The summer of 2009, The Center sponsored seven Human Rights Fellowships. Student projects included: working with single mothers and children in Guatemala, assisting international refugees assimilate into the United States, promoting public health in Ecuador, and working alongside lawyers and investigators to protect the rights of individuals facing the death penalty. View their stories in the United States, South America, Europe, and Africa articles.
Jennifer Ambrose ’09: Washington, D.C.
Jennifer worked as an intern for the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State, which is one of the Department’s few bureaus that focuses on foreign aid. Her main tasks were in research and conference planning. She conducted research for several projects, studying mainly U.S. foreign aid and trade agreements in Africa and public health issues there. She also assisted with her office’s preparations for the 2007 African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum held in Accra, Ghana, which is the annual conference allows government officials and civil sector representatives from the U.S. and all parts of Africa to discuss issues related to trade and development. Finally, she had the opportunity to attend an HIV/AIDS workshop at the Foreign Service Institute, offered for Foreign Service Officers working in countries severely afflicted by AIDS.
Ice Cream for Poverty: Claremont, California
Laura Ackerman ’09 and Janae Hockensmith ’09, two members of the SAC, along with a couple of friends, decided to raise money for Fonkoze, a microfinance NGO in Haiti by selling liquid nitrogen ice cream at a CMC Halloween event. Using liquid nitrogen (-196 oC) courtesy of the Joint Science Department to freeze a mixture of heavy whipping cream, half and half, sugar, vanilla, and orange food coloring, a sum of $100 was raised.
“Two years ago, as a sophomore at CMC I wrote to Professor Petropoulos, the head of the Center for Human Rights Leadership at that time, to tell him that I was interested in becoming involved in the Center’s activities. “It has taken me over a year here to realize the wealth of opportunities I am offered everyday at CMC,” I wrote, “and the Center for Human Rights Leadership is one of them.” In my letter, I informed him that the previous semester I had written my final term paper on the Holocaust and that I had been studying the events that occurred at Auschwitz since then on my own. In addition, I told him that I had listened to Francis Bok speak about his experience as a slave at the athenaeum, and that after that, I could no longer remain passive about human rights’ issues. I recognized that I had to take initiative; I had to not only care-but act. I had to be willing to stop what I was doing in my everyday life to reach out to others, to ensure that someone else in the world, perhaps even someone in my own country, could have an “everyday life”. It is two years later and I still feel just as convinced of those words as I am today. I became involved with the Center two years ago because I believed that I could make a difference. I believed that small actions could vastly improve and in some cases-save lives. It is precisely that desire to make a difference for others that motivated me to hold a fundraiser for Fonkoze. Certainly, my friends and I raised only a small sum of money, but our small sum of money combined with other small sums of money has the potential to do great things for Haiti. Everyone has the ability to give something, and for me, someone who is majoring in chemistry, I had the opportunity to combine my passion for chemistry with my passion for service, to give to Haiti in an unconventional way, and to support an institution at CMC which I firmly believe will continue to do great work in the future.”
Monica Brazelton ’10: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Monica spent her summer as an intern for the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Center. The Center distributes human rights educational materials through a variety of mediums, including an education program that has been implemented in many Twin-Cities area public schools. It also is responsible for the world’s largest human rights library. Her primary job was a grant writer for the center, and her work was rather significant. During her eight weeks, she applied for more than $250,000 worth of grants for the Center. Her secondary role was to research and prepare reports on the status of human rights issues throughout the world. These reports were very important for the Center’s employees as well as donors to the Center.
Anna Kheyfets ’11: New York City, New York
During the summer of 2008, Anna was an intern for Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW). OIWW has established a network of locally incorporated homes to house and educate children orphaned and abandoned after the Tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, and the 2004 hurricane in Haiti. Over the course of her time there, she was assigned several different projects. Firstly, she worked to facilitate the grant writing process by researching pertinent issues needed to make the grant a success. She also conducted research on the different types of companies that would help provide job training for the kids in Sri Lanka. Finally, she spent a large amount of time working on a fundraising event for an orphanage in Haiti, where she needed to secure donations for every part of the fundraiser.
