by Stacey Kutish
(original release by Swarthmore College)
Swarthmore College first-year students Joshua Cockroft and Kimberly St. Julian have been awarded a Davis Project for Peace grant for their proposal to develop sanitation and hygiene practices in rural Madagascar. The $10,000 grant will enable them to travel to Madagascar this summer where they will work with a community to build pit latrines away from potable water sources, engage in a community education project about hygiene and sanitation practices, and conduct research on the culture of peace in Madagascar.
The Davis Project for Peace program, in its third year, is made possible by Kathryn Wasserman Davis, an accomplished internationalist and philanthropist. Mrs. Davis launched the program on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007. Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world in the 21st century; each of the 100 projects selected received $10,000 in funding.
|Joshua Cockroft ’12|
Joshua Cockroft of Lafayette, Colo. plans to major in political science and minor in peace and conflict studies and environmental studies. “This experience will give great insight into my academic interests,” he says. “As part of our grant, we will study the ethnically diverse culture of Madagascar that has predominantly managed to peacefully coexist for over a thousand years without much ethnic conflict. This grant will give us the opportunity to work in a culture entirely different from our own, doing something to help where the results of our work can be seen directly.”
|Kimberly St. Julian ’12|
Kimberly St. Julian from Dayton, Texas, plans to major in history, with minors in political science and peace and conflict studies. “Before Swarthmore, I never had the opportunity to really delve into my interests in social work and human rights and put them into action to benefit others,” she says. “This grant will afford me with the opportunity to put my passion for helping others into action. I have never been out of the country so this will be an eye-opening experience for me in every possible way.”
During their stay in Madagascar, Cockroft and St. Julian will live in the village where they will be working. The pair intends to write about their experiences with the Malagasy people and their culture, in particular studying how a community with so much ethnic diversity has managed to live in peace.