Student Fellow Wins Grant for Rwanda Project

March 19, 2008

Margot Moinester '09, a 2007 Ethics Center Student Fellows, has been named a recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace for 2008.

Along with Susan Younger, a textile artist and student at the Memphis College of Art, Moinester proposed a sewing cooperative project that will enable Rwandan women to support themselves and their families in aftermath of violence, including rape. Moinester will travel to Rwanda over the summer to work on the project and will report on the experience once she returns. The goal is to provide the women "with the needed training and resources to transition into an independent cooperative that is artistically and economically sustainable and able to serve as a strong model for other craft collectives in Rwanda," according to the proposal. Her project was inspired by her Fellowship internship, when she worked for WE-ACTx in Rwanda, educating and counseling women with HIV about their legal rights and working on income-generation programs.

"Helping these women, all of whom are infected with HIV/AIDS, will help to build sustainable peace in this region ravaged by conflict," says Marci McPhee, who administers the Student Fellowship program for the Center. "Because of Margot's successful internship last summer with these women, she is uniquely qualified to understand their needs and capacities. This project has a very strong likelihood to make a real difference in this conflict-torn region."

In its second year, Davis Projects for Peace honors philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, who launched the initiative on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007. Designed to encourage and support motivated youth to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world in the 21st century, the program funds 100 projects a year for a total of $1 million. For more information, see http://davisprojectsforpeace.org/.