Originally published in the Union College Magazine, Spring 2014
The young humanitarian who set her sights on Africa and the father, who initially was reluctant to let her go, joined forces recently – jetting together to Uganda, where both are involved in health and education initiatives.
Alexis “Biz” Deeb ’12 had spent nine months at the Engeye Health Clinic in Ddegeya Village as one of Union’s Minerva Fellows. She taught schoolchildren and started the Engeye Craft Cooperative. Captivated by the culture and the people, she returned less than a year later, this time with her dad, Dennis Deeb ’82.
The pair spent several weeks there in January. Dennis, an engineer, became a member of the Board of the Engeye Health Clinic and also consulted on building plans for an Engeye Scholar Center. Biz is helping a women’s empowerment project take root in Ddegeya.
At Union, Biz studied English and political science. Now, while working from her Albany home, she is coordinating social media efforts for 50 Cents.
Headquartered in Atlanta, the organization helps women and girls in developing countries overcome stigmatizing barriers surrounding menstruation, gender and reproductive choices. It also aims to raise public awareness of gender disparities and gender-based violence.
Biz will help implement Women’s Circle and Girl Power programs for female health clinicians and students, focusing on reproductive health, family planning, HIV, birthing and other health issues for which there is little education.
“Engeye has my heart,” she said. “Working for 50 Cents keeps the people of Ddegeya close to me and on my mind every day.”
Engeye Health Clinic: http://www.engeye.org
50 Cents Period Programs: http://www.50centsperiod.org/program.html