Published October 26, 2022 by Rebecca Goldfine

Peace Project Recipients Prove the Power of Taking Action

这两个 最近的十大电子游艺获奖者 of 项目为和平 grants made progress this summer on the issues they're committed to solving: addressing environmental threats in 塞尔维亚 and ending the practice of female genital mutilation.

Bojana Drca ’24 traveled back to 塞尔维亚 to help inspire young people to take action and demand a greener, 更可持续的环境.

乌西拉·阿里22年在波特兰工作, 缅因州, to achieve her goal of ending the custom of female genital mutiliation (FGM) and promoting good health among 缅因州's immigrant and refugee communities.

项目为和平 each year awards 100 or more college students with a $10,000 grant to implement a grassroots project anywhere in the world that will help fortify the foundation of a peaceful society. 

Students interested in applying for a grant for next summer should schedule a meeting with 梅格•施普林格 高级副总监 职业探索与发展不迟于11月18日.



阿里出生在索马里, 我在波特德长大, and graduated from Bowdoin in May after majoring in biochemistry and minoring in gender, 性,Lp和女性研究. This summer, she implemented her project in her home community, where she's spent most of her life. 她说她受到了热情的接待. "My community embraced me and welcomed my ideas with an open mind and a willingness to help me in any way possible,”她说. 

With assistance from the 缅因州 Youth Network, Ali led a series of workshops for members of her Muslim and immigrant community. These meetings addressed the topic of female genital mutilation and its debilitating after-effects, 还有性健康, 心理健康, 和药物滥用. 

For her workshop on female cutting, she invited women ages eighteen to thirty to attend. "...This age range represents future mothers at risk of falling into the same cycle of raising FGM survivors,”她说. "This age group has the potential to eradicate the practice."

The workshop included a presentation by Atia Werah ’22, who presented her research on older generations' views of female cutting. "This workshop promoted healthy conversations, safe space for survivors and non-survivors alike, and it allowed us to see the reasons why our mothers and grandmothers decided to continue this practice and why our generation will be the last to practice it,”阿里说.

为了补充这项工作, Ali also made a resource guide for FGM to leave at health care provider offices, 资源和社区中心, 和清真寺. 

Ali is currently working in Portland as a certified medical assistant as she prepares to apply to medical schools. 

"Peace to me means a collaborative effort toward building the future we all want to live in." 

Bojana drja ' 24,为空气,水和土地

drja的学生们在探险. 摄影师Sofija Stojanović.

č博士, who is majoring in 经济s and government and 法律 studies, 前往贝尔格莱德, 塞尔维亚, 她的家乡. "For so long I have wanted to have an impact, and I felt guilty studying in the US while my family and millions of people deal with the consequences of the lack of concern for sustainability and green living,”她说.

Environmentalism is "an undeveloped topic" in 塞尔维亚. Part of this lack of awareness in her country, č博士解释说, 是教育系统, which encourages rote memorization and repetition over critical thinking. To counter this, she developed a summertime 程序 被称为 为空气,水和土地 to challenge students to question and analyze, while also making "learning about ecology fun."

德里纳河漂流探险. 摄影师Sofija Stojanović.

After soliciting applicants for her 程序, 她领导研讨会, 邀请嘉宾, 组织了一次漂流探险, and encouraged her students to research and do a presentation on an ecological problem in 塞尔维亚. 她还要求他们提出解决方案. "My goal was for them to understand that no environmental problem exists in a vacuum,”她说. 学生们研究历史, 科学, 社会, 经济, 法律, and political aspects of problems as they considered a realistic and equitable way to address them.  

她的学生来自全国各地, 乡村和城市, 以及污染地区, "and therefore were able to add to the discussion tremendously with their insights,”她补充说.

既然她已经完成了这个项目, č博士 said she's better connected to many more environmental organizations and activists, a network that will help her continue to work on sustainability and youth action. “就像我对我所有的合伙人说的那样, 这还没有结束, but only the beginning of our working together and bringing a more accessible and sustainable future."

č博士 is currently studying abroad in Buenos Aires, focusing on human rights and 社会 movements. 

"This project has completely changed the way I think about the world. I realized that anyone can create change if they desire.“č博士

作为她的一部分 为空气,水和土地 程序, Bojana č博士 took her students to Mountain Tara to hike and raft on the Drina River, 漂流中心德里纳塔拉. 摄影师Sofija Stojanović.