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Slosberg Travel Grant


This #GivingTuesday, November 27, 2018, we’re celebrating members of the AUP Community who give back – and the impact of their philanthropy on current and future generations of Global Explorers. We are also highlighting the outstanding students who have benefited from their generosity, and the way these students have gone above and beyond to contribute to the AUP community.   

Today we are featuring three recipients of The Slosberg Travel Grant, which was established for graduate students at AUP to foster high-level graduate research and activism in the field of social justice.

Provided through the Margaret Gada Slosberg Charitable Foundation by alumna Karen Slosberg MA ’13, this program aims to advance research abroad while incorporating a hands-on humanitarian component. Since its creation in 2011, numerous master’s students have conducted field and scholarly research with a focus on social justice, human rights, humanitarian relief and international development.

Below are our three of our most recent featured grant recipients:

Faith Toran, India 2017

Faith’s MA thesis focused on a contemporary reappraisal of the participatory turn in development practices. In particular, her thesis used the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) method popularized in the ‘90s and her field research undertaken in Tamil Nadu, India with a waste management educational initiative, kNOw PLASTICS Educational Programme, designed around “participatory methods of environmental education for social justice.” Faith also collaborated with WasteLess India, an educational research organization focused on sustainable waste management based in Auroville, which is using ‘participatory’ approaches that help to change the harmful habits that affect the way we make, dispose of and think about waste. While with WasteLess, Faith worked as an Education and Communication Coordinator for 6 months. In efforts to address the challenges of the participatory paradigm of development (generally highly theoretically supported, but lacking support in practical theory), Faith engaged the WasteLess team in a wider scope of ‘participatory’ communication, conducting a PRA session yielding a model of participatory communication that proved to be an enjoyable and creative method for the students to generate their own knowledge about waste. It also served as practical data for the participatory paradigm and aligned with the WasteLess aim of targeting the future generation with fun and engaging educational activities concerning waste management, to bring about behavioral change and instill positive habits early on in a child’s life.

To improve development practice and theory, Faith advocates for “another communication” for development, and suggests that good communication must take place in order for development to be experienced. Based on her field research experiencing and facilitating PRA, Faith believes PRA may be used as a prerequisite to gather baseline information on worldviews and knowledge in a development context in order to facilitate a process that is local in context, while being empowering and genuinely participatory.

Viviana Alvarado Pacheco, Belize 2017

Viviana’s MA thesis focuses on the application of international refugee law on the climate migrants in the Caribbean, particularly small island states that are completely independent from a mother country. She had the opportunity to collaborate with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) in Belize, which is an NGO that coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change, working on effective solutions and projects to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, the environmental impacts of climate change and global warming. Viviana used her field research, specifically from San Pedro and Monkey River, as a proxy for the possible effects of climate change on small island states. This research ties directly into the second chapter of her thesis which compares available data on preventative and migration policy action in small island states without any colonial mother country. 

Elyse Elder, South Africa and Zambia 2016

Elyse’s MA thesis focuses on fighting poverty through community learning. Her hands-on research occurred during an internship at Lifeline Energy, an NGO in Cape Town, South Africa that provides education to millions of people, particularly in farming communities, through the distribution of radio programming via solar and wind-up radios and MP3 players. Her project work brought her to rural Zambia where she acted as project coordinator and liaison between Lifeline and its on-the-ground partner, Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO). This allowed her to observe and efficiently introduce new ideas into risk-averse and largely uneducated rural populations. “What is clear,” she reports, “is the importance of a communal approach to education within these farming communities. Radio and MP3 listening groups allow them to feel comfortable and grow in confidence. Cooperative members became sensitized to the COMACO model through Farm Talk radio even before they joined. Once a member, continual initiatives, like the program I helped formulate, shepherded them through the transition process and now each farmer is an expert in conservation farming.”

This #GivingTuesday join us in supporting #OneMoreScholar

Every year, students from diverse cultural and social backgrounds from across the globe choose to study at AUP. This is the cornerstone of our vibrant community and it depends on ensuring that financial realities do not define your decision to receive a world-class education. In 2018 we want to shine a light on the importance of scholarships in making this a reality.

We hope you will join AUP alumni, parents, friends and students around the world this Giving Tuesday in demonstrating your support with a contribution and by helping us spread the word about how you can support #OneMoreScholar. Our goal is to raise €4187, the average amount of one scholarship in the 2017-18 academic year, an amount that can make the difference and help an incoming student realize their dream of attending AUP.

Learn about the different ways you can participate and contribute