Tag Archive for Davis Project for Peace

YAF Ghana Wins 2019 Davis Projects for Peace Award

The Young Achievers Foundation (YAF) Ghana, spearheaded by Ferdinand Quayson '20 (pictured in the black shirt), is a recipient of a 2019 Davis Projects for Peace Award. YAF Ghana exposes disadvantaged students in Northern Ghana to available scholarship opportunities and provides them with free resources needed to be successful applicants.

The Young Achievers Foundation (YAF) Ghana, spearheaded by Ferdinand Quayson ’20 (pictured in the black shirt at left), is a recipient of a 2019 Davis Projects for Peace Award. YAF Ghana exposes disadvantaged students in Northern Ghana to available scholarship opportunities and provides them with free resources needed to be successful applicants.

In the economically disadvantaged Northern Region of Ghana, only 6 of 100 high school students enroll in college, leaving many otherwise bright students trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.

As recipients of the 2019 Davis Projects for Peace Award, four Wesleyan students who make up the Young Achievers Foundation Ghana are helping low-income students in the region access and apply for scholarship programs within Ghana and beyond. The grassroots group is led by Cofounder and Executive Director Ferdinand Quayson ’20 and members Afrah Boateng ’20, Abdallah Salia ’22, and Alvin Kibaara ’22.

The $10,000 Projects for Peace grant is awarded annually to undergraduate students at American colleges and universities to design grassroots projects that promote peace and conflict resolution around the world. YAF Ghana is using the award this summer to host workshops, seminars, student-led panels, and hands-on training for high school students seeking college scholarship opportunities.

Students in Rural Access Group Receive Davis Peace Grant

The Rural Access team of Wesleyan students has won a coveted $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant. Members (l to r) are: Edelina Marzouk ’20, Momi Afelin ’20, Betty Bekele ’20, Emanuel Fetene ’21, Nebiyu Daniel ’18

The Rural Access team of Wesleyan students has won a coveted $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant. Members include: (front row, from left) Edelina Marzouk ’19, Momi Afelin ’19, and Betty Bekele ’19; (back row, from left) Emanuel Fetene ’20 and Nebiyu Daniel ’18. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Five Wesleyan students determined to make life better for girls in rural African areas have received a prestigious $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant.

Their start-up nonprofit, Rural Access, seeks to expand access to health and education in impoverished areas, while also raising awareness of pressing health issues. Among those is the need to address lack of menstrual hygiene products, which frequently keeps girls out of school and leads to high dropout rates, poverty, and other harmful outcomes.

This summer, Rural Access will be working in Ethiopia and Guyana to make menstrual hygiene kits and distribute them to girls. The project is far more complicated than it sounds because it involves establishing partnerships, winning the trust of communities, and overcoming adverse conditions, including near–civil war in Ethiopia.

Nebiyu Daniel ’18, the founder and leader of Rural Access, says that, “Work like this requires a lot of commitment. It takes a dedicated team, and we work on this every day.”

The team consists of Daniel, Momi Afelin ’19, Edelina Marzouk ’19, Betty Bekele ’19, and Emanuel Fetene ’20.

Daniel founded Rural Access on the principle that connection to the community served is essential. He was born in Ethiopia and spent his childhood there. In the summer of 2016, he returned to his native region of Garamuleta to work with elderly individuals and to distribute first-aid kits to 500 families.

Brown ’19 to Address Gender Inequality as Davis Projects for Peace Grant Recipient

Jamaica native Shantelle Brown ’19 is the recipient of a Davis Projects for Peace grant. She will return to Jamaica this summer to help 24 high schoolers become "truly aware of their power as change makers, proud of their individuality, and believe that their dreams are attainable." (Photo by Olivia Drake) 

Jamaica native Shantelle Brown ’19 is the recipient of a Davis Projects for Peace grant. She will return to Jamaica this summer to help 24 high schoolers become “truly aware of their power as change makers, proud of their individuality, and believe that their dreams are attainable.” (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Shantelle Brown ’19 has been awarded a Davis Projects for Peace grant for her summer project, Sisters for Empowerment & Equality (SEE), which aims to address gender inequality in Jamaican culture through an art-based mentorship program for girls age 13 to 16.

