Project: Farmarvest: Fostering peace through job creation in Agriculture (Zimbabwe)
Leader: Tafara Makaza ’20 (home: Zimbabwe; major: physics)
Tafara’s project aimed to foster peace by curbing unemployment in Zimbabwe through job creation in agriculture.
Tafara is the Cofounder and COO of ZimTaxi, a premium ridesharing App in Zimbabwe.
Project: Justice League: Youth Activism and Empowerment Summer Program (USA)
Leader: Anna Pomper ‘18; Keiana West ’18
Anna and Keiana’s Project for Peace grant was used to conduct a 7-week social justice summer program with middle school aged children in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. This youth leadership opportunity, included a combination of educational and recreational activities with the common goal of youth activism, was offered to 11 low-income, minority students at no cost to families.
Anna is an investigator for Public Defender Service in Washington D.C. Keiana was a Princeton in Africa Fellow in Johannesburg, South Africa and is now a Justice Fellow at the Equal Justice Initative.
Project: Improved Sexual and Reproductive Health for Peace (Kenya)
Leader: Yvonne Bungei ’17 (home: Kenya; major: psychology)
Yvonne’s project focused on providing young girls in Kenya with access to accurate information about sexual and reproductive health. She organized training and mentoring workshops and the establishment of a community resource center in Eldoret Town where the community could access information and counseling services.
Yvonne is currently a resident assistant at Fellside House near Boston. Fellside is a transition residence associated with Gould Farm in Monterey, Massachusetts.
Project: Fostering Youth Engagement at D-Town Farm (Detroit, Michigan)
Leader: Abigale Belcrest ’16 (home: Michigan; major: Arabic studies)
Abigale’s Projects for Peace grant was used to enhance youth spaces and programming at D-Town Farm, a seven-acre organic farm in Detroit’s Rouge Park. Funds were used to renovate the farm’s children’s area and purchase supplies, both of which enabled the farm to extend its summer youth activities into year-long programs with local schools. Abigale helped organize these summer activities, where children and their families learned skills in plant identification and small-scale gardening. She also organized BioBlitz events, which gave children the chance to connect with University of Michigan graduate students, from whom they learned about local biology, agriculture, and history. Abigale also coordinated outreach and development for the Detroit People’s Food Cooperative, a new organization that is working to create a cooperatively owned grocery store.
Abigale is currently a program officer with Solidarity Center in Morocco.
Project: Reclaiming Narratives (Jordan)
Leader: Sumaya Awad ’16 (home: Jordan; majors: history, religion)
Sumaya’s project used journalism to attempt to return agency to Syrian refugees in Jordan. Sumaya led journalism workshops for refugees that led to the creation of a news publication “Ila Mata,” which published its articles on Facebook. Sumaya’s project was featured in the fall 2015 Williams Magazine.
Project: Water Crisis and Conflict (Pakistan)
Leader: Hamza Farrukh ’15 (home: Pakistan; majors: economics, political science)
Hamza used his Projects for Peace grant to build a well in his home village of Jur, providing the community with a sustainable and maintenance-free supply of clean water. The system guarantees clean water to about half of the approximately 1,500 people who live in Jur.
Hamza is currently a portfolio solutions strategist with Goldman Sachs in London. He is also the founder of Bondh-E-Shams (“droplets of the sun”), an organization that has expanded his solar water pump project in Pakistan—a second water pump was installed in 2016; fundraising is underway to raise funds for four or five more.
Title: “Mentes Brillantes” After-School Youth Center (Colombia)
Leader: Marcela Osorio ’15 (home: Connecticut; major: American studies)
Marcela’s Project for Peace involved the renovation of a small, vacant house in the Carlos Holmes barrio of Cartago, Colombia. The house was turned into an after-school arts center with the goal of empowering the children of Carlos Holmes to break the area’s cycle of violence, drugs, and sexual exploitation.
Marcela is currently a research associate with the Thyroid, Head & Neck Cancer Foundation in New York City.
