Advancing Leaders Fellowship Finalist: Max Perel-Slater

World Learning’s Advancing Leaders Fellowship provides alumni with training, mentoring, and funding to implement an original social innovation project anywhere in the world. The 10 finalists will present their project proposals at World Learning’s Social Innovation Summit on June 5, 2013, and that evening the judges will announce the five fellowship recipients at the Citation Award dinner.

Max Perel SlaterMax Perel-Slater

World Learning SIT Study Abroad: Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Economy (2009)

Maji Safi: Rural Centers of Disease Prevention
Empowering rural women and communities in Tanzania to prevent disease

 The Maji Safi Group (MSG) is a disease prevention and health promotion nonprofit that operates through a community health worker model in rural Tanzania. A core belief of MSG is that preventable diseases can be avoided by taking a community-led approach through empowering women and children to promote disease prevention. MSG takes an innovative approach by training and employing local women as Community Water Workers (CWWs) to be hygiene, sanitation, and health promotion ambassadors for the community.

Max’s vision as president of MSG is to expand the network of CWWs from one group of villages to a regional level by establishing Community Resource Centers (CRCs) that tie disease prevention and health promotion education to essential community services. These CRCs will be safe, fun, and creative communal spaces where CWWs can reach out to a greater population and focus on empowering vulnerable populations.

About Max: Max Perel-Slater is a San Francisco Bay Area native and received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies & Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University in 2011. As part of his undergraduate degree, he studied with the World Learning SIT Study Abroad Program in Tanzania, where he did his Independent Study Project on the water situation in the village of Shirati. He continued this research the following summer as part of his Senior Capstone project at the Wesleyan College of the Environment. In 2011, Max worked in Kibera, Kenya, for the community-based organization Shining Hope for Communities, where he coordinated its water project and co-led its summer program for American University students. In March 2012, Max founded a disease prevention and health promotion project called Maji Safi Group (MSG), with a fellow SIT student and a former SIT lecturer.

Max lives in the rural village of Shirati, Tanzania, where he works as the president of the US-based MSG and treasurer of Maji Safi Organization (MSO), the Tanzanian affiliate organization.

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69 Responses to Advancing Leaders Fellowship Finalist: Max Perel-Slater

  1. SOLAR says:

    I am very delighted to hear all about this. Shirati is my hometown

  2. Chris Goy says:

    What makes this project so special is the people behind it and the people who will benefit from it. Both have been meticulously chosen so that the services delivered maximize the impact for every hour and cent spent there. Beyond that, I know that Max and his team live, breathe, and bleed Tanzania … they are so, so incredibly passionate about the Tanzanian people.

  3. Rosemary says:

    Congratulations to Max for making it as a finalist for the Advancing Leaders Fellowship!

  4. Allison says:

    Such a valuable project — this will change many lives!

  5. Tom Leer says:

    Wow sweet project!

  6. David Slater says:

    As Max’s father, I am proud that my son has had the vision and the dedication to found the
    Maji Safi Group.
    Together with his partner Bruce,he has built an organization which can make practical
    improvements in the lives of people who live in rural Tanzania where he works.In particular
    I like the basic concept of Maji Safi. It aims at helping village communities to be
    invested themselves in obtaining safe water for consumption and improving sanitation
    practices.Its focus is on women,who are often responsible for households,and on children.
    I think that Max’s motivations stem from a love of East Africa and its people,and from a
    commitment he has had since high school to isocial improvement.
    The support of a scholarship would be rewarded
    by strong result

  7. Libby says:

    What a great cause! Women and children are most often the silent sufferers of disease, and the community health worker model will no doubt make lasting changes! Wonderful, inspiring work, Max!

  8. Tom says:

    Max was known as a selfless leader during his time at Wesleyan so it’s no surprise to see him making a difference after graduating.

  9. Dat says:

    The mission of the organization is really important to the very basic well-being of the community, which is water. They deserve more support!

  10. Polly says:

    I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Max, but I did have had the wonderful opportunity of living with Max’s same host family in Bangata, Tanzania a few years after he did the SIT program. Our Mama and the kids would not stop raving about him in the few weeks that I was there. Just from their comments, I could tell that he was (and is) dedicated to the community in Bangata, Arusha, and now beyond. I think this is just one example of the lasting impact that SIT students can have on an area and group of people. Best of luck in this project, Max. You, and the people you are working alongside certainly deserve this fellowship!

  11. Mahinda says:

    Thank you Max for making a difference. This is a great start in helping the less fortunate!

  12. Miranda says:

    A incredible organization and deserving of funding!

  13. Karen says:

    Great work, Max.

  14. Miriam says:

    Max thank you for your dedication and passion, you have great potential and you and your project could really impact more people in the region with more funding.the late Mama Chacha who first brought you to Shirati would be so proud of the work you have done and how well you are in the community.

  15. John says:

    Max has the qualities that make him a good leader.His commitment
    and vision have inspired many other people to make valuable
    contributions of their time and talent to Maji Safi.
    Go Max and Maji Safi Group.

  16. Forest Rouse says:

    I have watched Max grow from knee high to a grasshopper to, as my spouse said – a powerhouse. What a great and worthy project.

  17. Kristina Kleinbauer says:

    I have known Max since he was a tiny baby, a lucky kid since he has wonderful parents and a strong community in which to grow, but his many accomplishments are his own. He has become a dedicated young man whose intelligence and training have made his commitment to social justice, impressive and effective. He deserves all the best.

  18. Amine Hajji says:

    I met Bruce in early April and had the pleasure to learn about your project. This truly a very worthwhile and cost effective save lives and improve the human condition for my fellow Africans. May continue on this important mission!

  19. Bill Ross says:

    Clean water practice is a critical foundation for communities worldwide, especially in developing countries. Maji Safi Group’s work not only proves that it can be done right, but provides a model for repeating the process in thousands of communities.

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