Brown’s project is one of 120 initiatives selected for a Davis Projects for Peace grant, each receiving $10,000 for implementation during the summer of 2017. In 2007, Projects for Peace was the vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis on the occasion of her 100th birthday to motivate tomorrow’s promising leaders by challenging them to find ways to “prepare for peace.” More information is available here.

SEE is geared toward the creation of a supportive community that will encourage girls from low-income or rural communities (where gender discrimination and violence are most prevalent) to pursue their dreams. SEE will take the form of high school societies, monitored and maintained by mentors as well as school administrators, in which students will pursue art-based projects that promote a positive relationship with the community.

“We hope to challenge gender stereotypes and create a platform from which girls can shine, through: mentorship, creative expression, and community outreach,” states the project proposal.

Chitena ’19 Receives Davis Projects for Peace Grant to Teach Programming in Zimbabwe

Alvin Chitena ’19 at North College. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Alvin Chitena ’19, pictured here at North College on April 22, grew up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and worked with computers from the age of eight. He took his first computer class at Wesleyan. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Alvin Chitena ’19 has been awarded a Davis Projects for Peace grant of $10,000 to launch his project Zim Code at five high schools in Zimbabwe this summer. Zim Code provides Zimbabwean youth with free access to resources they need—computers, internet access and instruction—to learn computer programming and how to apply their new skills in their community.

Davis Projects for Peace was created in 2007 through the generosity of Kathryn W. Davis, a lifelong internationalist and philanthropist who died in 2013. It supports initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship by undergraduate students focused on conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation in countries around the world.

Students Receive Davis Projects for Peace Grant to Launch English Education Project

Claudia Kahindi '18, left, and Olayinka Lawal '15 will use a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch an English education project in Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell.)

Claudia Kahindi ’18, left, and Olayinka Lawal ’15 will use a Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch an English education project in Kenya this summer. (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell.)

#THISISWHY

Claudia Kahindi ’18 and Olayinka Lawal ’15 have received a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to launch KIU, an English education project, in Kahindi’s home area of coastal Kenya this summer. Named for the Swahili word for “thirst,” KIU will serve more than 100 fourth-grade students at Kahindi’s alma mater, Kilimo Public Primary School, in Kenya’s Kilifi County.

Roach ’14 to Transform Abandoned Urban Land into Community Gardens as Project for Peace Recipient

Jennifer Roach ’14 on a group trip to Wild Carrot Farm, Bantam, CT

Jennifer Roach ’14 is the recipient of a Davis Projects for Peace grant.

Four years ago, Jennifer Roach ’14 co-founded Summer of Solutions Hartford, a food justice and youth leadership development program in Connecticut’s capital. Since 2010, Summer of Solutions has grown to seven garden sites across Hartford, continuously working to “increase access to healthy food and community green spaces in Hartford by empowering young people as innovators in the food justice movement and providing them tools and opportunities to create solutions to food inequality in the city.”

This month, Roach’s organization was the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Kathryn W. Davis Projects for Peace program. The Projects for Peace grant will allow Summer of Solutions to expand its nine-week summer program to a seven-month internship for youth interested in urban agriculture.

Now in the its eighth year, Projects for Peace is “an invitation to undergraduates at the American colleges in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer.

By funding the summer component of the Summer of Solutions internship, Davis will enable Roach and her team to amplify their impact in Hartford. Twelve garden interns will work alongside community members, maintain seven gardens, teach gardening and cooking classes, and come together weekly for a workshop series on food justice, sustainability and community resilience. In addition, they will partner with Capital Workforce Partners, a youth employment initiative in Hartford, to run a five-week Urban Farming 101 program for 10 high school students in July.

2 Students Recipients of Projects for Peace Awards

At left, Mfundi Makama '14 and Greg Shaheen ’13 received grants through the Davis Projects for Peace Program.

At left, Mfundi Makama ’14 and Greg Shaheen ’13 received grants through the Davis Projects for Peace Program.

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.

Brighter Dawns Receives Davis Project for Peace Grant

Wesleyan’s student organization Brighter Dawns received a Davis United World College Project for Peace grant worth $10,000. The funds will support Brighter Dawns’ “Water Sanitation Project” in Khalishpur, Bangladesh for eight weeks this summer.

