UWC Student Earns Davis Projects for Peace Prize
A St. Lawrence University rising senior has been awarded funding from Davis Projects for Peace to carry out humanitarian efforts in her homeland.
Nilza Angmo ’19, who graduated from United World College Mahindra in India, wrote the award-winning proposal. She will travel to her home city of Leh, India, which is located in the Himalayan high desert region of Ladakh. There, she will carry out her project, titled “Project for the Forgotten Population: Building a bathroom with hot water facilities for disabled people.”
Angmo, who is majoring in economics and statistics, will provide assistance to The People’s Action Group for Inclusion and Rights, or PAGIR, which is home to 30 people with physical disabilities. The small agency currently lacks adequate toilets and washing faculties – something she said is considered a luxury in Ladakh – and hot water in a region that deals with extreme cold in winter. Several of the residents there suffer from diseases as a result. Her project will directly impact PAGIR’s residents, which, she wrote, will “change the everyday lives of more than 30 people as they will get access to clean, modern toilets.”
The Projects for Peace grant will provide funding for Angmo to work with a local contractor in the region in order to install environmentally sustainable and accessible bathrooms for those with physical disabilities based on simple solar technology as well as proper insulation for the physical structures. While construction is underway over the summer, she will also train the residents how to properly and safely use the bathrooms as well as maintain them.
“The opportunity for a Davis grant will be a big first step to help people in my homeland,” Angmo said. “When I met the people in PAGIR in summer 2017, I was deeply touched to see their happiness to know that people care about them. I care about them. Peace begins with a smile; peace starts with feeling equal.”
Carol Smith, senior officer for corporate and foundation relations/sponsored research, said each year St. Lawrence students have the opportunity to compete for grants to create their vision of peace anywhere in the world through Projects for Peace, which is funded by the Shelby Davis family, who also support the Davis UWC Scholars Program.
“The top project for each participating school is guaranteed funding,” Smith said. “St. Lawrence students have a strong track record of developing very worthwhile projects since the program began in 2007, and I’m pleased to report that Nilza’s was selected this year.”
Currently, St. Lawrence enrolls 60 UWC Scholars – one of the highest number in New York State – who receive financial support from the Davis UWC Scholars Program. The program is the largest international, undergraduate scholarship program in the world.
Projects for Peace is an initiative for all undergraduate students currently enrolled at one of 95 American colleges and universities in the Davis UWC Scholars Program partner schools to design grassroots projects that they will implement during the summer. The objective of the program is to encourage and support motivated youth to create and carry out ideas for building peace. The projects judged to be the most promising and feasible receive $10,000 each.
St. Lawrence was the recipient of NAFSA’s 2018 Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization, which distinguishes excellence in integrating international education throughout all facets of university.