John Harper

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John R. Harper
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Country Guinea
Years: 1988-1990
Site(s) Fangamandou, Guéckédou Pref
Program(s) Agriculture
Assignment(s) Horticulture (Water well improvement)warning.png"Horticulture (Water well improvement)" is not in the list of possible values (Agroforestry, Sustainable Agricultural Science, Farm Management and Agribusiness, Animal Husbandry, Municipal Development, Small Business Development, NGO Development, Urban and Regional Planning, Primary Teacher/Training, Secondary Teacher/Training, Math/Science Teacher/Training, Special Education/Training, Deaf/Education, Vocational Teacher/Training, University Teacher/Training, English Teacher/Training (TEFL), Environmental Education, National Park Management, Dry Land Natural Resource Conservation, Fisheries Fresh, Ecotourism Development, Coastal /Fisheries Resource Management, Public Health Education, AIDS Awareness, Information Technology, Skilled Trades, Water and Sanitation Resources Engineering, Housing Construction Development, Youth, Other) for this property.
John R. Harper started in Guinea 1988
John Harper
Agriculture in Guinea:Agriculture.gif
John Harper, Donald Osborn
Other Volunteers who served in Guinea
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Justin Bhansali, Erin Carlson, Ellwood Colahan, Cristi Carlstead, Paul St. John Frisoli, Anthony Gemignani, John Harper, Margaret (Meg) Hemingway, Kerry Johnson, Cal Jones, Ben Kester, Eric Lenaeus, Nick Loewen, Susan Martonosi, Kristin O'Planick … further results
Projects in Guinea
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2009 Girls' Conference, Girls' Conference 2009, Primary School Renovation
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I served in the 'parrot beak' region of Guéckédou prefecture in the years immediately preceding the Mano River War. When I was there Fangamandou was a quiet, peaceful place where not very much ever happened. I have since learned that this all changed soon after I left thanks to Mr. Taylor and his forces. Fangamandou became a refugee center for ethnic Kisis and others fleeing the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Guéckéedou-centre was attacked by the rebels and several Guineans were killed.

The AFSI program was not really very successful, having been designed for the Fouta region and then relocated at the last minute to the Forest Region. There was little or no interest in what I had to show, and my project garden was seen as something imposed on the local women's group by the government. The women there were already very capable of producing the kind of vegetables that were consumed locally, and I had little to offer them in the way of technical support. The methods we were taught in training were not really applicable to the crops and did not take the cultural environment into account. My agricultural efforts were for the most part useless.

When I saw that the agriculture aspect was not going to be successful, I identified a need for water well improvement. I obtained funding from a local NGO, Plan Guinée (Foster Plan International), and purchased cement, rebar, and lumber for forms. Several families and groups were willing to supply the necessary labor to pour a concrete slab around the top of existing water wells and attach a hinged wooden cover. This protected the wells from contamination by surface runoff.

I made many good friends while I served in Fangamandou, and learned a great deal from the people there. I'm very thankful for the opportunity I had to live there and get to know these kind and generous people.

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