Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!

by The Advocacy Project
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!
Help Our Peace Fellows to Serve and Learn!

Project Report | Sep 16, 2023
Peace Fellows Innovate and Inspire In India, Kenya and the US

By Iain Guest | Project coordinator in the US

2023 Peace Fellow Caitlin on the move in Kibera
2023 Peace Fellow Caitlin on the move in Kibera

This report is going to 263 friends of The Advocacy Project who have donated $69,000 to our fellowship program through GlobalGiving. Your generosity has helped us to recruit 86 students from over 30 universities since we posted this appeal in 2015. Thank you!

As noted in our last report, we have made significant changes in the program during the pandemic. But our original goals remain the same: first, to provide friendship and support to our partners; second, give students the experience of working for social justice on the front lines.

How have we done so far this year?


This year’s Fellows are supporting 14 projects in ten countries.

First, there are start-ups. These begin with bold ideas from our partners. We offer $1,000 from our own funds and a Peace Fellow to help shape them into projects.

If the project meets its goals after a year, we will invest for up to three more years. One current example is a campaign by our Indian partner Jeevan Rehka Parisad ("Lifeline") to empower tribal people against malaria in the state of Odisha. We are also deeply committed to a composting campaign by Shield of Faith, a group of largely single mothers who compost food waste and manage kitchen gardens in the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi.

Phase 2 projects like these require serious funds, and in this we are helped by GlobalGiving. We have posted 49 appeals for partners on GlobalGiving since 2015 and the resulting donations from well-wishers like you have given partners a strong incentive to develop their own network of supporters. Peace Fellows have helped to raise funds for most of these appeals.

A project reaches the level of Phase 3 when it achieves self-sufficiency. One of our favorites, by Women Advocacy Project in Zimbabwe, helps girls to make and sell soap so as to resist early marriage. The girls (who number 98) hope to sell over 50,000 bottles of soap this year and not one has married under the legal age of 18 since 2018. Four Peace Fellows have worked on this program in Zimbabwe.

Another successful Phase 3 program, by Children Peace Initiative Kenya, promotes peace among pastoralists in Northern Kenya. CPIK recently received funds from a large German donor to take its peace-building into the troubled region of Baragoi, thus expanding an initiative that has been sustained by donations through GlobalGiving and the efforts of four Peace Fellows since 2016.


As well as supporting such individual programs, this year's Peace Fellows have also enriched two of the services that we offer to all partners and projects. One helps partners to use embroidery. The other connects them with new allies in the Global North, particularly schools.

Embroidery: As many of you will know, we have helped partners to tell their story through embroidery and advocacy quilting for several years. Our aim is to help women express themselves in the company of friends and this has proved to be especially therapeutic during the pandemic. Earlier this year we also opened an online store, Southern Stitchers, to sell their embroidery. The store was built by Abby, who joined our team as a Fellow in 2021. The store has earned over $2,500 for the artists so far this year.

Much to our delight, stitching is also inspiring social change. Many of the artists who started with us by learning embroidery have stayed together to campaign for better services in their neighborhoods. One example is the Shield of Faith association in Kibera, referred to earlier. The group still produces fine embroidery for our online store, but its members have also decided to take up composting in an effort to reduce pollution and grow vegetables.

Both activities – embroidery and composting – have given these women an important outlet for their energy and skills, as I saw during a recent visit. I was accompanied by Stella, the group coordinator, and by our Peace Fellow Caitlin, a graduate student at George Washington University who worked with Stella this past summer. (Top photo).

Connecting North and South: One of Stella’s goals is to take composting into Kibera schools, which produce a prodigious amount of food waste. Helped by Caitlin, she took an important first step this past summer by striking up a partnership with Project Elimu, an after-school program that attracts hundreds of children in Kibera. This should allow Stella to reach out to individual schools.

Stella is also changing the direction of our fellowship program here in the US. Inspired by her composting heroics, one of our 2023 Fellows Liam, 17, has persuaded other students at his school in Ardmore (Pennsylvania) to demand composting in the school kitchen and cafeteria. We helped Liam's team to secure a grant for $20,000 from a local foundation and composting will hopefully start soon.

It has not stopped there. In an effort to help Liam learn from others, we recruited three more high school Fellows in Rhode Island - Bella, Maggie and Emma – who have initiated composting into their own schools and are shown cleaning up a beach in the photo below. The three have described their experience through excellent blogs that will inform Liam's team and hopefully other school projects.

As this composting campaign gathers momentum, we also hope to connect the students in Kenya and the US through Zoom, and maybe eventually even in person. Although a visit may be far off, we have been inspired to think big by Fellows at two other American high schools who are making and selling soap in Arlington and Atlanta in support of the soap-making girls in Zimbabwe. Thanks to this year's Fellows, such North-South connections will now be central to our support for partners.


As we come to the end of 2023 there are, or course, important lessons to be learned. On the positive side, Caitlin showed in Nairobi that Fellows offer a combination of skills and friendship that can be deeply empowering. We will be looking for such people skills in future Fellows!

This year has also underscored the value of blogs, photos and video footage, which help us to promote the work of partners. Caitlin produced ten fine blogs and many photos that we will use for months to come. I would particularly recommend her sensitive description of life in Kibera and other settlements. Caitlin summed up her own experience as "an experience I will never forget.”

We also have high expectations from Rohit, a graduate student in India, who has joined our partner Lifeline to fight malaria. Rohit is only the second Fellow we have recruited from the South and he showed his skills in his first blog ("Cry of the Crashing Metals") about the horrific June 3 train accident at the Odisha railway station. Impressed by Rohit, we will shortly make an offer to a talented student in Nairobi to support Stella’s composting initiative. Hopefully, this is the beginning of another new trend!

But some things have not worked so well. In recruiting this year we invited applicants to help us design their fellowships in an effort to attract self-starters. This produced fewer applications than in the past and suggested that students welcome direction. We will take note next year. We will also increase the stipend we offer to offset the rising cost of air travel, and reach out to universities that are not rich in resources but brimming with talent. These could include schools like Howard University here in Washington.

Based on this summer we also hope to build more partnerships between high school students in the North and South. But at the same time, we understand that teenagers live busy lives. We will rely on motivated students like Liam to take the initiative.


Again, we thank you for making it possible to work with these inspiring people! Please consider supporting our appeal again on November 28 – GivingTuesday – when we will be seeking funds for our 2024 fellowship program.

In gratitude

Iain and the AP team

Peace Fellows clean up the beach in Rhode Island
Peace Fellows clean up the beach in Rhode Island
Peace Fellow Nina (r) leads soap-making in Georgia
Peace Fellow Nina (r) leads soap-making in Georgia
Peace Fellow Rohit, right, fights malaria in India
Peace Fellow Rohit, right, fights malaria in India
Peace Fellow Caitlin and Stella in Kibera
Peace Fellow Caitlin and Stella in Kibera
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The Advocacy Project

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @AdvocacyProject
Project Leader:
Iain Guest
Washington , DC United States
$82,570 raised of $100,000 goal
278 donations
$17,430 to go
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