MMMF Grant Recipients—2005

Carla Marilia Teofilo Braga

Carla Marilia Teofilo Braga

Mozambique

MA/PhD Anthropology

SUNY-Buffalo

Carla is studying “Gendered Practices and Beliefs about HIV/AIDS in Mozambique”. At age 37, Carla graduated in Social History, with a thesis titled “Gender & Land in Mozambique”. Customary laws prevented widows and divorced women from access to land, their only form of security. As a member of the National Committee of Land Campaign, a civil society organization, she was instrumental in obtaining approval of the law that ensured land rights to women in these circumstances. She also became a policy advisor to the Inter-Ministerial Commission that drafted the new law for revision of the land legislation. She was a lecturer at Eduardo Mondiane University (EMU. On completion of her dissertation in December 2007, she plans to work as a professor/researcher at EMU, Department of Anthropology, where she will pursue research on gender and and health issues. Carla’s extensive experience in working with women’s advocacy groups and knowledge of a variety of gender issues both in Latin America and Africa, along with her new research on the impact of AIDS, will have a substantive effect on improving the lives of women and adolescents. .

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Esther Mayambala Kisaakye

Esther Mayambala Kisaakye

Uganda

S.J.D. Candidate

American University

Esther’s thesis, “Gender, Employment and Law”, will examine the relationship between gender, sex-based employment, and discrimination and the law in the public and private sector in Uganda. On completion of her degree in December 2006, she will return to teaching and advocating for women’s rights. Esther previously served as Vice-Chairperson of the Association of Uganda Women Lawyers which ran a legal aid clinic. In 1993, she was selected by the Leadership & Advocacy for Women in Africa Program to do an MA on Women’s Rights at Georgetown University Law Center. The East African Journal on Peace & Human Rights published her thesis, “Changing the Terms of the Debate to Resolve the Polygamy Question in Africa.” Esther subsequently lectured in the Human Rights Peace Center, Makerere University. Her Family Law course increased lawyers’ awareness of the importance of providing equal rights to women. Her volunteer activities have advanced the rights of underprivileged children and of women seeking divorce, separation, custody, maintenance and a share of their deceased husbands’ estate. She is a Board member of the Uganda Aids Commission and a co-founder of the Strategic Litigation Coalition.

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Guliz Kurt

Guliz Kurt

Turkey

PhD Special Education

University of Texas, Austin

Guliz is studying special education. She plans to return home in August 2007, where, in addition to developing programs for children with special needs, she would like to train teachers who work at schools for students with mild disabilities. Previously, while working as a school counselor, Gulez realized that the local education system was not designed to support children with special needs. Local personnel did not have the knowledge or skills to help educate them. Her dissertation topic is social skills training for students with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders. As a counselor, Guliz initiated programs for sex and tobacco education, peer counseling and mediation, and conflict resolution. She also worked with WINPEACE, a Turkish-Greek NGO, to promote change through Youth Conflict Resolution Summer camps for students from Greece, Turkey and North and South Cyprus. She also volunteered to help people with posttraumatic stress due to the devastating 1999 earthquake in Turkey.

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Isabel Madzorera

Isabel Madzorera

Zimbabwe

MA Nutrition

Tufts University

Isabel is an MA student majoring in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition. Upon graduation in May 2006, Isabel plans to work for an international or local NGO, or the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, designing nutrition programs to address chronic malnutrition problems, especially in women and children.Isabel has worked as a nutritionist with Save the Children, Norway; as program manager with Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe; and at the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare as a district nutritionist. In the last few years, she has been active in the emergency nutrition field through the design of nutrition interventions, targeting vulnerable women and children. She has been instrumental in developing and implementing on-site and take-home supplementary feeding programs, designed to prevent and reduce malnutrition in HIV/AIDS orphans, children under five and women who are pregnant or nursing. During the course of her work, she felt the need to acquire further knowledge and skills to better address the issue of nutrition, in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Sheila Anne Magero

Sheila Anne Magero

Uganda

MA Management Nonprofit Organization

Case Western Reserve University

Sheila is studying at the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Her goal is to acquire skills useful to NGOs: effective planning, strategic marketing, fundraising, improved human resources and organizational management. She plans to complete her program in May 2006, receiving her MA in Management of Non-profit Organizations.Sheila’s first job was with the Nutrition and Early Childhood Project. However, soon after graduating, she experienced a series of personal tragedies. Her husband died in an electrical accident leaving her with a two-month old daughter, and within a year thereafter, both of her parents died of cancer. She assumed the responsibility of educating her brother and sister. Her community service efforts focused on sensitizing mothers about the benefits of immunization of young children against common childhood diseases. Negative publicity surrounding previous national immunization had undermined the confidence of uneducated mothers, putting their children at risk. Uganda is experiencing the proliferation of NGOs because of the inability of the government to meet the needs of the population. However, many of these NGOs fail to remain viable, despite their noble mission.