Joanna Repsold ’07: Hollywood, California
My first introduction to the Center was through a trip to Washington DC where we had the privilege to meet with leading experts, members of Congress and researchers at the Holocaust Museum on human rights issues around the world. What an eye opener to what is happening in every corner of the world, from child soldiers in the jungles of Uganda to young women in the Middle East. I would later go on to travel again with the Center to Germany to study one of histories darkest periods and then down to Louisiana to lend our hand to Hurricane Katrina refugees.
Shortly after that first DC trip, I became involved with the Center as part of their Student Advisory Committee, helping to bring speakers to CMC to expand the students’ knowledge of human rights issues around the globe and partnering with other campus efforts on the issue of genocide. In the Winter of 2005, four of us from the Center headed back to Washington DC to lobby members of Congress towards action on the issue of genocide in Darfur, as well as expand our education on the issue by meeting with the Holocaust Museum and members of the State Department.
Working and traveling with the Center took my experience with human rights issues from cursory knowledge to active involvement. It gave me the opportunity to meld my love of politics with my desire to impact the world. My eyes were opened to the breath and depth of need and injustice around the world while providing me with resources and connection to be proactive in helping find and implement solutions, raise awareness and educate others. I graduated CMC with a broadened world-view and a desire to continue my involvement in human rights issues.
Since CMC, I have been working in Hollywood at a production company dedicated to making issue-advocacy films that take on controversial topics relevant to today’s culture in an effort to raise awareness and bring about change. My time at the Center has given me a unique perspective and level of expertise not often found in this industry, as well as an overall awareness of the most pressing human rights issues facing our world today. I am forever grateful for my time at the Center for the experiences it gave me and how it impacted my life, both then and now.
Olivia Kuhlman ’11: Atlanta, Georgia
As a recipient of the Human Rights Fellowship, Olivia will intern at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) regional office in Atlanta, Georgia. She will assist international refugees during their transition into U.S. society. IRC provides emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights, resettlement services, and advocacy for refugees who have been displaced by violent conflict and oppression. Olivia will work primarily with refugees from Burma, Iraq, and Sudan. She will work with the IRC’s “First Things First Woman’s Literacy” program, an intensive vocational English program. Olivia’s responsibilities include developing and organizing materials for the curriculum, leading small group conversational practices, and providing one-on-one tutoring. In addition, she will assist with running and maintaining IRC’s education program.
Update from Olivia
Every single experience I have had with the clients has been incredible. They are amazing people who are full of life. Despite the fact that they have lost everything, that they are away from their home country, and in a new place where they don’t speak the language, they are the most positive, friendly, and caring individuals I have ever met. My experiences, during my internship, have included seeing women in the women’s literacy class develop into empowered individuals with confidence to speak up in class and voice their opinions. In VESL, I have seen women obtain a job for the first time in their lives and I have seen men and women from various countries (where women would never work alongside men) working together and encouraging one another to complete a common goal.
Brendan Sasso ’10: Washington, D.C.
This summer, Brendan will participate in the Investigative Internship Program at the Criminal Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. Selected as a recipient of the Human Rights Fellowship, he will assist attorneys in preparing defense strategies. Brendan will investigate scenes of alleged crimes, gather evidence, and prepare demonstratives and documents for trail. The goal of the Criminal Justice Clinic is to ensure that individuals have access to high quality legal representation regardless of their financial situation. An adequate legal defense is a basic human right, and Brendan anticipates the opportunity to personally work to ensure that defendants receive the right of a fair trial.
