Hartford, Conn., June 4, 2009 (Updated July 16, 2009) – Three Trinity College students have received a $10,000 grant from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis 100 Projects for Peace Initiative to provide HIV/AIDS health education in Zambia.  Initially, the students planned to travel to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, for their project.  However, with the current political unrest in Honduras, the project as originally proposed cannot be carried out this summer.

Selected for their proposal entitled “Developing Peace through Health Education,” Jacob Gire, Alden Gordon, and Michael Pierce, all members of the Class of 2010, have adapted their original project plan, working with a nonprofit organization, STS (Stop the Spread), which operates near Ndola, Zambia.  The students will be sharing HIV/AIDS health education curriculum in a variety of ways this summer, including through games, skits, music, and small group discussions, as they work with five high schools located in Mufulira, Murundu, and Kitwe.  The three students will focus much of their time in the village of Murundu, where they have arranged to work at a local orphanage and hope to work with local hospital clinics as well.

Jacob Gire '10 Alden Gordon '10 Michael Pierce '10

In their proposal, Gire, Gordon, and Pierce wrote, “There is growing understanding that world peace entails more than an end to armed conflict; it implies respecting and supporting human rights, providing people with the means to lead a dignified life, and providing access to basic human services through development.”

Upon returning to Trinity from Zambia, the students would like eventually to establish a program in Honduras through which Trinity students can be involved on an ongoing basis with health promotion and illness prevention efforts.

The Davis Projects for Peace Initiative is supported by 102-year-old philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis. College and university students from nearly 100 campuses will collectively receive $1 million in funding during the summer of 2009 for projects in all regions of the world. Davis launched the initiative on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007 and has renewed her challenge for a third year so that this generation of college students can undertake innovative and meaningful projects.

“The competition on nearly 100 campuses was keen and we congratulate the students who proposed the winning projects,” said Philip O. Geier, executive director of the Davis United World College (UWC) Scholars Program.  Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world in the 21st century, each of the more than 100 projects will receive $10,000 in funding.

Davis Projects for Peace invited all students from partner schools in the Davis UWC Scholars Program, plus students at International Houses worldwide and Future Generations, to submit plans for grassroots projects for peace.  At Trinity, the grant opportunity was coordinated through the Center for Urban and Global Studies headed by Dean Xiangming Chen.

This is the third set of Trinity students to receive a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace Initiative. Last summer, Daniela McFarran and Ezel Poslu, both members of the Class of 2009, received the grant for their project, “Peace in Jail,” to establish a youth technology and education center for children who reside with their fathers at the San Pedro Men’s Prison in La Paz, Bolivia.

A complete list of the participating schools and projects, as well as a summary of the 2008 projects and a video interview with Davis from 2006, is available on the program’s Web site at