MMMF Grant Recipients—2008

Jalele Erega Defa

Jalele Erega Defa

Ethiopia

PhD Political Science

University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Thesis: “Formation and Growth of Political Parties in Multi-ethnic Societies”. Jalele’s work will focus on cases from the Horn of Africa and with particular attention to the role of parties in multi-ethnic societies and the role of women in these parties.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Jalele is passionate about the role of women in politics and has worked closely with governmental and non-governmental sectors on women’s issues, working with Members of Parliament on training workshops on gender analysis in policy making and on women’s activities in political parties. She participated in a nationwide activism resisting violence against women and served as board member of Lealem Meftihe, a local NGO working to improve the situation for HIV positive women and orphaned children.

Career plans on return in December 2010
After finishing her studies in the US in 2010, Jalele plans to do her research and complete her dissertation in Ethiopia. She was granted a tenured teaching position at Addis Ababa University. She strives for excellence as a teacher and has been for the past nine years the only female lecturer in her department. Upon her return to Ethiopia, she plans to continue teaching, doing research and community service.

Background
MA in Development Studies, Institute of Social Studies, The Hague
BA in Political Science, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Lecturer since 1999, Dept. of Political Science at University of Addis Ababa

Comments from recommendations
Will be an incredible asset as teacher and researcher and stands to make important contributions to her community and nation. Jalele was highly involved in training, sensitization and consultancy activities that mainly focused on gender issues and the plight of Ethiopian women and affi rmative action. She stands out among her peers as one of the brightest, most intelligent and conscientious young international student I have met.

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Nadia Alicina Ibraimo

Nadia Alicina Ibraimo

Mozambique

MA Agriculture

University of Pretoria, South Africa

Thesis: “A Soil Water Balance Model to Predict Crop Growth Under Different Rainwater Harvesting Management Scenarios”. The goal of Nadia’s thesis is to improve water productivity under dry land conditions for maize producing regions in Mozambique. Apart from her field trial, her research also has a mechanistic mathematical modeling component, which will enable her to extrapolate the results of the study to maize producing regions of Mozambique.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
From 1998 to 2003, Nadia was a volunteer at the Central Hospital of Maputo in Mozambique working on aids prevention. In 2005, she worked as an assistant lecturer at Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, and prior to moving to South Africa for her Masters degree she was a researcher.

Career plans on return in February 2009
At the end of her studies, Nadia plans to return to Mozambique to work for the government, focusing on agricultural development policies. Her longer term plans include creating farmers associations and setting up an agricultural institute offering incentives to women faculty in her country.

Background
Bachelors of Science in Agronomy, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique, 2005.

Comments from recommendations
Nadia can make a contribution to literally thousands of poor households through the dissemination of appropriate techniques to better manage soil water balance. I am convinced that by awarding the grant to her, an investment is made in the food security of many African citizens.

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Fanny Howard Newball

Fanny Howard Newball

Colombia

MA Sustainable Int’l Development

Brandeis University

Thesis: “Strategies to Achieve Political Empowerment in Developing Countries, Lessons from the World for Young Women”. Fanny is interested in women’s political empowerment and representation in government. She will perform a descriptive study with information obtained from both developing and developed countries. Her aim is to apply the lessons learned to young women in the Archipelago of San Andres and Providence.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Fanny’s career and volunteer activities have revolved around education and development of the socially and economically disadvantaged. She is a co-founder of Swallow Foundation, a women and families organization. Her activities at Swallow focused on poverty alleviation, education, empowerment of women and their families, and conservation of their environment. In her fi rst job, Fanny counseled women and children. When she worked for CORALINA, she was able to combine her love for education with her passion for development and conservation for economic growth and poverty alleviation.

Career plans on return in June 2010
Fanny’s plans on her return to Colombia include: providing quality education programs; contributing to the welfare of her ethnic minority group by working on the environment and on the displacement of Afro-Colombians as a result of war; defi ning a framework and policies for economic development; and national and international advocacy.

