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Students' Kenyan Proposal Earns 2011 Davis Project for Peace Award

A proposal submitted by four Colorado College students has been selected as a Davis Project for Peace for 2011.

Akie Mochizuki '11, Nikhil Ranadive '12, Melissa Serafin '11, and Erin Yamamoto '11 will spend three months working with the disenfranchised women of Ugenya, an area of impoverished subsistence farmers and sparsely distributed, ill-equipped medical facilities in Kenya.

The goal of their project, "The Zuia Initiative," is to elevate the health of the Ugenyan people by reducing their susceptibility to HIV infection, and to improve the social and economic status of the women by expanding their employment opportunities.

The CC students will work with the women of Ugenya who, for a variety of social and cultural reasons, are particularly susceptible to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The project seeks to provide the Ugenyan women a means of greater financial and social standing by teaching them tailoring skills, a valuable and marketable asset in their region. The Colorado College students have rented a training space and have arranged for 10 regular and two industrial tailoring machines, as well as an instructor.

In addition to the vocational training, the CC students, working with Matibabu Foundation Clinic, will present an HIV/AIDS public health curriculum for the women. The students plan to set up youth center that provides reproduction education to the boys and girls of the community.

The Davis Projects for Peace was launched in 2007 by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis on her 100th birthday. During the summer of 2011, college students from nearly 100 campuses will collectively receive more than $1 million in funding for projects in all regions of the world. The program is designed to encourage and support students to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world.

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