Kosovo’s Ex-President Praises Students’ Policy Research Work

October 17, 2016  |  Dartmouth News

After a summer in Kosovo conducting a national study of women’s access to health care, four Dartmouth students had the chance to present their policy report to the country’s former president, who was in residence at Dartmouth as a Montgomery Fellow.

“The students’ findings clearly reflected the situation in the country as I know it,” says Atifete Jahjaga, whose Dartmouth fellowship was also supported by the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

“This is useful work. Upon my return to Kosovo I am happy to pass on the findings to the prime minister and the minister of health so they can address this issue and work on improving the public health policy in Kosovo,” says Jahjaga, the first woman to serve as president of the Balkan nation.

Working with the Kosovo Women's Network

“Some people ask: ‘Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?’ Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

Antonia Hoidal ’16 completed a Global Health Internship at the Kosovo Women’s Network in Pristina, Kosovo, during the Summer of 2015.

Walking along Pristina’s Mother Theresa Boulevard at night I am always in awe of the fabulously dressed women of Kosovo. Effortlessly gliding in 3-inch heels, they saunter along the boulevard singing melodies in Albanian, while in the background, the “Ezan”—the Muslim call to prayer—echoes across the city hills.

Building Access to Clean Drinking Water

During the summer of 2017, David Ouma '20 interned with Jibu Company in Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. Jibu is a company that builds a network of locally owned franchises that enhance access to clean drinking water within communities. David worked with the corporate and engineering/tech teams.

by David Ouma ’20, Class of 1966 Named Intern

I spent the first part of my internship in Kampala, Uganda, where Jibu Company is quite established and has a big market presence. While there I was trained by the in-country Jibu engineer on the ultra-filtration equipment used by the franchises. During the training, I spent a considerable amount of time studying the water purification process, the chemicals used and how to assemble a model of the machine they were using.

While in Kampala, the company housed me and I lived with another employee, an American who would become a friend and a guide as I traversed the city. The company was using a franchise business model—all the equipment was owned by the corporate company—so they had to run maintenance.

Believing in the Power of People

by Milan Chuttani ’18

During the fall of 2016, Milan Chuttani '18 interned with the International Rescue Committee in Baltimore, Maryland. Names have been modified to preserve the anonymity of IRC clients.

I have always been passionate in making people feel welcome in communities I care about. As a student of international relations, I am also fascinated by the consequences of wars, politics, and rivalries between world powers. Interning with the Asylee Case Management team at the International Rescue Committee resettlement office in Baltimore provided me the unique ability to combine both of these interests, to work with people fleeing war and persecution from around the world, and to welcome them into their new American communities.

Emergency Preparedness in Peru

During the summer of 2016, Jade McLaughlin ’17 and Madellena Thornton ’17 worked as Global Health Initiative interns at Hospital Cayetano Heredia (HCH) in Lima, Peru. Their work on emergency preparedness focused on the willingness of healthcare workers to respond in a disaster.

by Madellena Thornton ‘17

The eight districts in Northern Lima stricken by poverty are incredibly vulnerable to devastation from a natural or biological disaster due to the lack of first-response services, potentially collapsible and densely clustered housing, and enormous education and income disparities. Hospital Cayetano Heredia (HCH), a general level III-1 hospital, constitutes one of three hospitals in the Ministry of Health in Northern Lima. Among the three hospitals, there are fewer than 900 beds. With a population of 2.75 million people, these hospitals together have insufficient capacity for healthcare, overwhelmed emergency services, and large gaps in disaster risk management for the population that they serve.

The CDC and an Interconnected World

Victoria Chi ‘17

When we think about the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to protect the health of Americans—we often think about addressing domestic health issues, or about coordinating emergency responses to global disease epidemics. Both of these are so vitally important. Yet in this increasingly interconnected world, equally important is the need to improve the health and well-being of people in countries across the globe, and to steadily build the public health capacity of all nations to respond to disease threats.

Over winter term 2016, I worked as an intern in the policy office of the Center for Global Health within the CDC. Throughout this internship, I watched and learned from the people who are working every day to ensure that all people have access to the most fundamental of human rights: the right to good health. I was exposed to the myriad programs and initiatives that exist to improve the health of populations and to strengthen health care systems, and I recognized that bolstering the health and capacity of countries abroad makes the entire world safer from the spread of disease.

Peace by Design

by Hilary Johnson '15 and Gurkaran Singh '15

Educated and empowered women are fundamental to sustainable peace and thriving communities. In Ghana, especially in the slums, women are not seen as valuable financial contributors, which results in domestic violence, child marriages, and unequal access to education.

With support from Davis Projects for Peace, we worked with Tech Needs Girls, a Ghanaian mentorship program for girls ages 10 to 18, led Regina Agyare, an incredible female role model for her students. Tech Needs Girls helps girls to be innovators and leaders by teaching them technical skills while encouraging them to pursue tech careers. Through skill development and internship opportunities, young women are able to command respect and shape their own destinies. Families no longer see their daughters as liabilities to be married away at a young age, but rather as capable contributors who deserve investment.

Little Devices Lab Creates Tech to Improve Global Healthcare

by Kaira Lujan '16, Little Devices Lab, MIT

Winter term 2015 I was working at Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The lab is a part of the International Design Center, a collaboration between the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and MIT. The main focus of the lab is to create accessible healthcare tech to improve global healthcare. One of the ways the lab does this is by solving problems using innovative ways to hack existing resources. Some examples of what they have done in the past include creating a solar autoclave (the solarclave) for sterilization in locations off the grid, and designing a foot pump nebulizer for medicine administration (in areas without consistent utility connections).

Improving Water, Improving Health in Ecuador

by Alex Lopez '15

In Winter 2015, Doug Phipps ’17 spent eight weeks teaching health education at primary and secondary schools in Muisne, Ecuador. Apart from teaching, Doug worked with the organization Water Ecuador to design and carry out a survey on water consumption and perception. Situated on the island of Muisne, Doug had the unique opportunity to immerse himself in a completely new environment and community with the Water Ecuador team, while building upon his existing Spanish language skills and making new friends with the members of his host organization and local community.

"Living in a rural Ecuadorean town without English speaking companions not only made me improve my Spanish,” says Doug, “it enabled me to hear locals' stories and to learn more about myself." 

Water Ecuador aims to improve health in Ecuador through research, water purification kiosks, and education. The organization runs water purification centers in three towns on the coast of Ecuador, where the locals that run the Center purify water, fill 20-liter jugs, and sell them for one dollar.

Tourism and Sumo Wresting in Tokyo

by Alex Lopez '15

During the winter term, while many Dartmouth students were facing the below freezing temperatures of Hanover, Ting Cheung Cheng ’16 had the opportunity to live and work in Daikanyama, Tokyo. His employer, TOKI/Timexperience, is a sightseeing startup specializing in tours for foreign tourists in Japan.


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