Background
M Ed in Counseling Psychology, Boston University, Boston MA; BA in Educational Psychology, Bogotá, Colombia; Fulbright Scholar, 1986

Comments from recommendations
Fanny is one of, if not the most, active woman in the struggle to help the Islanders to change their situation for the better. Has stood up for rights of women and youth and was invited to be spokesperson on the social impacts of development.

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Marie Therese Njie

Marie Therese Njie

The Gambia

MA Counseling and Spirituality

Saint Paul University, Ottawa

Thesis: “The Role of Spirituality and Cultural Practices in the Healing of Victims of Trauma”. Marie Therese will explore how the integration of spirituality and cultural practices into therapy will improve the quality of healing among victims of trauma.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Marie Therese became a religious sister of the missionary Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny when she was eighteen years. She has taught and counseled in Sierra Leone for about 13 years. While working in post –war Sierra Leone, she was moved by the plight of women and children, including child soldiers. Marie Therese decided to pursue her current course because the person-power to meet the tremendous need for therapists and counselors in Sierra Leone is insufficient. Marie Therese has worked with women who were victims of rape and abuse during the war, rehabilitation of child soldiers, and teaching youth to be peer counselors.

Career plans on return in August 2009
Marie Therese will return to Sierra Leone when she completes her studies in August 2009. She will continue her work as a counselor at Loreto Clinic, a center that provides basic healthcare and nutritional support. She will focus on victims of war who are emotionally, mentally, physically and psychologically traumatized. She will also provide counseling services for those affected by HIV and AIDS. Marie Therese also plans to become a trainer of trainers in counseling.

Background
BA, Missionary Catechesis, Pontification Urbanian University, Rome

Comments from recomendations
Marie Therese leads by example, sets standards, and stands for her convictions. Her CV demonstrates an extensive working experience with victims of war, mostly women and girls.

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Martina Ochiel

Martina Ochiel

Kenya

PhD Education

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Thesis: “HIV/AIDS and child headed households in Kenya”. This is a descriptive study that identifies poverty as a primary determinant of prevalence and severity of HIV/AIDS and advocates for a shift from culturalism as an exploratory paradigm for the pandemic. It advocates for addressing the special vulnerabilities of AIDS orphans in child headed households.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Martina’s efforts to help women began early. While she was studying at university on a government grant, she organized and conducted literacy classes for women in her village. Martina has also been involved with The Daima Widows and Orphans and the Daria Ger Community Projects as a coordinator and fundraiser. She has led missionary teams to Kenya where they have built five wells in her village. Martina works with the Rainbow Christian Missions to find sponsorship for orphans in her village.

Career plans on return in August 2010
Martina will continue her teaching career at Kakamega, the village high school (as she has a commitment to return). Thereafter, she aspires to move to tertiary education and to work in development as adult education educator with special emphasis on adult literacy instruction.

Background
M Ed, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya;
B Ed, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Comments from recommendations
Martina is a top-notch student, among the very best in our doctoral program. She has demonstrated substantial leadership qualities, including motivation of others and taking responsibility well beyond what is typically expected. Her research will contribute to programs and initiatives that can improve their (HIV/AIDS orphans) life circumstances.

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Eunice Omanga

Eunice Omanga

Kenya

DPH Public Health

Drexel University

Thesis: “Industrial Pollution in Kenya: Assessing and Enhancing Community Risk Perception to Protect Public Health”. Eunice is researching the impact of Kenya’s industrial pollution on public health by assessing community risk perception. The focus is on rural communities close to industries. She wants to create a base for public policy intervention by using a community based approach and participation in decision making to mitigate the adverse impact of industrial pollution on human health.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Eunice was the first female from her village to go to a university and has demonstrated strong leadership as a chemist, a traditionally male-dominated field. She was a co-founder of Victory Widows in 1998. She has helped 230 orphans and 67 widows who were “victims” of HIV/AIDS to start income generating projects. She has also volunteered with UNEP for 11 years, where she coordinated the annual Nairobi Clean up and World Environment Day. Eunice has more than 26 years volunteering in her local church with youth programs.