Update from Brendan, July 2009
We start each case by reviewing the police report and other official documents. But the government’s version of events is not always the whole (or the true) story. So we dig deeper by interviewing witnesses and collecting any other records or evidence we can. When we talk to people who will probably be prosecution witnesses, we try to get a signed statement from them detailing everything they know so they can’t change their stories when they get on the stand.
Allison Scott ’11: Berkeley, California
Allison is passionate about criminal justice, specifically her opposition to capital punishment. This summer, she will intern at the Death Penalty Clinic at the Berkeley School of Law. Her internship is funded by The Center’s Human Rights Fellowship Program, and will provide Allison with the opportunity to partner with prominent law professionals and work on death penalty cases that are in the post-conviction appeals stages. Allison will maintain case files and work with the investigative aspects of the cases. Her internship also will allow Allison to learn and practice the procedural and practical skills necessary for a career in law as well as participate in a case that is significant from a human rights point.
Update from Allison
Working at the Death Penalty Clinic at Berkeley Law School has truly been an exciting and fulfilling experience. I had the opportunity to work on a breadth of issues, including the current California debate over lethal injection. The California Department of Corrections is working to create new protocol for the lethal injection process, and there is currently a moratorium on executions in California until the provisions are finished and approved. I worked with lawyers at the DPC on a specific case. In this specific case, the DPC is co-counsel and our client was granted a retrial for the penalty phase. My responsibility was to help compile information from the client’s time spent in prison, which has been nearly 20 years. This information will be used as mitigation for the retrial. This required sifting through 20 years of documentation, including physical and mental health records, disciplinary records or any information that could help convince a jury that the client deserves life without parole.
Katrina Weeks ’11: New York City
Through CMC’s Center for Human Rights Leadership, I had the amazing opportunity to intern at Human Rights Watch in New York City over the summer of 2009. Human Rights Watch is an international non-profit organization devoted to exposing emerging or overlooked injustices and defending human rights throughout the globe. Human Rights Watch works in over 80 countries, is featured in news headlines daily, and is one of the most influential human rights organizations in the world.
Working for Human Rights Watch profoundly inspired me. Throughout my three-month internship I witnessed the impact Human Rights Watch had on governments, policymakers, and perpetrators of human rights crimes. Human Rights Watch continues to make palpable differences in many different arenas of international human rights by focusing on the facts, investigating with determination, and using creativity to address complex issues. Some of the world’s most crucial humanitarian crises only entered the public consciousness through Human Rights Watch’s documentation.
As for my specific role within Human Rights Watch, this summer I interned in the communications department. Since Human Rights Watch is an organization devoted to revealing, documenting, and challenging human rights violations, our communications team works to raise global awareness about these human rights issues. As a member of the communications team, most of my time was spent focusing on journalists and media markets around the world. This included assessing Human Rights Watch’s media coverage, contacting prominent journalists, targeting the media outlets policymakers read, researching news sources, and other press related work. Throughout my internship I worked to maximize media coverage of Human Rights Watch reports to advance respect for human rights and hold human rights violators accountable. Some releases I worked on that received significant international attention and important reactions by policymakers include: human rights abuses in the Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe, rampant abuse by police forces in India, and horrific corruption in Equatorial Guinea.
A Visit to Haiti and Fonkoze by Edward Haley
Haiti and its people are so beautiful and so poor that spending time with them breaks a visitor’s heart and takes away the ability to put thoughts and feelings in perspective. Since we returned from Haiti, I have been trying to find a frame for our experiences. I’m still trying.
