World Learning is pleased to announce two new recipients of the Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship, an annual award that returns SIT Study Abroad alums to their host countries to conduct development projects that benefit human rights.
This year’s recipients include Salome Vanwoerden, a Rice University senior and 2009 participant of SIT Study Abroad’s Nepal: Culture and Development Program, and Dara Carroll, a senior at Northwestern University who traveled to Uganda in 2008 as part of the Uganda: Development Studies Program.
Vanwoerden, a double major in psychology and visual arts, will implement a photography and art therapy class for mental health patients at a Kathmandu hospital starting in October. During her Independent Study Project, she taught daily painting workshops for the patients at the same clinic. “Just the act of creating something and getting feedback really helped their self-esteem,” she said. The fellowship will provide patients with 35mm cameras, enabling them to further explore the creativity and independence that comes with artistic expression.
Carroll, who studies anthropology and global health, will return to rural Uganda in August to advocate on behalf of those suffering from mental illness and to devise a program for their rehabilitation and reintegration into society. “We’ll be collaborating to find a way to promote a model where patients are valued and seen as contributing members of the community, not just dependents,” said Carroll.
The family of Alice Rowan Swanson created the fellowship as a living tribute to Alice, an Amherst College graduate who died in a bicycle accident in July 2008 in Washington D.C. Rowan Swanson was inspired to begin a career in international development and human rights following her SIT Study Abroad experience in Nicaragua in 2006.
The next deadline for application will be October 1st. Click here for more information and to download the application.