Collaborating with Local Colleges and Universities

With the recent start of the school year, Mano a Mano is very excited for a handful of projects we have with local Twin Cities colleges and universities!

University of Minnesota Family Social Science Research Project

Yesterday was our first meeting with 4 graduate students from the University of Minnesota Family Social Science department and professors Tai Mendenhall and Cathy Solheim. Over the course of the upcoming school year they will be working with Mano a Mano on a qualitative research project to organize and analyze our archive of personal stories. These stories are a collection of conversations we have had over the years with people in Bolivia that highlight the impact our projects have had in their communities. They will also be conducting interviews with local supporters and the impact their time with Mano a Mano has had on their lives.

We are very happy to be doing this project; although our main mission is to improve lives in communities in Bolivia, we have seen for almost 20 years how doing this global work can have a local impact on peoples’ lives in the Twin Cities, and we are looking forward to putting these stories together.

This is not our first project with the department of Family Social Science. Both Tai and Cathy have traveled to Bolivia with Mano a Mano, they have co-written an article on community-based participatory research, and we have held 2 previous seminars with them and their students (in 2012 and May 2013).

Students and professors from the department of Family Social Science in attendance at our Spring Gala at the St. Paul Hotel in 2012

Students and professors from the department of Family Social Science in attendance at our Spring Gala at the St. Paul Hotel in 2012

William Mitchell Course - Advising the International and Humanitarian NGO

This is Mano a Mano’s 3rd semester working with students from the William Mitchell College of Law. From the course description:

This course gives students a unique opportunity to work directly with a major international non-profit organization (Mano A Mano International Partners, www.manoamano.org) to help this client carry its work forward in two ways: (1) Provide legal guidance on issues that are of current concern to the organization, and (2) Research and prepare high quality advisory papers regarding legal issues that are broad concern to international non-profit organizations.

Interns and Volunteers from Many Schools

We also wanted to mention our interns and volunteers from various schools across the country. This summer we had interns from the University of Minnesota, Grinnell College in Iowa, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Denver, and DePaul University. They did a ton of work over the summer and we were very lucky to have such a great group! (Meet our summer interns here.)

Summer intern Samantha traveled to Bolivia as part of her time with Mano a Mano!

Summer intern Samantha traveled to Bolivia as part of her time with Mano a Mano; she blogged about her trip here: http://cochabamba2013.blogspot.com/

That’s in addition to the many volunteers from St. Kates, St. Paul College, and Oxford University (6 students traveled to Bolivia to work on a cistern project) that have volunteered with Mano a Mano this summer.

Ninos a Ninos

We don’t want to forget about the younger students! Last year Joey Temali, a student at Highland Park Middle School in St. Paul, began his quest to raise enough funds to build a school in Bolivia with Mano a Mano. The project has started to involve more schools in the Twin Cities area and will continue to grow over the upcoming year. To learn more about ‘Ninos a Ninos’ click here.

One of our youngest supporters, Joey Temali receiving an award at a Mano a Mano event earlier this year.

One of our youngest supporters, Joey Temali receiving an award at a Mano a Mano event earlier this year.



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