Mark J. Tonner International Support Fund

Oven Project

This fund was created to support projects for Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) from the San Diego area who are currently serving overseas.  In recent years, the fund has evolved to support projects of any PCV currently serving, with a special preference for San Diego affiliated PCVs. The projects are identified through direct contact with the PCV or through Peace Corps Partnerships

The typical project is for $250 to $500 (rarely more than $700) and either enables a community to implement a micro-enterprise, helping many, or it supports needed educational, environmental or health related projects.  We have discovered that by funding small projects we are able to make a big impact in local communities. We review submitted proposals and grant small dollar funding to PCVs who we feel have a valuable project for their community, but do not have adequate funding in-country.

Since 1988, over 140 grants have been made. 

Currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers: If you have a Peace Corps Partnership Project that you would like the SDPCA to consider funding, send an email to GlobalAwards@SDPCA.org.


Recently Funded Projects


Project Name: Girls' Hostel
Malawi
$1,000 in March 2018


Project Name: Women's Couscous Business
Morocco
$410 in December 2017


Project Name: Small Animal (Akrante or Grasscutter) Rearing Project
Ghana
$307 in December 2017


Project Name: Aqua Culture Small Business Enterprise
Togo
$230 in December 2017


Project Name: Sports Resources for School for the Deaf
Ghana
$52 in December 2017


Project Name: Latrine Project
Belize 
$500 in May 2017
Volunteer: Chau L


Project Name: PMTCT Centre & Maternity Ward
Zambia
$500 in Dec 2016
Volunteer: Mike Nguyen


Project Name: Eco Stoves
Panama  
$500 in April 2016
Volunteer: Sam Waldman (San Diego Native)


Project Name:  Camp GLOW 
Armenia 
$232.20 in April 2016
Volunteer: Katy Berry


Project Name: Camp Build (Boys United in Leadership and Development) 
Cambodia  
$500 in March 2016
Volunteer: Jewel Pereyra


Project: Teacher training workshop for local English Teachers  
Madagascar  
$500 in December 2015


Project: School Latrine
Lesotho
$3000 in November 2015
Volunteer: Catie Wheat



Project Updates


Maternity Ward in Zambia

The SDPCA supported the building of a Maternity Ward in Lubilo, Zambia organized by Mike Nguyen, Health Sector Volunteer.  Mike sent some photos and as you can see, the building is near complete.  They expect the center to open in August 2017. 



ISF Grant made in memory of Gregg Pancoast
Latrine Project in Lesotho

In November 2015, the SDPCA Board approved a $3,000 International Support Fund (ISF) grant for a latrine project at a primary school in Lesotho. The Lepholisa Primary School has 170 students in grades 1 - 7 and the simple latrines have blown over in windstorms. They definitely need better latrines. The Peace Corps Volunteer, Catie Wheat, grew up in San Diego and applied for funding through the Peace Corps Partnership. The total cost of the project was $5,300.

In March 2017, SDPCA member Karen Lindquist visit Lesotho (where she served one of her two Peace Corps assignments). She met Catie and toured the school. The latrines were almost done. She also brought a plaque in memory of Gregg Pancoast.  


Fuel Efficient OvenImproved Ovens project in Nicaragua
SDPCA contributed $299.62 in December 2014.

The project, coordinated by PCV Mariel Stotts, will help replace 12 inefficient wood-fueled ovens currently in use by women entrepreneurs with an improved and more efficient design. The women selected to benefit from this project must fulfill these requirements:
1. Must have a business selling their own handmade baked goods
2. Must attend all educational sessions provided
3. Must contribute 25% of the cost of the oven
4. Must construct their improved oven.

Click here to read an update from Mariel.



History While RPCV Chris Tonner was serving on the SDPCA board, her brother Mark returned from his own Peace Corps tour in Thailand. Based in San Diego, he was back only briefly before being lost at sea while monitoring dolphin protection procedures. The nature of the circumstances were troubling, and to demonstrate our respect for his service and early passing, the International Support Fund (ISF) was renamed the Mark J. Tonner ISF.