Career plans on return in February 2010
Eunice has been a first-hand witness to loss of life due to political violence and the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Kenya, where she was touched particularly by the sufferings of women and children. She intends to return to Kenya to use her knowledge of the community-based participatory approach to identify, prioritize and address health problems. She plans to teach a graduate Public Health course at Great Lakes University, and to engage in private consultancy work.

Background
Masters in Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
B.S, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Comments from recommendations
Eunice is an excellent student, shows outstanding drive and exceptional performance. Her project fills a major gap in understanding and preventing environment related health problems and is of critical importance to rural areas in developing countries.

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Jacqueline Oram-Sterling

Jacqueline Oram-Sterling

Jamaica

PhD Education Administration

Illinois State University

Thesis: “Winning against the odds—the Joan Wint Story”. Jacqueline will explore the leadership practices of a female school principal who transformed a low-performing school into one of the best high schools in Jamaica. She will also look at the perceptions held on female school leaders in Jamaica to develop further debate on the issue.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Jacqueline has volunteered with the national Youth service for six years to counsel and prepare high school students for employment opportunities. She has organized outreach projects to help children in orphanages and inner city communities. Jacqueline has in the past worked with her Rotoract Club at Maxfield Children’s home. This summer she plans to volunteer at Neville House, a women and children’s shelter in Bloomington, IL.

Career plans on return in May 2009
Jacqueline will resume her teaching duties at Mico University College. On her return to Jamaica she plans to teach school administrators, offer new teacher training courses, move into school leadership (developing school improvement plans), and work at the highest levels of education (Ministry of Education and Culture) to develop policies. She will continue to serve as mentor and advisor to female students at Mico Ladies Hostel.

Background
Masters in Educational Leadership, Central Connecticut State University, Bridgeport CT; BA in History and Sociology, University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica; Diploma in Teaching, Church Teachers College, Mandeville, Jamaica; Fulbright Scholar, 2006

Comments from recommendations
With her education, intellect, and passion she should have enormous influence on equalizing educational opportunities for children throughout her country. She overcame enormous challenges of resources and distance in completing all her studies over the years and is applying the some determination in her PhD program.

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Li Peng

Li Peng

China

MA Public Administration

Indiana University, Bloomington

Thesis: “Institutional Failure and Social Discrimination: Female Migrants Face Adverse Conditions.” Li‘s dissertation addresses the adverse circumstances of female labor migrants in China. The problems they face need to be understood in their unique socio-cultural and institutional context. Solutions could be achieved by new policies. Li is majoring in non-profit management and social entrepreneurship.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Li volunteered since 2003 at Gender Window and the Female Migrant Workers’ Club (FMWC). Both are local NGOs in Beijing. Their aim is to help female migrant workers transition into urban life. Li held several positions through which she organized seminars to discuss increasing gender awareness in China. The literacy training program at FMWC improved under her direction. At Gender Window, she assisted with research on gender awareness in China and participated in fundraising activities and charity projects. Li supported efforts by UNDP and the Ford Foundation to lobby the government for pro-migrant legislation. She has launched publicity campaigns to promote gender equality.

Career plans on return in June 2009
Li plans to return to China to work for local NGOs or government agencies, where she will work to mitigate the plight of female migrant workers. The education and experience she gains from her studies will enable her to advocate for female migrant workers via political means, lobbying, and inter-institutional cooperation.

Background
Masters in Modern Chinese History, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China BA, History, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

Comments from recommendations
An outstanding student who has contributed to class discussions in many ways, she is well spoken and intelligent and has a keen insight into managing in the public sector. She is motivated to learn about the American system of public management and often uses China in a comparative context, thereby enhancing discussions.

