Article by Ellie Charwat, AAUW member and Chair of Friendship Committee
From the Fall 2019 Road Scholar Alumni Magazine.
World Affairs Council of the Mid-Hudson Valley, an all-volunteer organization, was founded in 2003 as a forum for citizen education and participation in international issues. It is a member of the World Affairs Councils of America and serves Dutchess, Ulster, and Orange counties. www.hvworldaffairscouncil.org
Germania of Poughkeepsie has acted to preserve German-American heritage for more than 165 years, sharing our culture, customs, arts, and language to promote awareness of German contributions to American life and history for all Hudson Valley residents and visitors. In the German tradition of Gemutlichkeit, the entire Hudson Valley community and beyond are invited to explore each of Germania's many festivals, heritage and sport clubs, events, and activities. www.germaniapok.com
La Voz is the only Spanish language magazine serving the 140,000 Latinos who live in the Mid-Hudson Valley. 6000 copies are printed each month throughout the Valley. It has an estimated readership of 30,000 readers. https://lavoz.bard.edu/
Poughkeepsie Public Library District offers a variety of activities and events for people interested in international topics at both of its locations, Adriance Memorial Library in the City of Poughkeepsie and Boardman Road Branch Library in the Town of Poughkeepsie. At the Adriance, there is a special emphasis on programming for Spanish speakers and those interested in learning and practicing Spanish. www.poklib.org
Mid-Hudson Chinese Language Center is a non-profit organization run exclusively by volunteers. It provides a family-oriented, engaging and interactive environment where students of all ages and backgrounds, come together to learn the Chinese language, its culture, and the arts. www.mhclc.org
Mid-Hudson Heritage Center is a non-profit community organization that is dedicated to enriching our area through arts and cultural events. MHHC operates Art Centro, the Heritage Center Gallery, the Historic Glebe House, and PUF Studios. www.midhudsonheritage.org
Dutchess County Interfaith Council, Inc., offers a place of education, understanding, and inclusion of all faiths. It engages in programs and opportunities that foster openness and dialogue through the leadership and participation by congregations across the county. The Council stands united against divisive rhetoric from all sources, the use of one's religion as a tool for discrimination, and calls to close borders at any level that apply solely to the followers of one faith. www.dutchesscountyinterfaith.org
Many Mid-Hudson churches offer foreign-language worship services, including the following:
Holy Cross/Santa Cruz, Episcopal, Kingston http://www.holycrosskingston.org/
Spanish service Sundays @ 4:30 (Dec – March), @ 6:00 (April-Nov)
St. Mary St. Peter, Roman Catholic, Kingston https://stmarystpeterkingston.org/
Spanish service Sundays @ 11:00
Christ Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie http://www.christchurchpok.org/
Our Lady of Guadalupe Spanish service Sundays @ 1:00
Holy Trinity, Roman Catholic, Poughkeepsie https://holytrinitypoughkeepsie.com/mass-schedule Filipino mass in Tagalog 3rd Sunday @ 4:00
St. Mary-St. Joseph and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Roman Catholic, Poughkeepsie
https://smsj-olmc.org Spanish (St. Mary) - Sundays @ 12:00 and Tuesday & Thursday @ 7:30 pm Polish 3rd Sunday @ 9:30 (OLMC)
Race Unity Circle meets monthly to study the vexing, persistent racial divisions that plague the Poughkeepsie Community, to nurture and grow interracial bonds of friendship and cooperation, and to groom speakers and facilitators. www.meetup.com/The-Race-Unity-Circle-of-Poughkeepsie
Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc., is a non-sectarian, non-profit organization that works alongside disenfranchised rural residents and agricultural workers in New York State through programs of youth empowerment, education, and leadership development. www.ruralmigrantministry.org
The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network is a coalition formed by local faith communities and concerned residents to provide a network of safety and support for our immigrant friends and neighbors, who are valued members of our communities. ulsterimmigrantdefensenetwork.org
Vassar Haiti Project is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that promotes Haitian art, fosters sustainable development in Haiti, and mentors student and community volunteers in the principles and practice of global citizenship. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Women’s Professional Network is an educational and networking organization that provides a supportive environment for enterprising women in New York's Hudson Valley to form professional relationships, inspire one another, and develop an entrepreneurial spirit.
Days for Girls workshops are an ongoing international activity of the Poughkeepsie Branch of AAUW. Joined by volunteers from throughout the community, the monthly workshops produce feminine hygiene kits for girls living in developing countries, refugee camps, and shelters in the United States. Without the kits, which last for 3 - 5 years, the girls would miss 5 - 7 days of school each month. Some of the volunteers engage in sewing, but many other skills are utilized in the production and assembly process, as illustrated in these photos. Volunteers are welcomed without appointment or reservation. Sabashnee Govender
(Days for Girls International, active for the past 10 years in several countries including the United States, has produced and delivered 103,000 kits to girls worldwide. According to Michelle Obama's Global Girls Initiative, 98 million adolescent girls are not in school throughout the world -- and some of those may not be attending classes because of their menstrual cycle. Days for Girls offers us a way to help them complete their education.)
The Poughkeepsie Days for Girls Team -- including members of AAUW, the Poughkeepsie Meeting of Friends, First Dutchess Quilters, and The American Sewing Guild -- has created and distributed a total of 192 kits (186 international and 6 domestic) -- a whopping 111 kits in 2019! Our goal was 100; we have more than met the gold standard for Days for Girls International.
Here are some of the volunteers at our February 16, 2019, workshop:
The following scenes from the November 17, 2018, workshop illustrate the volunteers' efforts. On this day, we were joined by two Vassar College students who will be among the team that will deliver kits to girls studying in the school assisted by Vassar's Haiti Project. The isolated school and its nearby hospital, also part of the project, suffered significant damage during a recent earthquake.
Scenes from the Days for Girls workshop on October 20, 2018, when two dozen volunteers -- including 12 students from Marist College - worked for 3 hours completing the many tasks involved in kit production:
For further information about the worldwide Days for Girls program, go to www.daysforgirls.org.
First International Pot-Luck Picnic - July 27, 2019:
The day was hot, but the sun was glorious, and our first international pot luck picnic generated lots of new fellowship and great ideas.