Although this is the first year the Center for Ethics in Society is offering Human Rights Fellowships, Stanford students have been doing human rights work for quite some time. These are examples of fellowships students have recently completed.
Support For International Change (SIC), Northern Tanzania
This past summer, my friend Raechel and I flew to Northern Tanzania to work for the NGO Support For International Change (SIC). SIC is an NGO that is dedicated to decreasing AIDS and HIV rates in Tanzania, through testing, medical and counseling services, awareness and education. I had previously worked with the NGO two years ago, teaching AIDS and HIV prevention in a rural village called Midawe. Right before I left for Tanzania at the end of freshman year, I won the Diller Teen Award, an award I was later able to use to fund a program with SIC to return at the end of junior year. The program involved strengthening the education branch of SIC through singing and acting. Raechel and I worked in Tanzania for two months, traveling to 15 rural villages all over the region setting up AIDS and HIV clubs in schools that volunteers had previously taught in. We reviewed basic AIDS and HIV biology, and taught leadership skills through songs, dances, skits, and raps we had the kids write and perform. We further encouraged the students to perform these art pieces in front of their schools with the intention to empower the students so that they would become leaders in their communities. Overall, working in Tanzania for SIC was an incredible, life-changing experience. Shira Rebecca Shane(HumBio)
Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit, Cape Town, South Africa
I was an African Service Fellow, which is one of the Haas Center's programs available to undergraduates over the summer. I worked at the Gender, Health and Justice Research Unit in Cape Town, South Africa, a University of Cape Town affiliated research unit. I worked under Steffi Rohrs, a researcher at the Unit. My primary project was focused on identifying barriers to receiving Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for rape survivors. PEP is a rigorous antiretroviral regimen that significantly reduces the chance of HIV transmission if taken within 72 hours of possible contact with HIV. While South Africa mandates that rape survivors receive PEP at designated clinics, it is common knowledge that many survivors face barriers to receiving care. I helped define what "designated" health care centers meant, and attained records of all public health care facilities in various provinces in South Africa. Then, I executed the pilot stages of interviews with health care clinics to assess their knowledge of PEP and the applicable policies. I piloted the project by carrying out a random sample of telephone interviews, then by helping revise the survey instruments accordingly. My contribution to the larger project will help identify the specific barriers to receiving PEP, and help shape the policy recommendations and advocacy that will undoubtedly increase the access to PEP that rape survivors need. Sarah Lee '10 (HumBio)
Human Rights First
At Human Rights First in Washington DC, I was an intern with the Refugee Protection Program and the Lifeline for Iraqi Refugees project. Having worked in refugee camps in Zambia, this was an opportunity to experience refugee policy and issues in the United States. I conducted intake interviews with asylum applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and Central America, and prepared country conditions research and credibility assessments for the staff attorney. I also had the opportunity to research the Iraqi refugee crisis, author print and multimedia advocacy materials and website content related to the project, draft talking points for advocacy and strategy meetings with partner organizations, draft HRF's first briefing paper on the crisis, and coordinate the logistics of the testimony by Iraqi refugees before Congress, as well as facilitate staff travel to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Julie Veroff, Stanford '07, currently Executive Director FACE AIDS
FORGE is a partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and strives to facilitate educational and empowerment opportunities for refugees, with the goal of building capacity in post-conflict countries. Through FORGE, I designed and implemented a women's leadership and empowerment program for 50 Congolese refugee women in Mwange Refugee Camp, Zambia. I worked with FORGE for six months before traveling to Zambia, and implemented my project over the course of 10 weeks. The project expanded into a sustained, fully refugee-run Women's Center. Upon returning from Zambia, I became FORGE's co-Hub Coordinator for Northern California. In this role, I was able to hire and manage a ten person team tasked with implementing community development projects in Mwange. I helped train the team on refugee rights, DRC's conflict history, and project design, monitoring, and evaluation, as well as coordinated the team's $50,000 fundraising effort. Julie Veroff, Stanford '07, currently Executive Director FACE AIDS