Davis Peace Prize Winners!

March 20th, 2013

Two Brandeis students have been awarded $10,000.00 each to spend this Summer working on their projects promoting peace.  The awards come from the Davis Projects for Peace.  Our Brandeis students, Mangaliso Mohammed and Ardak Meterkulova, entered the annual competition for this prestigious award.

Mangaliso Mohammed and Ardak Meterkulova both designed projects that address AIDS prevention in remarkably different ways.

Back to Basics: Food for Healing HIV

Brandeis senior Mangaliso Mohammed will implement his project in his home country of Swaziland. Mohammed’s project takes  a holistic approach to HIV treatment through fresh food with plans to reach out to HIV orphans in Nkwalini by engaging them in the creation of a vegetable garden and a free-range chicken farm at the area’s Health and Social Center. Mohammad also plans to extend the farming project to at least 20 homes in the area, promoting healthy eating and encouraging traditional methods of food production. This project will provide a stable food supply within a population struggling with poverty, filling the bellies of HIV patients whose medication’s effectiveness improves with regular healthy meals. In addition, extra food will provide a source of income to keep the project going and establish a Farmer’s Market.

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HIV/AIDS Education

Ardak Meterkulova, a senior from Kazakhstan, who is an HSSP and Business double-major plans on raising HIV/AIDS awareness by creating a bilingual educational film, in Russian and Kazakh in the Almaty region of her home country. Meterkulova’s film will be used in summer camps along with exercises and texts, in order to enlighten 9th graders as to the nature of the illness, ways to prevent it, and how to respond compassionately to those infected by it. Meterkulova plans to locate ten medical students interested in HIV/AIDS work and set them up with USAID training to help her implement the educational aspect of the project. There is expected to be a big impact from the film and educational program on Almaty’s heavily conservative Muslim community, which does not implement any type of sex education.

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