Bettering the world usually begins on small scales, such as helping the residents of an Indian slum have sanitary toilets or establishing a poultry farm for a Ugandan school. These are two examples of how University of Richmond students spent their summers through funding from the Projects for Peace initiative. The program is now seeking applications for $10,000 to use in summer 2014.
"Any undergraduate can design a project for peace," said Krittika Onsanit, director of international student, scholar and internship services. Projects for Peace was founded in 2007 by the Davis United World
College Scholars Program, which funds students who graduate from the United World Colleges to study at universities in the United States. The initiative awards 100 grants annually to students at 94 affiliated schools, including Richmond, which has had a student project funded every year since 2007, Onsanit said.
One student who received funding was Zhivko Illeieff, a 2011 graduate. In the summer of 2010, he produced a documentary about totalitarianism in his native Bulgaria along with fellow student Charles Mike III and Bulgarian Tsvetan Naydenov. Titled "Faces of Communism," the film sought to explain how Bulgaria's history before World War II affected the experiences of its citizens during the Cold War.
"Nowadays, it's very hard for young people to create a big-scale project without giving up some creative control," Illeieff said of his experience. "Winning the contest empowered us to set our own goals and assume responsibility for our actions."
Onsanit said about half a dozen students attended an October information session about applying, and that proposals are due to her by Jan. 27, 2014. A committee of faculty and staff will review the proposals and pick a first and second choice to submit to Projects for Peace.
Contact staff writer Ben Panko at firstname.lastname@example.org
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