Notes from the field - Santa Monica & Papua New Guinea

From Hayley, Open Mind - Question Box intern over the summer from Stanford.

Hi, I’m Hayley!

My interest in Open Mind started last fall when I read an article about Question Box in the newspaper. I had just returned from a summer spent teaching in a rural school in Papua New Guinea and I was brainstorming ways to continue helping my students. The idea of a live, local-language hotline struck me as genius. My students had few textbooks, and no additional resources such as libraries, computers, or educated adults. But they did have cell phones.

This summer I’ve been multitasking. During the day I’m interning at the Open Mind office in LA. I’ve spent most of my time working on the how-to-create-you-own-hotline manual that is designed for community organizations in the developing world. The manual will eventually be part of an online toolkit to guide organizations starting their own Question Box-style hotlines. I’ve also had the chance to learn a bit about grant writing and the daily operation of Open Mind. Simultaneously, I’m attempting to start a hotline for my old students in Papua New Guinea. I’m working with students at Divine Word University, one of the most prestigious universities in the country, to set up a call center where the university students will answer primary school students’ questions about everything from education to health to career paths.