Global Studies Award

During the past 12 years, the Kendra Chiota Payne Memorial Fund has made a difference in people’s lives by supporting internships for Global Studies graduate students in Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Rwanda, South Africa, Taiwan, and Uganda. Read below about their experiences.

2018 - Swaroopa Lahiri

Swaroopa's project for the Kendra Chiota Payne Award was based in the Sundarban forests of West Bengal, India. She interned for a non-governmental organization (NGO) catering to the needs of the large population of tiger widows (exceeding 3000 women) in the region. 

The Sundarban Tiger Widow Welfare Society and the Tiger Widows Organization have several successful projects such as farming, livestock rearing, traditional craft making and financial literacy training to assist the economic empowerment of tiger widows. These organizations asked Swaroopa to collect information about Tiger Widows on islands that they do not currently service in order to help determine future expansion plans. In the Indian part of the Sundarbans, there are 104 islands out of which 54 were inhabited. Out of those 54 islands, there are several islands in dire economic state without any NGO assistance.

Swaroopa spent three weeks in the region, primarily in the Dayapur and Pakhiralay islands and conducted 38 household interviews. During these interviews, she recorded information about the size and composition of the household, the date of the incident, whether the family received monetary compensation from the forest department or the government, the source of current income and their most urgent needs. 

In addition, she taught village children English and Mathematics. The islands suffer from a crisis in the education system, notably an acute teacher shortage and poor quality of instruction. An on-the-ground self-help group requested her to devote some time to teaching. Swaroopa felt that this was the most rewarding part of her project as she witnessed the eagerness and interest of the children in learning new material and their exceptional capability, hindered by the lack of opportunities and infrastructure. 

2017 - Alexander R. Markovich

Alex worked on a fundraising and awareness campaign with Ugandan NGO Kirabo Doors of Hope. The center is focused on empowering disadvantaged children through education and stability. The project he worked on was directed at the procurement of funds for the drilling of a new borehole near the school/children's center near Jinja Town, Uganda. Through their efforts, they raised enough funds to drill the borehole which was done in order to provide clean drinking water for those at the center. 

Subsequently, Alex traveled to Ghana where he re-connected with mentors at JayNii Foundation where he had previously worked. The foundation, similar to Kirabo in Uganda, works to provide a safehouse for children whose parents are unable to provide for them. The Foundation is located in Jamestown, a district in Accra. Not far away is the Agbogbloshie waste site; Agbogbloshie is considered the world's largest e-waste dump site. Many youths in the area are drawn to the dump site for the economic opportunities afforded by salvaging old electronics. JayNii Foundation provides a safe place for children to leave such an environment, to play, to learn, and to grow. 

2016 - Javiera Madrid Salazar

Javiera spent the first half of her internship with the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI). Her work at CDI focused on knowledge transfer and the determinants of technology adoption among smallholder farmers in South East Africa. She centered on the role of illiteracy as a constraint and disempowering factor in the knowledge transfer process, particularly in the case of women.  During the second half of her internship, Javiera worked with the Office of Migration and Development at the International Organization for Migration’s Mission in Chile. She proposed and later carried out a research project to compile the different successful programs and initiatives that local governments are pursuing to facilitate immigrants’ incorporation.  

2015 - Gokh Amin 
Gokh travelled to Amman, Jordan where she volunteered with several organizations, the most prominent of which was Dar Al Yasmin in their reoccurring event "Habayabi" (which translates to Our Beloved in Arabic.) Habayabi is an event held near al-Zaatari refugee camp (the largest in Jordan). During this event, educational activities, crafts, and games are provided for Syrian refugee children living in the camp as a way to help give them some sense of normality in their new life.

2014 - Caitlin Viejby
Caitlin worked with a nonprofit organization called the Global Regeneration Initiative for Neighborhood Development in a regenerating neighborhood in central Johannesburg called Maboneng.  Her work focused on building inclusivity in an up and coming neighborhood.  She specifically focused on starting an employment center to provide pathways to newly created jobs in the neighborhood through training workshops, and networking.  

2013 - Felicia Graham

Felicia studied the impact of oil production on local and indigenous communities in Bucaramanaga, Colombia, where she is partnering with SOS Children’s Village, helping to provide health and education Services to displaced women and children. In this letter she talks about the experience.

2013 - Hannah Brown

Hannah spent several months in Uganda working in the northern rural town of Patongo with the Network for Africa, supporting local NGOs who assist individual affected by the Lord’s Resistance Arm and who are suffering from massive trauma. She then interned in Kampala, Uganda at the US Embassy in the Economic and Political Affairs division, working to monitor and report on regional stability and human rights issues, especially related to women. 

2011 - Hannah Haehn

Hannah spent the first three months of her internship working with the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City and then went to Bali, Indonesia to work in a midwifery clinic, founded by Robin Lim, an American who has lived and worked there  many yearsDuring Hannah’s internship at the Yayasan Bumi Sehat Clinic for Women and Famiies, Robin Lim was voted the winner of the 2011 CNN Community Heroes Award. 

2010 - Yenly Thach

In this blog, Yenly talks about her own experience as a refugee and what she learned from refugees that had returned to Cambodia.

2009 - Caroline Le

Caroline speaks of her experience working in a shelter for women from Vietnam who have been trafficked to Taiwan. 

2009 - Joseph Farsakh

Joseph discusses the issues he faced while living in Kigali, Rwanda as part of his internship.

© Richard Payne 2018