Title: Reading to Secure the Future at Konyango School (Kenya)
Leader: Jackline Odhiambo ’14 (home: Kenya; major: chemistry)
Jackline used her Projects for Peace grant to strengthen a reading program at the Konyango School (renamed Mboto Sunrise School) in her hometown of Konyango, Kenya. Not only was the reading program improved, but additional programs for the students (in theatre, movement, and public speaking) and the teachers (public speaking and computer literacy training) were introduced. According to Jackline’s final report, this project helped establish a solid academic foundation for Mboto Sunrise School, with one hundred pupils directly benefiting. Academic expectations at the school were raised, and community members were inspired to create adult literacy classes, so that the students’ parents could benefit, as well.
Jackline is currently a research coordinator with Global Health Delivery Partnership Research Core at Harvard.
Project: Connecting Nepal: Wireless Education in Arughat (Nepal)
Leader: Avishek K. Shrestha ’14 (home: Nepal; major: astronomy)
Avishek used his Projects for Peace grant to bring internet connections and training to the community school in his home town of Arughat, Nepal. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015 destroyed the school.
Project: Establishing a Generation of Promise (Afghanistan)
Leader: Matiullah Amin ’12 (home: Vermont; majors: economics, political science)
Mati used his Projects for Peace grant to conduct an Afghan Youth Initiative (AYI)
forum on youth activism and community development in Kabul, Afghanistan. Sixty young men and women participated, learning how to communicate with community elders and government and city officials and designing, in consultation with their elders, proposals for community development projects. The winning proposal created a handicraft center where illiterate women were taught sewing and tailoring techniques. The goal of this proposal was that, with these skills, these women could then earn a living in order to support their families.
Mati is currently the director of operations at Technical Training Foundation in Boston.
Project: Reading in the Slums (Argentina)
Leader: Ellen Song ’11 (home: New York; major: English)
Ellen’s Project for Peace was a literacy project for young women in two slums of Buenos Aires. In the workshops, the participants read passages from various texts, discussed them, and then wrote their own creative responses to prompts. Their stories were collected in a book, which was printed and distributed to various schools and human-rights and social-justice organizations within Buenos Aires as well as other provinces of Argentina. Ellen’s hope was that the book would be used to inspire other projects of youth empowerment.
Ellen is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at Duke University.
Project: Reducing the Environmental & Health Dangers of Mercury (Papua New Guinea)
Leader: Henry (Ted) Kernan ’09 (home: Ecuador; majors: economics, geosciences)
With his Project for Peace grant, Ted provided training in alternatives to traditional gold mining methods to small-scale gold miners in Papua New Guinea. Ted trained the miners to use retorts (simple devices that allow miners to recycle excess mercury instead of releasing it into the air) and inexpensive plastic bottles (that allow miners to pick up gold using water suction rather than mercury). Ted also produced a series of videos on safe small-scale mining techniques and distributed copies to libraries and universities as well as the government-run mining training center in PNG.
Ted has worked as a geologist in the petroleum industry since earning his M.S. at Colorado School of Mines. He is the founder of WellLogData, an online subscription-based interpretation package for oil and gas wells.
Project: Reclaiming Childhood for Iraqi Children in Jordan (Jordan)
Leaders: Anouk Dey ’09 (home: Canada; major: political science) Katherine Krieg Fischer ’08 (home: Wisconsin; majors: economics, psychology)
Katherine and Anouk led Williams’ first Davis Project for Peace, Reclaiming Childhood (RC): a summer sports camp for young Iraqi girls who were living as refugees in Amman, Jordan. RC has run programs every year since 2008 and was incorporated in 2009 as a 501(c)(3) based in Amman, Jordan. It has expanded its reach to also serve Syrian and Palestinian refugees and offers a year-round schedule of activities.
Katherine and Anouk co-authored an opinion piece on their project that was published in the fall 2009 Williams Magazine. RC was also featured in the 2008 and 2015 Projects for Peace reports, and in an article on the Williams alumni network in the summer 2014 issue of the Williams Magazine.
Katherine is currently a senior associate with Hall Capital Partners in New York City. Anouk is an analyst with T. Rowe Price in Baltimore. They continue to be involved with RC—Katherine as president and director, and Anouk as executive director of strategic partnerships.
Project: A Sewing Cooperative for People Living with AIDS in Nairobi (Kenya)
Leaders: Mariama Massaquoi ’07 (home: Texas; major: religion) Martin Williams ’07 (home: Oregon; major: economics)
Project funded, but withdrawn.