Julianna Shinnick ‘14 has been awarded the Davis United World College Scholars 100 Projects for Peace prize for her project entitled “Creating Peace for People with Epilepsy ”
Description of her project:
“In Tanzania, you may recognize people with epilepsy by large burns across their bodies or by the way they are segregated within their community, unable to find work due to their disability.
With the funds from the Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship, I will create an art program for the patients of the Mahenge clinic. The project will be three-pronged. First, the program will be therapeutic for the patients, many of whom are trauma survivors and are ostracized from their communities… Second, the content of several art projects will raise awareness about the realities of epilepsy within the community. Many of the problems that patients face are due to lack of awareness... Third, I will work with patients to sell their crafts in a micro-finance project. One of the central problems for the patients of the Mahenge is that others believe they are unfit to work. People with epilepsy are subsequently much poorer than others in the community and often suffer from lack of plumbing and other basic necessities. The clinic has recently completed the first stage of a pilot program that taught patients to farm and successfully led them to jobs in the village. Working with the leaders of that program and collaborating with local artisans, I will help organize the selling of patients’ crafts.
The Mahenge Clinic has reported increased self-esteem, increased integration into the community, and improved living conditions in patients who completed the farming project. I hope that this program will bring similar benefits associated with employment, especially to women in the community who face further discrimination.“
100 Projects for Peace an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program schools to design their own grassroots projects for peace that they themselves will implement anywhere in the world during the summer of 2013. Through a competition on over 85 campuses, 100 projects were selected for funding at $10,000 each. The objective is to encourage and support today’s motivated youth to create and tryout their own ideas for building peace in the 21st century.