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Sithokozile Maposa

Sithokozile Maposa

Zimbabwe

PhD Nursing

St Louis University, MO

Sithokozile field isNursing. She hopes to use her thesis, “Risk Reduction Efforts and Perception about Risks of HIV/AIDS in Young Women in Zimbabwe”, as the foundation for designing innovative, culturally-grounded interventions to prevent HIV/AIDS infection among young women. Eventually, she hopes to work at a university in Zimbabwe to (1) to help expand the student internship program in Nursing, and (2) to help establish a PhD program in Nursing, in partnership with her mentor and faculty at Saint Louis University. In 1989, as the District Nursing Officer of the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in Gwanda and Plumtree, Sithokozile worked in community and provincial committees on HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis management. In 1997, as the Assistant Service Delivery Director of the Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council in Harare, she managed the integration of HIV/AIDS information and services into existing reproductive health programs. In 2002, working for Advance Africa, she strengthened the linkages of services to community-based programs. She has spoken on adolescent reproductive health and has extensive teaching experience, which includes training community-based workers, nurses, and university students.

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Diya Mehra

Diya Mehra

India

PhD Anthropology

University of Texas, Austin

Diya’s subject is anthropology. Her thesis is “Tenancy Rights for Slum Dwellers Impact on Womena, Children and the Family”. She is conducting research on South Asian slum dwellers. Her project is designed to help the slum dwellers gain employment opportunities as well as basic social services. She strongly feels that her studies will help her to contribute substantially in evaluating and contributing to the formulation of housing policies and income generation for the slum dwellers, especially women. As an undergraduate at an American college, she volunteered at a Juvenile Court. There, she saw low-income African Americans from marginalized urban communities become resigned to repeated incarceration of their young men, because they were unable to obtain proper legal representation. This motivated her on her return to India to be involved in working at a clinic in Yamuna Pushta, Delhi’s largest slum settlement. The clinic provides health care services for mothers and children. Witnessing the persistent insecurity of people seeking livelihood, shelter, and civic and social services, Diya was motivated to take up her present course of study.

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Mary Wezi Mhango

Mary Wezi Mhango

Malawi

PhD Textiles & Clothing

Iowa State University

Mary’s focus is on merchandising and entrepreneurship. Her goal is to return to Malawi to provide academic and professional leadership. She wants to contribute to improving the quality of life in her country through scholarly research, mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, and establishing herself as a role model.Mary has been involved in various activities, ranging from offering textiles and crafts courses for refugees to monitoring students’ catering services and advising schools on administration. She is a founding member of the Malawi affiliate of Women’s World Banking, which offers loans to women entrepreneurs in both rural and urban areas of Malawi. Mary taught courses in tailoring to entrepreneurs, and became deeply involved in planning, directing and coordinating academic programs in the field of Home Economics/Family and Consumer Sciences at the universities of both Malawi and Botswana. She also facilitated the design of home economics programs at primary and secondary school level, as well as junior colleges.

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Sister Patricia Wangai Njagi

Sister Patricia Wangai Njagi

Kenya

MA Education

Kennesaw State University

Sister Patricia subject is education. She has sixteen years experience as an educator, guidance counselor and principal. Her commitment to educating girls is paramount. The adverse effect of the tribal clashes on children and women, as she witnessed, is what sustains her resolve to return to Kenya and continue working with women and children to help them develop a sense of dignity and empowerment. On her return, she plans to resume her employment with the Teachers Service Commission.As a young girl, she was a pioneer in girl’s education in her region because she went to school. This meant enduring the taunts of her stepbrothers, who saw the role of a woman as either a homebound wife and mother, or a prostitute. These prejudices inspired her to work harder and to aspire for higher learning. After finishing high school, she found her vocation and became a nun. Sister Patricia continued to pursue her dream by first receiving a certificate in child development from Montessori, then earning a diploma in education from Siriba Teachers College, and later graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

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Hasnah Binti Toran

Hasnah Binti Toran

Malaysia

PhD Education

University of Oregon

Hasnah is pursuing a PhD in Education, with an emphasis on early intervention. She plans to focus her work and research on the special needs of young children. Her dissertation research is on investigating the utility and validity of a screening tool to identify children with social-emotional delays for referrals for further assessment and intervention services. She plans to return home in August 2006. There she will follow a career in academia and also help children by setting up a research and training center on disability. When one of her children was diagnosed with autism, Hasnah started investigating various options for schooling her child and found that there was a great need for professionals in Malaysia trained in educating special needs children. Hasnah was an active member and vice-president of a support group for parents with autistic children, called the Parents’ Resource for Autism. Through the group, she helped organize meetings and workshops on autism.

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