With the kind assistance of members of Fonkoze, a micro-finance organization started in 1995 by Father Joseph Philippe and directed by Anne Hastings, Elaine and I spent five days, in Haiti, January 13-17, 2009, traveling from Port au Prince, the capital, to Mibale and Boukan Kare in the central plateau and Fondwa in the southwest. I went in my capacity as Director of the Center for Human Rights Leadership at Claremont McKenna College, seeking to establish a connection between the Center and Fonkoze, as part of the Center’s efforts to establish links with effective human rights organizations. Elaine traveled with me at our personal expense. We came away deeply moved by what we saw and profoundly impressed by the achievements of Fonkoze. Since its founding Fonkoze has grown into an organization with a national reach, amassing 50,000 depositors and thousands of Ti Marchans, small traders, 99% of whom are women, a traditional role for women in Haiti. In addition to spending several hours with Anne Hastings and traveling with three members of her staff for four days, we talked at length with Father Joseph who has launched a new initiative, aimed at creating a university geared to the needs of the majority of Haiti’s people, most of whom are impoverished farmers. I’ve attached some pictures along with these impressions of our stay.
Haiti is strikingly beautiful, despite the most severe environmental degradation, partly the result of cutting and burning trees for charcoal, the sole fuel for cooking for millions of Haitians. Hillsides and mountains everywhere have been stripped of trees, leaving their stone ribs painfully evident, as gaunt and stricken as many of the farm animals one sees in the fields and alongside the roads.
Even so, there are places, such as the central plateau, where the countryside smiles under blue skies and soft, high clouds, where there are fields covered with dark green rows of okra reached by trails that wander through stands of tall millet, sugar cane, and banana trees, a countryside so carefully tended and so filled with sun as to make an American visitor think of the south of France or Tuscany. But it is the beauty of the people that resonates the most in the mind.
One remembers, too, the people and their poverty, a poverty more severe than anything we had ever seen, a poverty so deep and so punishing that it shortens the lives of Haitians at every age and puts human beings and animals in competition for enough to eat. Haitians are young: the median age is 18; and they don’t live very long. Haitians can expect to live to be only 57. Infant mortality in Haiti is 620 deaths/1,000 live births far greater than the 6.3 deaths/1,000 live births in the United States or the 2.75 deaths/1,000 in Sweden. By contrast to Haitians, Americans can expect to live to be 78, and the median age in the United States is 36.
It is impossible to travel far in Haiti before paved roads turn into dirt tracks of holes and ruts that force cars and trucks to a bone jolting crawl that continues past all enduring, or, as in Port au Prince, runs into torrents of water pouring down steep side streets, collecting every form of waste, turning a major boulevard into a shallow lake where filthy water is sprayed by passing cars and small buses (Tap-Taps) onto the goods of ti marchans who have set up for market on the ground for hundreds of meters along the side of the road.
“Does all this water come from a spring or a burst water main?”
“A burst water main. It’s been this way for years. No one does anything about it.”
All this occurs inside the first half hour after arrival, but one quickly finds that it is repeated endlessly: the beauty of the people and the land and the depth of their poverty, the grinding, jarring, wearing cost of every movement until visitors give in and begin to know the smallest part of what it means to be Haitian.
Thanks to Fonkoze we met dozens of Haitians and saw something else, something precious and full of hope for the future. In the solidarity groups that women form to support one another as they receive small loans from Fonkoze and work to repay them, we saw pride and success shining on the faces of the members. They met us with kisses. They reported that their children were in school, and they sang and laughed. That is the other thing that we remember about our time in Haiti: the laughter of the people, in Fonkoze’s meetings, on the street, in tap-taps, passing by, sardonic, sad, or teasing, sometimes just laughter.
Greer Donley ’09 – Honduras
Greer used the summer of 2008 to further her goals of improving the maternal healthcare situation in Intibuca, Honduras. After spending the summer of 2007 working in the labor and delivery unit of a rural Honduran hospital, she became passionate about maternal health. She returned in 2009 to document the issues faced by these women. She spent a month walking around Honduras, working at a hospital, and learning about these women lives as she documenting their experiences. The documentary’s primary aim was to aesthetically convey the human rights issues facing Honduran women each day. She has since presented her documentary to non-profits in DC and Kansas, as well as at the Oxfam Hunger Banquet and other on campus events. She hopes to use the video to fundraise for the creation of birthing clinics in rural Honduras in the future.
