Laura Vang '15
Student Director for Conversations That Matter
Hometown: Memphis, TNRead the full interview
La Casa de Acogida Mantay
Christine is travelling to Peru for her fellowship working with adolescent mothers who were victims of sexual abuse. La Casa de Acogida Mantay offers education and social support for the women in order to empower them to both work jobs and raise their children successfully. La Casa de Acogida offers language and technical skills workshops, childcare, and psychological trauma support for the women. As a WISE Crisis Line Advocate, Sexual Abuse Peer Advisor, and SEAD mentor, Christine has the necessary skills to listen to and empathize with the women's stories. Her skills are especially important given the machismo and feminine inferiority attitudes entrenched in the modern, local culture. Christine hopes to "help women who have experienced abuse – and who are raising children as a result for that abuse – to overcome violent pasts with their incredible inner strength."
El Hogar de Teresa Toda
Azua, Dominican Republic
Kelly is spending her fall term working at El Hogar de Teresa Toda in Azua, Dominican Republic. The Hogar de Teresa Toda is a home that supports girls from poor living conditions at home. In order to stay at the Hogar, the girls must commit to going to school, learning a trade, and remaining single free from pregnancy. The Hogar prepares these young women to return to their communities ready to make an impact. Kelly, who has travelled to the Hogar on past mission trips with her church, is excited for the opportunity to continue developing and strengthening the bonds created with the women in past years. As a camp coach and math tutor, Kelly understands the nuances of working with children. Kelly hopes to "instill an internal motivation, drive, and dedication to learning in the girls" in order to "perpetuate the mission of the Hogar in that these girls will return to the community educated and to promote the success of the Hogar."
Microfinance Program Intern
Ben will spend the fall working in microfinance through Silver Upholders in Kampla, Uganda. Silver Upholders aims to reduce poverty by empowering women at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid. Their focus on women stems from research that shows women are more likely to reinvest the earned income back into the home through better educational opportunities, cleaner living conditions, or healthier food options. As an economics major who hopes to write a thesis on economic development, the internship will offer valuable experience and guidance at the ground level on microfinance and lending. Ben hopes to ensure the sustainability of the intern program and Silver Upholders in the community by preparing presentations for future investors and lesson templates for community members.
Socios en Salud and Clinica Kausay Wasi
Lima, Peru and Cusco, Peru
Victoria is spending the fall working with two organizations in Peru, Socios en Salud and Clínica Kausay Wasi. Socios en Salud is a non-profit affiliate of Partners in Health that works to both treat deadly infectious diseases and eliminate the root causes of inequality, poverty, social stigma, and lack of access to medication that exacerbate the cycle of disease. Victoria will spend the first part of her fellowship assisting with the operations at local health clinics and evaluating the effectiveness of their delivery of healthcare. She will also work with patients facing malnutrition and tuberculosis. Clínica Kausay Wasi focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases in rural communities in the Sacred Valley. Victoria will finish her fellowship with Cliníca Kausay Wasi assisting with daily activities, including interviewing patients and translating for visiting medical teams. She will also accompany the rural nurse on her rounds in isolated villages to provide healthcare and preventive education and to treat children with parasites or malnutrition. A believer in social justice and equality, Victoria hopes that the fall will "enhance [her] ability to lead with a global perspective, from the heart and mind" and be better in tune with community needs.
Last Updated: 9/26/11