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Tuesday April 17th, 2012  
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Story
Kimberley Massey photo
Blairmore native Alisha Janiga, who is currently completing her studies in math education at U of L, will be volunteering in the Dominican Republic this summer.
 
Crowsnest Pass native Alisha Janiga, who is currently completing her final practicum as a student teacher at Horace Allen School, will be travelling to the Dominican Republic this May with U.S.-based student organization International Student Volunteers (ISV) to teach sports programs to children and build facilities such as homes and schools.
Following her graduation from the University of Lethbridge on June 1st, Janiga will leave for the D.R. on June 21st and return home on July 27th, spending five weeks teaching local children.
She will be joined by a group of approximately 20 other university students from across Canada and the United States on the trip.
“This will be my first time really travelling and I wanted to do something to help others while I travel,” said Janiga, who learned of ISV when they made a presentation at the University of Lethbridge.
During the first two weeks of the trip, volunteers will dedicate their time working with children and on sustainable development projects for local communities, as well as alongside community leaders and local organizations on problem-specific community projects such as providing clean and safe drinking water, nutrition and sanitation education to villages and small communities, tutoring children in essential subjects such as English, math, sciences and health education, and building schools, houses, medical centres and recreation centres.
Following the volunteer portion of the trip, participants will then embark on an educational adventure tour, travelling extensively throughout the country while immersing themselves in the Dominican culture.
 

Janiga and the other students will participate in activities such as horseback riding through the jungle of Las Terrenas, rappelling the Limon waterfalls, kayaking through Los Haitises National Park, jewelry-making in Bahoruco with Larimer (a semi-precious stone endemic to the region) and exploring the capital city of Santo Domingo.
“I’m really excited to try something like this and to get to do something I love – teaching – as well as helping the community rebuild the facilities and things they need,” said Janiga.
“I feel like this experience will help me become a better teacher, as well as allowing me to bring back my experiences and stories to share with the students of the Crowsnest Pass,” she said.
“I want them to know that there are opportunities out there and encourage them to follow their dreams and do things to help the world.”
Starting this Monday, April 16th and throughout the month of May, a donation box and information posters will be set up at the Blairmore Library, asking residents to donate supplies for every day living, such as sports equipment, school supplies and toiletries, which Janiga will take with her to give to the children in the D.R.
“I wanted to reach out to the community and give them a chance to support a local and also help make a difference across seas,” said Janiga.
“I’m hoping I’ll be able to come back and share my stories and experiences with the town and the students here and would really appreciate their support.”
For more information, including items to donate, contact Alisha Janiga at 403-562-8472 or email alishajaniga@hotmail.com.
For more information on International Student Volunteers, visit www.isvolunteers.org.
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