Introducing the 2017 Blum PATA Summer Fellows

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Blum Pata Summer Fellows at a seminar preparing to work abroad

The Blum Center is pleased to announce its newest cohort of Poverty Alleviation through Action (PATA) Summer Fellows! This summer, the Center will be sending 26 undergraduate students to tackle issues in poverty and inequality in 14 countries, including the US, on four continents.

Selected from a highly competitive pool of over 60 applicants, the 2017 summer fellows were chosen for their innovative and high quality projects to receive up to $2,000 travel funding for the research and service projects they will implement this summer. Each of the fellows has partnered with a non-profit organization based in their destination community, to work on providing sustainable solutions to local problems as they relate to poverty and inequality.

To prepare them for their time abroad, the Blum Center hosted a seminar during spring quarter where the fellows met with members of their cohort and the Center’s staff to develop the knowledge and skills to be effective in their project work. During the seminar, the fellows got to hear from past grant recipients and experts in international development about the challenges and highlights of working in a developing country. The fellows also gave oral presentations on their projects to their peers and received academic training in development economics along with the politics of international development and service abroad.

Among the many projects fellows are set to implement this summer, a few include:

  • Staging an advocacy campaign to promote more sustainable tourism practices in Cusco, Peru
  • Developing a community resource database to help patients in Nicaragua better comply with recommendations of healthcare providers
  • Implementing a teacher training program to improve English language instruction for students in Tamilnadu, India
  • Conducting GIS and community-based research to improve the water filtration system in the community Dusun Sogra, Indonesia
  • Working on a women’s health initiative to bring breast cancer prevention and awareness services to communities in Yolo County

In addition to the record number of applicants this year, the Blum Center achieved new goals through its growth in partnerships. Building on the bonds developed last year with the four undergraduate colleges, the Center expanded its reach to the wider community through collaborating with non-profit organizations in an effort to engage more students in poverty alleviation work.

From the efforts of this outreach came the establishment of a new fellowship program in partnership with Worldwide Child Relief Foundation (WCRF), an organization that helps impoverished communities in Nicaragua facilitate and develop the necessary skill sets to become economically self-sustaining. Known as WCRF-Blum Center Fellows, two undergraduate students will be heading to La Calle Real, Nicaragua later this year to work on developing programs and activities for a newly constructed Community Development Center, supported by grants from the Blum Center and WCRF.

The Blum Center also spearheaded similar small-scale partnerships with other nonprofits, culminating in development of an NGO Directory which it released in winter 2017. The NGO Directory consists of a list of nonprofit organizations from around the world seeking to leverage the efforts and talents of UC Davis students to implement poverty alleviation projects in the communities they serve. This year’s directory was comprised of 20 NGOs, of which a number of fellows will be working with on projects this summer. These include organizations such as the TESE Foundation which will be working with a fellow and two other students in Zimbabwe on a digital storytelling project to increase support for girls’ education.

To learn more about the 2017 PATA Summer Fellows and their projects, visit Past Awards.

About The Blum Center for Developing Economies

Integrating education and experience, the Blum Center for Developing Economies prepares and sponsors UC Davis students to thrive in tackling projects—ones that partner students with communities for mutually-beneficial collaborations—in more than 50 countries around the world.

As a part of Global Affairs at UC Davis, the Blum Center aims to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement.