Two students will travel to Ghana to help establish a community learning center after recently winning a Davis Project for Peace grant.
Owusu Mensah ’14 and Neha Pirwani ’14 will use the $10,000 award to deliver classroom materials, create academic enrichment programs and conduct outreach to youth in Dominase, Ghana. This includes teaching them how to use computers, starting weekly after-school programs and motivating students to learn beyond the junior high school level.
Having grown up in nearby Kumasi, Mensah is familiar with Ghanaian culture and society. He said he has experience related to education access in the country and understands the struggles of the youth.
Pirwani is a founding member of the Kenney Community Center’s Student Volunteer Committee. She said her experience at the community center has prepared her to offer unique ideas for developing a new community learning center.
“Although Dominase has four schools, the percentage of students able to continue their education post junior high school is unacceptable,” the students stated in their proposal. “A community learning center will promote continued education and develop a ‘can-do’ mind set in youth to solve problems through non-violent means.”
“Neha and Owusu had strong contacts abroad,” said Maggie Tongue, director of Post-Baccalaureate Fellowships and Scholarships. “The committee was really impressed with their proposal.”
The Davis Projects for Peace is an invitation to undergraduates to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer. The objective is to encourage and support today's motivated youth to create and try their own ideas for building peace.