Queen's University

Community Leadership Program awards first international fellowships

Nicole Leakey (left) and Erika Bennett discuss the international projects they will conduct in rural villages in Tanzania and China, respectively.

Erika Bennett and Nicole Leakey will conduct international projects in China and rural villages in Tanzania over the next year as the first-ever Pathy Family Foundation (PFF) Community Leadership Program fellows.

“The selection committee was impressed by the feasibility and long-term sustainability of these two proposals,” says Rowena Selby, Education Abroad Advisor, Queen’s University International Centre (QUIC). “Erika and Nicole also showed they have the skills to deal with the challenges of working in an international environment.”

Ms Bennett recently completed her undergraduate degree in global development studies and political studies. She will work to address the reproductive health needs of female migrant workers in Shanghai.

“This opportunity will be invaluable. It will give me hands-on public health experience and help me better understand the challenges of working in an international setting,” says Ms Bennett.

Ms Leakey graduated from the occupational therapy (OT) program this spring. She will work in five rural villages surrounding Moshi, Tanzania, to determine the needs of young people with disabilities. She will be based at the women’s centre in Moshi that was founded by Karen Yeates and Jenn Carpenter, Queen’s professors and Kingston General Hospital physicians.

“I’ve always wanted to work in an international community and this opportunity really spoke to me,” says Ms Leakey. “QUIC and PFF have shown amazing trust in my abilities.”

The program requires that projects demonstrate long-term sustainability. Ms Bennett is implementing a peer education model to encourage the continued dissemination of information in the future. Ms Leakey will educate staff at the women’s centre about ways to bring people into the centre and use the available services. She will also create protocols for future Queen’s OT community development placements in Moshi.

The program, established earlier this year, is funded by PFF and administered by QUIC. It offers up to $30,000 for each eight to 12-month fellowship to students graduating from a Queen’s undergraduate degree or to graduate students throughout their programs in order to promote social change in international locations. Four fellowships will be awarded each of the following two years.

For further information, visit the Pathy Family Foundation Community Leadership Program.

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Last updated at 8:21 am EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
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