Since she was a child, Rebecca Gibbons, Artsci’12, has felt a pull toward Nepal. Her parents travelled there to trek in the mountains, and as a family, they sponsored a young Nepali girl.
Now Rebecca has the opportunity to go there herself and use what she learned during her health studies degree at Queen’s to create positive change in several Nepali communities. She leaves in July for eight months as a fellow with the PFF Community Leadership Program.
“I was really looking for an opportunity to channel my passions and coming across the PFF program was a perfect opportunity to pursue my interests in health promotion and education in an international setting,” says Rebecca.
In Nepal, she'll work on a project called Action for Health (A4H), a community-based health education program. Water- and air-borne diseases are prevalent in many parts of the country and community organizations have identified hygiene education as a priority.
Rebecca will work with a community centre in Ilam district, along with student teams from the United States, offering hygiene and waste water management education programs. The A4H program will provide a sustainability framework enabling the community and others in Nepal to continue education work well beyond her eight-month stay.
The PFF Community Leadership Program, established in 2011, is funded by the Pathy Family Foundation and administered by the Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). It offers Queen’s undergraduate or graduate students up to $30,000 for eight- to 12-month fellowships promoting social change in international locations. The program runs until 2014.