The Advocacy Project (AP) is seeking funds for our fellowship program, which sends graduate students like Spencer (main photo) to strengthen community-based campaigns for social justice around the world. Since 2003, we have deployed 310 graduates to over 40 countries. Many have helped to launch innovative start-ups, as described on our website, and in the process grown in confidence, knowledge and skills. We ask for your support in improving this unique model of north-south cooperation.
Our fellowship program addresses two challenges. First, marginalized communities like pastoralists in Kenya, who are fighting climate change (photo 2), find it hard to organize and take action. Second, smart graduate students like Talley (same photo) want to help and eventually work in international development - but have few opportunities for field experience while at school. It is particularly hard to fund programs like ours that match the needs of communities with the skills of graduates.
In 2020 we will send Fellows to at least five community-based partners to work on critical issues. These include the lack of toilets in Ugandan schools (main photo); The impact of Agent Orange in Vietnam (Photo 1); Drought in Kenya (2); Menstrual banishment in Nepal (3); and child marriage in Zimbabwe (4). We will also recruit directly through universities; double the stipend we offer to attract top candidates; and further professionalize training. This will produce better results all round.
Peace Fellows are central to our model of community support. We start by helping a partner to set clear goals. A Fellow will then develop a startup and provide technical support. If early goals are met, we deploy Fellows until the program is self-sustaining - as is close to happening in Kenya and Uganda. We follow the careers of past Fellows and were delighted when Talley (photo 2) was offered a job by the UN in Bangladesh! Finally, we are proud that our Fellows have come from 44 nationalities.