The InterExchange Foundation has recently awarded two Christianson Grants to American graduates of Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The new year will see them participating in important work at nonprofit organizations in communities in Kenya and Uganda.
Juliana K., a graduate of Cornell University, will be working for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Global Primary Care Program, a division of Partners Healthcare, located three hours west of Mbarara, Uganda, to complete a year-long global health internship. With an interest in global healthcare and learning about tropical disease and rural service systems, Juliana will conduct health services research and develop courses for healthcare providers in Bugoye to add to their skill set and better address the needs of the community.
“I will work hard to forge an international learning community, a mutually beneficial relationship in which we can advise one another on health reform through shared understanding of each other’s cultures, livelihoods and experiences,” said Juliana.
The second Christianson Grant recipient is Kelsi H., a 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate of the Sociology and African Studies departments. Kelsi will be interning in a year-long position for Midwife International in Nairobi, Kenya. While in East Africa, Kelsi will help establish a clinic in Nairobi and develop a “work-for-trade” program for low-income patients.
“One thing I hope to learn is effective education and outreach skills for targeting populations with limited access to maternal health care. Whether in the U.S. or in the Kibera district of Nairobi, a lack of knowledge, resources, or access to appropriate medical care continues to impact the overall quality of maternal health around the world,” said Kelsi.
The InterExchange Foundation is part of the organization’s commitment to spreading cultural understanding and appreciation. Both current and past grantees have demonstrated this shared value in their project work. InterExchange anticipates 2013 to be a banner year, with the number of applications for grants increasing every quarter. Throughout the U.S., young people continue to see gaining an international viewpoint as a critical element for their career as well as personal development.
Myisha Battle, Manager of the InterExchange Foundation, is inspired daily by grantees’ stories that demonstrate the importance of learning about and living in another part of the world.
“Our grantees all have a global outlook in both their careers as well as their lives. Instead of following the typical route of college graduation followed by entry into the workforce, these young men and women have opted to adjust the traditional trajectory and follow a new path by experiencing immersion in another country and culture,” said Battle.