Janae Hockensmith ’09 – Venzuela
In her summer, Janae was an intern at Iglesia Biblica Fe & Esperanza (IBFE), where she was primarily a teacher to young children. The church is located near Caracas Venezuela, and is involved in many outreach activities. As a teacher, she offered English classes three evenings each week with additional private tutoring sessions at various times. She was able to experiment with a variety of teaching methods including music, drama, and conversation. Through teaching, she developed relationships with many students and learned about youth experiences in the Venezuelan context. Additionally, she translated many donated teaching and outreach materials (that were in English), so that they would have a purpose in IBFE.
Carly Graber ’11 – San Benito, Guatemala
In summer 2009, Carly interned with the non-profit organization Hands in Action. Located in San Benito, Guatemala, this organization supports and empowers victims of domestic violence and economic instability, mainly single mothers and their children. Hands in Action is run by local residents and consists of a day care center, training center, medical clinic, and a scholarship fund. Carly’s primary responsibilities included teaching basic English and working with children in the day care. This opportunity expanded her previous experience as a Jumpstart Corps Member, where she was trained in literacy techniques and to work with underprivileged children whose first language is not English. In addition, Carly worked in the Hands in Action training center, teaching single mothers new skills and assisting with fundraising projects.
Update From Carly Out In The Field
I’ll start with Hands in Action. We accomplished a lot this week! Maria, Maria Luisa and I (with some help from Maria Luisa’s boys and her daughter, Greilin, as our designated photographer) built our own whiteboard for the after-school program. It cost us about half as much as buying one would have and we did quite an excellent job. I have started letting the kids take pictures, and they get a huge kick out of it – and they love seeing the pictures after they’re taken. Greilin has especially taken to photography – she has a whole series of “garden” pictures – a lot of the pictures are of weeds but I love how she still can find the beauty in them.
Kathryn Leonnig ’12 – Riobamba, Ecuador
Over the summer of 2009, Kathryn traveled to Riobamba, Ecuador, to participate in an internship funded by The Center’s Human Rights Fellowship Program. She worked at the Hospital Andino Alternativo, the first alternative medicine hospital founded in Ecuador. Kathryn’s interest lies in the public health focus of the hospital, so she partnered with schools and communities in the area to promote health education, facilitate vaccination campaigns, and provide home visits to patients who need continuing care.
Update from Kathryn
I am working with the community health group and we have traveled to four communities which are far from the city and are primarily indigenous. We visited a day care center and taught the teachers about AH1N1 flu, how it is spread, the symptoms, how to wash your hands properly to avoid contamination, and what to do if someone in the community contracts the virus. We went to another community and taught about family planning and then took questions from the community members. Next week we will return and have discussion about nutrition. We are preparing informational posters and handouts for a fair that will be held in a couple of weeks.
Update from Grace Michel ’05 – Lima, Peru
I am writing you from Lima, Peru. I have been living here for over a year now, working with an NGO called Peace and Hope that is focused on human rights, justice, and sustainable development for poor and marginalized communities. I love my work here and have had such a rich experience this past year. Living in a different culture constantly challenges me, which is what enables me to continually grow and step outside my comfort zone. I live and work in a district of the capital city of Lima called San Juan de Lurigancho. It is the largest district in the city and also the poorest district, with the largest concentration of people who have migrated to Lima from the provinces, many to escape the political violence during the years when the Shining Path and MRTA terrorist groups were active here (1980-2000). Many of them live in slum communities and situations of extreme poverty.
The project I am working on is mostly capacity building, focused on empowering leaders from local churches to serve their communities in holistic ways that address the major issues and needs in the communities. We focus a lot on addressing domestic and sexual abuse of women and children and promoting gender equality. We also train people with the knowledge to design small community development projects which range from educational and nutrition programs for kids to job skills and projects for adults. Aside from my work with the churches I also help out in the other projects that my NGO is working on when I have time, and one of those is a project to follow up with the implementation of the recommendation of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was established to address the violations that occurred during the years of political violence and terrorism in Peru. We do advocacy work on behalf of the communities of persons displaced by the political violence. I really enjoy when I get to help with this project, since my senior thesis was on Truth and Reconciliation Commissions after periods of gross human rights abuse and I am particularly interested in this topic. I get to be a part of the process of trying to pursue reconciliation in the wake of political violence.