Tasmiha Khan ’12 and possibly Rajeeta Iyer ’12 will oversee the project, which will include building tube wells, latrines and providing health seminars and jobs for women in one of the poorest slums in Khalishpur.

 

Projects for Peace Recipients Will Build Biogas Digester in Kenya, Providing Alternative Fuel to Wood

In the dry, Rift Valley province of Kenya, communities are struggling with deforestation issues and infertile soils for farming. This rural area relies heavily on firewood for cooking and warmth, however locals are being forced to travel further for resources, limiting the time spent supporting their families.As Davis United World College “Projects for Peace” recipients, Robert McCourt ’08 and Nyambura Gichohi ’08 will help this community create alternative energy through biogas this summer. They will work with the Noontoto Women’s Project, a group of 25 women that have come together to aspire to improve their livelihood.

As one of 100 Projects for Peace participants in the world, McCourt, left, and Gichohi  will facilitate construction of a biogas digester. Biogas is produced when bacteria decompose biological matter in an anaerobic environment. The decay of biomass produces methane, a gas that can be used as an energy source for cooking.

Students Receive Funding for Projects for Peace

At right, Jessica French Smith ’'09, paints a mural with students from Nagarote, Nicaragua. French Smith received a Projects for Peace grant, which will allow her and fellow Wesleyan students to return to the city this summer to build a community center.

At right, Jessica French Smith ’’09, paints a mural with students from Nagarote, Nicaragua. French Smith received a Projects for Peace grant, which will allow her and fellow Wesleyan students to return to the city this summer to build a community center.

After exams finish up, Kudakwashe Ngogodo ’08 hopes to provide safe drinking water in a rural community in Zimbabwe. Jessica French Smith ’09 wants to spend her summer building a community center for the troubled youth of Nagarote, Nicaragua.

With support from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace Program, Smith, Ngogodo and other students from 65 colleges and universities will receive funding to undertake their proposed projects. Philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, on the occasion of her 100th birthday in February, established the new program with a donation of one million dollars so that each of the projects will receive $10,000.

The objective of the program is to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world in the 21st century.

“The Projects for Peacep present to me an opportunity of a lifetime,” explains Ngogodo, who grew up between two Zimbabwe provinces, traditionally divided by ethnic groups. “The region has been marred by great conflicts, all in the in the interest of controlling the scarce resourced needed for survival, chief amongst them drinking water.””

Economics and math major Ngogodo, pictured at left, hopes to engage the community in a peace-building project titled “Hope Water Project.” The project will entail sinking at least two boreholes, which will serve the community with clean and safe water. He hopes that creating this clean-water resource will mean people in the community will no longer die from ingesting parasites and bacteria that exist in dirty water.

This will ensure dialogue and cooperation, and for the first time in my life, I will see a community divided for so long come together for common good,”he says. I want the boreholes to stand 10 years from now as a symbol of change, peace, and cooperation.”

French Smith, who is coordinating the project “Nagarote-Wesleyan Partnership,” will use the fellowship to travel to Nagarote, Nicaragua with fellow group members Sean Corlett ’07, Lorena Estrella ’10 and Nelson Norsworthy ’10. This small community faces many hurdles to combat poverty including inadequate access to health care, low literacy and graduation rates, high crime rates, high drug usage and low wages in sweatshop-like environments.

The Wesleyan students have already partnered with youth and community members to begin the project in June. Funds have already been raised to purchase land and a building; however, the facility requires major renovations to function as an adequate classroom and gathering space.

“We firmly believe that this community center will help promote peace in the region by giving youngsters constructive activities as an alternative to drugs and violence,” French Smith says. “We can promote our education-based mission much more effectively and efficiently in this new space and it will provide youth from all over the city the opportunity to keep occupied and engaged, thus reducing crime, drug use and gangs.”

The projects were judged and accepted by the Davis United World Scholars Program office. Applications included a written statement of the project including expected outcomes, prospects for future impact, and a budget proposal.

The “Hope – Water Project” and “Nagarote-Wesleyan Partnership” will be completed this summer.

“There is a future to consider not only for ourselves but also for those who come after us,” Ngogodo says.