Two Wesleyan students have been awarded grants through the Davis Projects for Peace Program to bring their grassroots project proposals to fruition. Class of 2014′s Mfundi Makama’s $10,000 grant will support The Buddies Program, which he recently created as a way to empower young women in Swaziland through educational achievement. Greg Shaheen ’13 will use the funds to establish a community-based eco-center focused on environmental education and action for teenagers in Lebanon. The projects will take place this summer.
Student applicants at more than 90 Davis United World College Scholar Program partner schools—including Wesleyan—design grassroots projects that promote peace, build understanding, and address the root causes of conflict. The program is funded by internationalist and philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, who died earlier this year at the age of 106.
Makama, who is from Swaziland, is double majoring in neuroscience and behavior and molecular biology and biochemistry. Though Swaziland is known as the most peaceful country in Africa, its “culture and tradition relegate women to second-class citizens. Such cultural barriers incite abuse in Swaziland and lead to poor law enforcement,” Makama wrote in his project proposal. (more…)