spent surveying and long nights Skyping Karen and Iain. Not to mention all the children. Every time we drove up to Awach Central Primary School, they would chant of “ Chris Chris Chris!”. It would build until it reach a crescendo, at which point I would finally jump out the car and chase after them. They all would run away laughing while I tried to catch my breath.  I’ve had twenty eight summers in my life, however this one is the most memorable and impactful. Leaving Gulu was far from easy, but at least I can board my flight back to Maryland with the knowledge that my time and energy was spent in the service of others.

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To celebrate the two new latrines, we held a party for the students and parents. There was shortage Music, dancing, face painting and food. Speeches by local government officials thanking GDPU for their hard work were given. I was even given a goat…which I graciously accepted(and quickly gave to Patrick Ojok). Most trips to the bathroom are forgettable, but that is not the case for the children of Awach.  For them, a trip to the bathroom means much more than simple relief, its empowerment, its an opportunity. 

 

Thanks again for everyone’s support!!

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Posted By Chris Markomanolakis (Uganda)

Posted Sep 4th, 2018

1 Comment

  • Katie Dallimore

    September 5, 2018

     

    Chris, I loved reading your blog posts and learning about the work you have done in Gulu. Reading about how the community came together to work on this project and the bonds you formed with the children warmed my heart. The way you described your experiences this summer made me realize how vital projects that specifically target the needs of a particular group of people, no matter how big or small, are. I genuinely believe that this project will have a lasting impact on the community.

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