Christianson Fellows Commit to International Humanitarian Volunteer Work
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Four grants were recently awarded by the InterExchange Foundation to recipients of the Christianson Fellowship and Working Abroad Grant.
Three of the four recipients have already departed on their respective journeys abroad where they will learn and work at innovative non-profit organizations in developing countries. The Foundation distributes grants of up to $10,000 throughout each calendar year and has awarded 65 grants since it began in 2007.
As a part of InterExchange’s mission to promote intercultural exchange and learning within the global community, the Foundation funds deserving young people from the U.S. who have committed to a long-term, international volunteer or work project.
All recipients are recent university graduates who have postponed working or further academic study to focus on international social issues and being immersed in a new culture – something few U.S. citizens have the opportunity to do.
Javed K.: Teaching in Rural India
Javed K., a graduate of Columbia University, will be going to northern India in early 2012. He will teach in rural education camps for children who normally drop out of school at an early age. Javed is also going to India to learn more about his mother’s country.
“By spending a year integrated in a rural community in northern India, working at a rural school, I believe I will develop a far richer understanding for an aspect of my identity that I have not fully explored until now,” said Javed.
By spending a year integrated in a rural community in northern India, working at a rural school, I believe I will develop a far richer understanding for an aspect of my identity that I have not fully explored until now.
Carlyn J.: Helping to Implement a Sustainable Energy Program an India
Carlyn J. is also currently volunteering in India. Based in Udaipur, she will engage in an exchange of cultural knowledge while working in a community to help implement a sustainable energy program in the rural villages around Udaipur. A graduate of Allegheny College, Carlyn is working for the Foundation for Ecological Security.
Two recipients of the Christianson Fellowship are also visiting Uganda to work in separate programs.
Erin S.: Working in Healthcare in Uganda
Erin S., a graduate of the University of Denver, is working for Partners for Access as an assistant manager in Kampala, Uganda. She will train community nurses, research and write grants, and oversee the operational functions of the clinic.
Beth M.: Helping Communities Coexist with Wildlife in Uganda
Beth M., also in Uganda, is volunteering to help the local communities in Kasokwa learn how to coexist peacefully with the wildlife in the area, and with the primate population in particular. The Cornell University graduate is working with the Kasokwa Forest Project.
I was drawn to working with an organization that addresses human-wildlife conflict because it is a topic that embraces one of the core issues of conservation – the conflict between people’s interests.
“Although the environmental issues faced by East Africans are unique,” said Beth, “I was drawn to working with an organization that addresses human-wildlife conflict because it is a topic that embraces one of the core issues of conservation – the conflict between people’s interests.”
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