Solon Christensen-Szalanski ’10: Salzburg, Austria
Solon worked at Schloss Leodpodskron in Salzburg, Austria with the Institute of Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR), an independent initiative of the Salzburg Global Seminar. As an intern, he worked with the IHJR’s Middle East project. The goal of the project was to produce the first joint Palestinian-Israeli atlas of the War of 1948; it was to be composed with more than 80 maps and with shared narratives to accompany them. His work was ambitious, as at the beginning of his internships, no maps had yet to be finished. Yet, near the end, one fourth of the total maps had been completed. He also participated in the formation of an India-Pakistan textbook project, in which researchers will work to create a shared narrative of these historically similar, but politically different, countries. The hopes of this project are to reduce the textbook propaganda that is such a dangerous hurdle for peace.
Alexis Herr ’07: Italy
Even as alumna, Claremont McKenna College’s Center for Human Rights Leadership continues to have a lasting impact on my scholastic and personal pursuits. The experiences I gained from academic travel trips to Washington, D.C. and Berlin, Germany along with the knowledge I obtained through the Holocaust and Genocide academic concentration, molded my personal and academic goals. The Center’s AnneMerie Donoghue Human Rights Fellowship Program afforded me the opportunity to intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. Most importantly, the mentorship and support of Professor John Roth and Professor Jonathan Petropolous inspired me to dedicate my life to the study of the Holocaust and the prevention of genocide.
With the encouragement of Professor Roth, I applied to Clark University, the only university in the world that offers a Ph.D. in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. As a second year graduate student at Clark, I have focused my research on Italy and the Holocaust. My dissertation, “Remembering Fossoli di Carpi: From Death’s Waiting Room to Ruins,” explores the historical significance and cultural remembrance of Fossoli di Carpi, a former WWII deportation camp in northern Italy.
CMC’s Center for Human Rights Leadership provided me with an outlet to develop my passion for the prevention and study of genocide. Once I have achieved my Ph.D. I plan to pursue a career in genocide prevention and relief work. One day, I hope to return to the classroom and inspire students just as my CMC professors did for me. My experiences with CMC’s Center for Human Rights Leadership created an invaluable sense of purpose and passion, which continue to sustain my academic and personal pursuits in the field of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Becky Grossman ’08: Berlin, Germany
Throughout my time at CMC, I was very involved in the Center. I joined the Center’s SAC my sophomore year and participated in the academic travel program to Berlin that summer. Upon returning to CMC, I enrolled in Professor Roth’s class on the Holocaust and starting working as a research assistant at the Center. I spent the next two years working for the Center. I was an AnneMerie Donoghue fellow over the summer of 2007; the fellowship allowed me to take a course on comparative genocide studies in Toronto, Canada. As part of my duties as a research assistant, I helped to organize and lead the academic travel program to Israel last May.
Additionally, the Center was very important to my experience at CMC. Through SAC, I met many like-minded students who were passionate about human rights issues. Through the academic sequence, I took was able to approach the discipline of genocide and human rights studies in an academic atmosphere. Through the fellowship, I engaged with individuals from all over the world who were also interested in issues of human rights. I am very grateful for the opportunities which the Center provided me while at CMC and continues to provide for me today.
After graduating, I was accepted for a Humanity in Action fellowship in New York City, where I engaged with European and American students on issues related to minority rights in democratic societies. I know that my experience with the Center prepared me well for this competitive fellowship. Through Humanity in Action, I was then able to secure an internship with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, Germany, where I worked for four months this past fall. Since January, I have been serving as a legal intern at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The Center at CMC definitely propelled me down the path of international human rights law, which is what I hope to study once I hunker down and apply for law school.
