Projects for Peace Grant of $10,000 Awarded to Trinity College Students

HARTFORD, Conn., April 5, 2011 – Four Trinity College students have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace Initiative to support their project to construct a maternity ward and provide HIV/AIDS education at a village health clinic in Tanzania this summer. 

Selected for their proposal, entitled “Tanzanian Women’s Health,” Ibrahim Diallo, Rosalia Abreu, and Sofia Melograno, all from the Class of 2011, and Madeleine Shukurani, Class of 2014, are members of the African Development Coalition (ADC), which was co-founded at Trinity by Diallo and Abreu. Each school year, the student-led ADC (http://adcoalition.net) selects an African country to focus on, with a mission “to raise awareness of contemporary African culture, politics, and economic issues on the Trinity campus and beyond, and to bring together a network of civil servants to work toward peace, education, and development on the continent.”

In their project proposal, Abreu, Diallo, Melograno, and Shukurani wrote that they chose Tanzania “because it has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection and transmission in Africa.” They observed that in Tanzania, with a population of over 41 million people, “many people do not have access to hospitals or clinics. In fact, it is estimated that there are approximately .05 physicians and .09 hospital beds for every 1,000 people.” The students have targeted the village of Himo, in rural Moshi, as their project site due to the especially high rate of HIV/AIDS infection there.

Also participating in the preparation of the proposal were these Trinity students, all ADC members: Sarah Bagaco ’11, Kate Cummings ’11, Celeste O'Connor ’14, Anna Seidner ’13, Dobromir Trifonov ’13, and Stephanie Viall ’13. An official Trinity student organization since 2008, the ADC has a solid record of achievement. Last summer, the ADC focused on a computer literacy project at Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, expanding the school’s computer lab from 30 to 110 computers. During the summer of 2009, the ADC carried out a project that culminated in the renovation of a primary school and installation of a water pump in a small village in Guinea.

The Davis Projects for Peace Initiative is supported by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, now over 103 years old, who launched the program on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007.  “I want to use my birthday to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to the prospects of peace in the world,” said Davis. “My many years have taught me that there will always be conflict. It’s part of human nature. But love, kindness, and support are also part of human nature, and my challenge to these young people is to bring about a mindset of preparing for peace instead of preparing for war.”

College and university students from nearly 100 campuses will collectively receive $1 million in funding for projects in all regions of the world. Each of the projects will receive $10,000 in funding and will be implemented during the summer of 2011. Davis Projects for Peace invited all students from partner schools in the Davis UWC Scholars Program, plus students at International Houses Worldwide, Future Generations, and the Graduate Institute in Geneva to submit plans for grassroots projects for peace, to be implemented during the summer of 2011. At Trinity, the grant opportunity was coordinated through the Center for Urban and Global Studies headed by Dean and Director Xiangming Chen, who is also the Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Sociology and International Studies.

A complete list of the participating schools and projects, as well as a summary of all previous projects and a video interview with Davis from 2006, is available on the program’s Web site at www.davisprojectsforpeace.org.