Projects for Peace X2
January 21, 2012
Last year, for the first time ever, two Lewis & Clark student groups earned competitive grants from 100 Projects for Peace, an initiative funded by philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis. Now in its fifth year, the program encourages undergraduates to design grassroots projects to be undertaken around the world with the help of $10,000 grants. Lewis & Clark students have earned the coveted grants each year since the program’s inception.
Drilling Wells in Ethiopia
Working with Oxfam International, a group of five Lewis & Clark students helped facilitate the drilling of two wells in the Borena region of southern Ethiopia to provide clean, fresh water to a population long affected by water scarcity and resource conflicts. The team was composed of Selam “Brook” Mentire B.A. ’11, Leah Scott-Zechlin B.A. ’11, Mihret Teklemichael CAS ’12, Temesghen Habte CAS ’12, and Seile Alemayehu CAS ’13.
“The dire consequences of water scarcity resonate on a personal level with our three group members from Ethiopia, who have all seen firsthand the extraordinary challenges people face in securing clean water,” says Mentire. “From the beginning, we were determined to use water as an instrument for peace.”
Tools for Tolerance in Morocco
Samantha Stein CAS ’11, with the support of nearly a dozen student volunteers, established a human rights cultural center in Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city. Stein, who participated in the inaugural Lewis & Clark overseas study program in Morocco, focused her efforts on Casablanca’s Hay Mohammadi district, an area of concentrated poverty. Partnering with the Hay Mohammadi Ministry of Education and the Morocco Geneva Alliance for Human Rights, Stein and her team of volunteers created a cultural center and facilitated human rights workshops with local youth and educators.
Stein’s team members included Terry Fletcher CAS ’12, Maxene Graze CAS ’14, Wade Higgins CAS ’13, Rebecca Langer CAS ’12, Benjamin Moseley CAS ’12, Sarah Moseley (Vassar College), Renda Nazzal CAS ’12, Alex Neff (Smith College), Ell Olson CAS ’12, Claire Sparks CAS ’11, and Gabrielle Weiniger (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London).
“This project taught me that a network of change makers exists throughout the world,” says Stein, “and if you reach out to one another, then you can collaboratively build projects to change the world.”