Alice Reichman ’11: Budapest, Hungary
Over the summer of 2009, Alice interned for the Public Interest Law Institute (PILI), which is headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. She used funding from The Center’s Human Rights Fellowship Program to support her work at PILI, an organization that uses the power of litigation to improve government legal systems and help impoverished people and nations acquire resources to help maintain and improve civil liberties. Alice performed research, edited publications, and participated in meetings that enabled her to experience first-hand public interest law and international law.
Update from Alice
I have been writing press releases about the work PILI has done through our clearinghouse program. We have helped many NGOs acquire necessary pro-bono legal assistance from European law firms; each NGO is involved with a different cause including one that gives aid to orphans in Eastern Europe and another that helps secure funds for survivors of the Holocaust and the GULAGs in Russia. Living in Budapest has also proven to be a very educational experience. I attended the House of Terror in downtown Budapest. This museum is located in a building that was the party headquarters of the Hungarian Nazis during WWII and the headquarters of the Communist Party following WWII. I saw exhibits about the oppression many Hungarians faced under both regimes and even explored the basement where old torture chambers and prison cells are still in tact. I toured the Synagogue in Hungary, the largest in the world, where I learned about the Holocaust in Hungary, the last Jewish population to be decimated by the Nazis. One of the most interesting and shocking experiences I have had in Hungary was stumbling across an enormous Neo-Nazi demonstration. In the downtown area in the main park hundreds of Neo-Nazis were gathered, surrounded by police in riot gear. Men were waving swastikas and the old Hungarian national socialist symbol. Although I was aware that anti-semitism and national socialism still exist, it was very shocking to see such a huge demonstration in a central downtown area. It really made me more aware how the study of the Holocaust remains relevant today and that the fight for human rights and equality is not just necessary in third world countries and rural areas, as some believe, but it is truly an issue that needs to be addressed world wide.
Annie Fairman ’07 – Cape Town, South Africa
I had no idea that when I said I wanted to go to South Africa anyone would even believe me, let alone help me to go. It was just sort of one of those things I said to hear what it sounded like coming out of my mouth, and then when I liked the way it sounded I researched it online and liked the way it sounded in research, and then Gordon Aelishman from the South Africa Community Fund offered to help coordinate a place for me to stay, and told me about working at Fikelela Children’s Home, and then I could hardly contain my excitement. In all honesty, it wasn’t until I was looking at a flight map from my airplane seat that showed us flying above the Kalahari Desert that I started to realize this had all materialized, that I was en route to Cape Town, and it was no longer about how it sounded or made me feel.
Takako Mino ’11: Uganda, Rwanda, & Ghana
The summer of 2009, Takako interned at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Uganda’s leading economic policy research institution. As an intern, she wrote proposals, collect and analyze data, conducted research, and undertook additional special projects. In her capacity as a research assistant, Takako aided the executive director with her research in areas crucial to Ugandan development, such as food security, child nutrition, higher education, and poverty reduction. Through this opportunity, Takako had the opportunity to familiarize herself with Ugandan economic development policies and improve her analytical skills in evaluating the effects of governmental policies by working with Uganda’s top economic policy experts.
Takako traveled to Ghana to visit WomensTrust, a microfinance institution in the Pokuase region. The purpose of this visit was to evaluate the institution to determine whether CMC students would benefit from interning there and to learn more about microfinance institutions and their impact on clients.
Update from Uganda
I have enjoyed my research at the Economics Policy Research Centre in Kampala. A researcher and I collected data and conducted interviews during our field trip to the northeastern district of Soroti. We discussed with the local laborers about how employment in public works has helped them earn money to buy food in order to survive the famine. (Drought in the region has led to famine and many deaths due to starvation.)