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2014 Summer in South Asia Fellows

Alexa Ariazi, LSA
Alexa interned at a New Delhi women’s rights NGO called Shakti Shalini. This NGO arose out of the Indian feminist movement that blossomed in the early 1980s in response to the growing attention given to gendered violence such as dowry death. She analyzed how this history influences the organization’s mission and interactions with the community and other women’s rights NGO's in the area. Because Shakti Shalini is a small, localized NGO, Alexa examined how its methodologies compared with larger women’s rights NGO's in New Delhi, especially those with operations in other cities (or countries).

Lucia Ceroni, Nursing
Lucia interned at Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, a development organization, engaged in building a new civil society in Bangalore, India through its grassroots to policy-level action in health, education, and community development sectors. While interning there she gained nursing experience by working in a local hospital under a mentor. Additionally, Lucia taught health care related workshops to the English speaking community members.

Brianna LaBelle-Hahn, Engineering
Brianna worked alongside BLUElab India, a multidisciplinary student organization at the University of Michigan dedicated to co-designing sustainable, appropriate technology with the communities in and around the city of Kalol in Gujarat, India. BLUElab India is focused primarily on solutions to health problems that are caused by lack of potable water.

Man Kuan Lei, Stamps School of Art and Design, LSA
Man Kuan worked in Dharamsala, India with the environmet/waste management organization Waste Warriors. Openly discarded waste is a widespread problem across India. Man Kuan learned about waste management systems that strive to reduce the social stigma attached to waste in order to improve the quality of life of those who work in the waste industry. Her main goal was to focus on waste workers in Dharamsala who make their living by picking waste and to assess how the NGO has made a difference in their lives. Man Kuan also worked on a video project while she was in northern India.

Lydia Lopez, LSA
Lydia worked with a youth-oriented NGO called Yuva Unstoppable.  She worked at Yuva’s headquarters in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Her primary work was under the position of program associate where she directly worked in the already existing partnerships with government funded schools. Through this position, she worked to supplement her social research project and senior thesis by analyzing how international NGO soperate and remain sustainable in a place with high levels of poverty.

Emily Preuss, LSA
Emily worked with Jeevika Development Society for approximately eight weeks, in Kolkata, India. Jeevika is an organization dedicated to furthering women’s rights—particularly the rights of women in poverty—through research and the provision of resources.  She collaborated with Jeevika to run a survey about the marriage of young girls in India and investigated the ties between these marriages and the stigma of female sexuality.  The survey was conducted within the communities outside of Kolkata that Jeevika works closely with.

Daniel Vollrath, LSA
Daniel spent summer 2014 as a research and development intern at Yuva Unstoppable, an NGO that acts as a catalyst for change by helping the disadvantaged youth of India, in Ahmedabad, India. As part of the research and development team, he worked on analyzing the effectiveness of programs the organization completes, which includes rebuilding schools, digital literacy programs, donation drives, and much more. Along with his internship Daniel conducted independent research on the motivations and attitudes of Indian students on education. The survey was administered to middle-class students in the city of Ahmedabad.

Elisa Warner, LSA
Elisa worked with the Hope Project, an NGO that is centered in the Hazrat Basti Nizamuddin, a slum in Delhi. Her focus was working with the Hope Project clinic and investigating the relationship between the NGO and the community.  She placed particular focus on the degree to which the NGO is able to sustain or assist the community, and to the extent to which the community needs the NGO.