Following the tsunami of 2009, Peace Corps Volunteers partnered with the Red Cross to promote water conservation and provide an afternoon of enjoyment in the midst of sadness and loss. Volunteers from groups 80, 81 and 82, led by Volunteer Joey Brown (who was working directly with the Red Cross in Samoa as his primary assignment at the time), traveled to affected villages on the south coast of the island of Upolu in late 2009 and again in February of 2010. There they organized the village children and collaborated to paint the Red Cross-provided water tanks with motifs that promoted consideration of the value of fresh drinking water. Not only was the event informative for the whole village, which had also participated in water conservation workshops with the Red Cross, but it was a source of fun and much-needed relief for the children after the devastating natural disaster.
In this photo, village children in Lotopue eagerly take turns crowding in and painting the mural, which represents the importance of water to plants, animals and people of the islands, while Volunteer Dan Conley towers over and distributes paint and brushes. The design for the project hangs above the work-in-progress and I observe from behind the crowd of children.