Sean is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Health program at University of Michigan. As a William Davidson Institute (WDI) fellow, he brings his passion for nutrition and sustainable agriculture to our nutrition program. During his Rwanda-based internship, Sean will assess the existing community-based nutrition program to identify barriers to its effectiveness, make recommendations for improving the impact of the program, and identify key stakeholders for farming cooperatives that would include income generation for cooperative members and cultivation of grains required to locally produce fortified sosoma. He will also develop a path towards integrating HIV+ mothers into this existing system. Motivated by his experiences in Tanzania as a trainer to small farmers in small scale organic and sustainable vegetable growing methods, Sean will no doubt leave a tangible mark on the community of Ruli. He is already gearing up to create a training garden at Nyange Health Center this month! To learn more about Sean’s work, follow his WDI blog:
Huriro Uwacu Theophila
Theophila is completing her final year of her bachelor’s degree in Biostatistics & Epidemiology at the National University of Rwanda in Ruhengeri, and plans to continue her education through graduate school in Public Health. She brings her incredible knowledge of biostatistics and survey development to our nutrition program. She will work with Sean to conduct surveys of both Community Nutrition Workers and nutrition program participants to identify areas in which the Ihangane Project can best assist the community in meeting Ministry of Health protocols and in fostering long term malnutrition prevention.
Stephanie is currently in the graduate program for Global Public Policy at University of Berkeley, California Goldman School of Public Policy. She is passionate about the empowerment of women, especially in the context of economic development. This summer, she will work with both Ihangane and Covaru Artisan Associations to identify strategic approaches that gradually minimize dependency upon external assistance. She will work closely with these groups to describe strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of their businesses. She will also research local resources, including markets, training, and access to additional tools through government ministries. She is arranging field trips for both groups to Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, for a first hand view of the larger marketplace. Her goal is to link these rural small enterprises to the existing infrastructure for theRwandan handicraft industry in a way that allows their businesses to thrive!
Gratien has a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry through the High Institute of Agriculture & Animal Husbandry in Busogo, Rwanda. He will act as a translator for Stephanie and the artisans who she will be working with. Together, Gratien and Stephanie will perform home visits to develop a clear understanding of the daily challenges that the women in these groups are facing. During this process, Gratien will assess for the best way to implement an animal program to supplement the incomes of the women while their handicraft businesses are growing. Through home visits, he will develop a set of recommendations regarding the best type of animal to provide and the most appropriate structure to increase the likelihood of success. He brings both compassion and an extensive knowledge of animal husbandry to the project.
Hannah brings her extensive experience in East Africa to our Women’s Economic Development and Food Security Initiative. She spent 4 months in Uganda, conducting research into development issues as they relate to Orphans & Other Vulnerable Children (OVC).During her internship with Ihangane, Hannah will work with Gratien to identify the background information needed to develop a livestock program that will supplement the income of the womens’ handicraft enterprises. She is creating a logic model that will inform the design and implementation of the program, and will take the lead in developing Goals & Objectives that will be tied to measurable results. Hannah is in her final year at University of Calfornia, Santa Cruz, and will graduate with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology & International Relations.