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Anamika Priyadarshini

Anamika Priyadarshini

India

PhD Global Gender Studies

SUNY Buffalo

Thesis: “Home-based workers: The disenfranchised workers of the Indian Economic History.” The objective of Anamika’s thesis is to restore the history of women home-based workers from the economic history of India. She intends to offer an analysis of the implication of historical transformation on women artisans and examine the impact of globalization on women workers. She will also analyze the role of NGOs in organizing and highlighting the issues of women home-based workers.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
A two-year stint working with silk spinners, despite opposition from family and friends who feared for her safety going to an unsafe neighborhood, left an indelible mark on Anamika. She has also worked and volunteered with several organizations, which included: facilitating group formation of women who were victims of communal riots; organizing seminars and street plays on gender and secularism; training rural women of an agricultural cooperative in self-help group management; training women on reproductive & child health and gender issues; mapping home based workers and lobbying for their rights. Anamika remains associated with several NGOs in India and continues to support them by reviewing documents/ proposals and raising funds for them.

Career plans on return in June 2009
Anamika plans to return to India to explore a professional career in teaching at a University in her home state. She will continue her work on gender development issues and education of poor children on their rights.

Background
Masters in International Development, Cornell University, Ithaca NY
BA (Honors), Economics, Patna University, Patna, India

Comments from recommendations
One of the department’s most outstanding and dedicated students and one of the best graduate students the referrer ever had the pleasure of teaching and supervising. She has exceptional promise as a feminist scholar and researcher.

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Anita Sharma

Anita Sharma

India

MA International Development Policy

Duke University

Thesis: Anita plans to do a thesis on micro-enterprise development for rural poor women in India and expects to complete her studies by June 2009. Through her studies, Anita is gaining a broader view of development issues and players.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Anita left a teaching position at a women’s college as it was not fulfilling her passion for social justice. Her desire was to fight the discrimination against poor women she had witnessed at every point of her life. She joined PRADAN, an NGO working at grassroots for the empowerment of women. She chose to join a project in Jharkhand, one of the poorest provinces in India. Here she travelled distances as long as fifty miles on a motorcycle to reach poor tribal women in remote villages. She motivated the women and organized them into self-help groups around microfinance and livelihood programs, including dairy development, improved agriculture; silk yarn production; organic farming and watershed development; and community crèches in the villages. Anita explains that the role of these groups went far beyond the financial dimension: they are “a forum for mutual learning, support and building solidarity.” 

Career plans on return in June 2009
Anita would like to continue her work with a national NGO with a holistic approach to development in rural India and urban slums. In the longer term, she would like to establish her own organization through which she would create micro-enterprises for rural uneducated women. She wants to be in position where she can advocate for the poor and influence public policy in their favour.

Background
Masters in Chemistry; Bachelors in Education, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur

Comments from recommendations
Anita showed her dedication to work for the poor women in India while working for PRADAN. She often traveled to villages on her motorcycle or many times even on foot. Her commitment to social justice is extraordinary.

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Hazel Rufaro Zaranyika

Hazel Rufaro Zaranyika

Zimbabwe

BSoc Sciences Community Development

University of Pretoria

Thesis: “Poverty, Risk and Insurance: Microinsurance is an Inappropriate Response/Strategy to Poverty in Informal and Rural Households in Kwa Zulu Natal”. Hazel’s work focuses on effective risk management strategy for low-income households, with an evaluation of micro insurance.

Demonstration of commitment to women and/or children
Hazel has volunteered with an NGO in Harare that provides support to children who find themselves as heads of households as a result of losing both parents. While there, she assisted with a study about Child-headed Households in Zimbabwe.

Career plans on return to her country
On completion of her studies, Hazel would like to work for a development organization. In the longer term, her goal is to contribute to better rural development in Zimbabwe by creating her own NGO with a focus on promoting the interests of women through income generating projects and adult literacy.

Background
Bachelor of Social Science degree (Hon)Human Resources Management, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2002; Bachelor of Social Science degree, Industrial, Organizational and Labor Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2001.

Comments from recommendations
Hazel strives to become a driving force in the development of her community and her country. She takes on leadership with grace and manages to transfer her enthusiasm and optimism into others.

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