Davis Projects for Peace

Nepali girls working on a lap top computer on the Map Lamjung initiative created by Nimesh Ghimire '15.
Congratulations to Nimesh Ghimire '15, the 2013 Davis Projects for Peace award winner! Ghimire spent the summer of 2013 in rural Nepal working on strengthening the Peace Innovation Lab model by collaborating with multiple stakeholders to introduce new models and projects that contribute to the overall objective of promoting the Lab as a local innovation hub - a resource place where local villagers can have access to tools and resources to solve their own problems.

Davis Projects for Peace is an initiative for all students at the Davis United World College Scholars Program partner schools (of which Swarthmore College is one!) to design grassroots projects for the summer of 2014 - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties. Through a competition on over 90 campuses, projects will be selected for funding at $10,000 each. Davis Projects for Peace has been funded by Kathryn W. Davis, a renown internationalist and philanthropist.

First years, sophomores, juniors and seniors are eligible to apply. Groups of students from the same campus, as well as individual students, may submit proposals. 

Important Dates
The proposal deadline is Tuesday, January 28, 2014. Final decisions will be rendered by Davis UWC Scholars office to campus officials in mid-March, with funds released in early - mid April. Projects should be completed during summer of 2014, with final reports due September 1, 2014.

Selection Process @ Swat
There will be a two-stage selection process: proposal and, if selected, interview.

To be considered, a student (or group of students) must prepare a written statement which describes the project (who, what, where, how) including expected outcomes and prospects for future impact (not to exceed two pages) as well as a budget (one separate page). Proposals should include pre-approval (in the form of a letter or letters of support) of all involved parties and organizations involved in the project. The two-page proposal and one-page budget should be submitted electronically as a .doc to Jennifer Magee (jmagee1@swarthmore.edu) by Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

The selection committee will invite select applicants to interview. The interviews will be held during the first week(s) of February, exact date, time and location is TBD. Then the selection committee will recommend proposal(s) - a first choice and an alternate - to Davis UWC Scholars office for their review and ultimate selection.

What do you mean by "projects for peace"?
The funder hopes to encourage student initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship focusing on conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation. Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace. Some of the most compelling projects to date have reflected one or more of the following characteristics:

  • ameliorating conditions leading to violence/conflict; 
  • looking for and building on shared attributes among differing peoples, races, ethnicities, tribes, clans, etc.; 
  • fostering diplomacy or otherwise contribute to advancing peace processes underway; 
  • promoting economic opportunity and entrepreneurship among those in post-conflict areas; 
  • finding creative ways to bring people on opposite sides of issues together, such as through art, sports, music or other techniques to promote a common humanity; 
  • developing leadership and mediation skills training for those in conflict or post-conflict societies; 
  • starting or leveraging initiatives, organizations (e.g. education, health)
  • infrastructure projects to build/rebuild community.

In general, projects should be building blocks for a sustainable peace. Specific projects may be undertaken anywhere in the world, including in the U.S.

To learn more...
1. Attend an information session on Thursday, December 12, 2-3 PM at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility.
2. Read past recipients' project reports. Email jmagee1 to obtain electronic copies.
3. Contact Jennifer Magee (jmagee1) with questions.
4. Visit Davis Projects for Peace website. **Please note: Communication between students and the Davis UWC Scholar Program is prohibited.**

Past Projects

Peace Innovation Lab (2013)
Peace Innovation Lab is a creative space for people in rural communities to come together to design, prototype and implement interesting models that contribute to local peace building and grassroots innovation efforts. Nimesh Ghimire ‘15 spent the summer of 2013 in rural Nepal working on strengthening the Peace Innovation Lab model by collaborating with multiple stakeholders to introduce new models and projects that contribute to the overall objective of promoting the Lab as a local innovation hub - a resource place where local villagers can have access to tools and resources to solve their own problems.

You(th) for Peace (2012)
Since the educational system in India perpetuates existing socio-ethnic hierarchies and tensions, the You(th) for Peace program was designed to offer an alternative to the legacy of oppressive learning that fosters powerlessness and apathy. In summer 2012, we embarked upon an educative mission aimed at community building, fostering 21st century skills such as diversity awareness, critical thinking, leadership and communication abilities, and creating a vision of a peaceful, shared future. Working mainly in the area of Gujarat, India, "You(th) for Peace" (YFP) addressed some of the underlying factors which support a culture of conflict by fostering a vision for long-lasting, sustainable peace.

Pémon Health (2011)
Collaborating with local leaders and medical professionals, Pemón Health is committed to holistically improving the community health of Urimán's indigenous Pemón, Venezuela villagers through a number of sustainable and economical projects. In summer 2011, the group's main goal was to expand the local high school's agricultural program by constructing a dairy barn and offering villagers the tools necessary to sustain it and bring to the village the various benefits of dairy farming.

Taller de Paz (2010)
The goal of Taller de Paz (TDP) is to create fun, interactive, and educational workshops that provide the tools necessary for self-expression and empowerment for kids and their families who have been displaced by the 60+ year internal conflict in Bogota, Colombia to be agents of social change. In summer 2010, besides the normal programming of Taller de Paz (the four workshops: Art, Leadership, Inquiry, and Storytelling, outings with the kids, and graduation), the group set out to network with established Colombian organizations and to create a Comité de Padres (Parent Committee) in order to ensure the sustainability and future of TDP.

Project Madagascar Peace (2009)
The primary goal of Project Madagascar Peace in summer 2009 was to build conditions that contribute to peace through hygiene and sanitation practices in the village of Anamalotra in Toamasina, Madagascar. The secondary aim of the project was to find ways to sustain the project and to ensure that the families utilize the latrines through community involvement and training.

Swarthmore Bosnia Project (2008)
Based in Zenica, Serbia in summer 2008, the Swarthmore Bosnia Project taught English as a second language and non-violent methods of communication to children affected by the Bosnian genocide. In a culminating event, the group created a mural together as a way to demonstrate the power of communication and cooperation.