Can volunteers solve problems of malnutrition, bad hygiene and living conditions to eventually make enough of a difference to increase the IQ of a village -- and maybe even a country? Via Firehouse in Dallas, the St. Lucia Project hopes it can.
The project asks you to come and help out in a single village in the Carribbean country. Based on the insight that parasites and harmful pathogens "use up" energy in the brain that can be used for brain development, the project hopes that bringing kids out of poverty will help them develop their brains. Impoverished populations, says the site, tend to score low on average IQ. Improving the quality of life means improving IQ, which can impact a country's economic and political development, thus ending the cycle of poverty.
St. Lucia in the West Indies is among the poorest performers in global IQ measurements, but its size and accessibility means it is possible to create a dedicated effort to help young children there, according to the project, which was created by Global Volunteers, a charity program that enlists vacationers from the developed world to come and help out in other countries. If the project succeeds, over a five-year basis, in raising the community's IQ, it hopes it will impact how the rest of the developing world thinks about its future.
Volunteers come to the country on a short-term, vacation basis, with their stays being fully tax-deductible. The project requires 300 volunteers per year, and researchers will establish a baseline IQ this year, then follow up with a study in 2018.