CWS is very proud to announce our 2011 Summer Fellowship Leaders: Annie McBride, Hannah Hill & Hannah Stonebraker! All three ladies were a part of this past Winter Fellowship Session and we are excited to have them back in Ghana this Summer! Let them introduce themselves…
I am so happy to be able to return to Ghana with the CWS team! I graduated from Georgetown in 2010 with studies in English, Environmental Science, and Studio Art, and with the interest of pursuing an international development project post-graduation. Thankfully I learned about Community Water Solutions through Georgetown’s Career Center and applied to the fellowship this past winter. Though I knew little about the global water crisis at the time, I was eager to learn more and hoped it would be an eye opening experience that would lead to many others – and it certainly has!
I had an incredible time with a stellar group of volunteers and CWS employees, learned so much about Ghanaian culture, and, not to mention, brought clean water to hundreds of deserving people in our very rural village of Chanaayili! It is amazing what can be accomplished in such a short amount of time with the guidance of the CWS team and the input of a dedicated group of volunteers.
As one of the leaders of the summer fellowship, I hope to make sure all the projects run smoothly and to help the fellows have as wonderful of an experience in Ghana as I had. This trip changed my life and made me realize that I wanted to work within the non-profit world, and hopefully it will be as eye-opening for the future fellows.
Can’t wait to meet everyone! See you in Ghana!
Like Kathryn and Annie, I bring my Hoya Saxa pride to the CWS team. Raised in Massachusetts, I am currently a sophomore at Georgetown University studying International Economics, focusing mostly on development economics, and African Studies.
When I first applied to the CWS Fellowship program, I was looking for a way to get to the amazing continent I had been studying for so long, but what I got was way more than a round trip ticket to Africa. I soon became passionate about everything CWS does. On one hand, the organization directly improves economic growth with the implementation of a for profit water purification business in every village. On the other hand, it creates a foun
dation for sustainable, long-term development by improving social development indicators in both the health and gender equality sectors. In school I have been studying (and debating) what needs to come first – social development or economic development – yet somehow CWS does them both simultaneously!
Since I returned to the States in the middle of January, I have been itching to get back to Ghana, to Tamale, and to my village Yipala. I am excited to see how Nafissa and Mimounatou, the women who ran the center in my village, are doing, as well as everyone else in Yipala. But more than that, I cannot wait to bring the fellowship experience to several more teams. There are no words to describe how you feel when you watch a little boy drink clean water from a tin can when, just a week earlier, you had watched him drink dugout water the color of chocolate milk while a cow lapped up the same dirty water. CWS is more than just giving, more than just learning, and definitely more than just experiencing. CWS is an awesome endeavor and I cannot wait to share it with the 28 new Summer Fellows!
Today marks a month until my return to Ghana, and I could not be more excited. As a current sophomore at Middlebury College in Vermont, I major in International Studies with a concentration in Political Science and a regional specialization in Africa. I fell in love with Africa at the age of seventeen on a six week cultural immersion in Senegal. I spent a week of my trip living with a family in the south east corner of the country, and after experiencing the beautiful, but immensely difficult lives of the women and girls with whom I spent my days, I knew that I wanted to spend my career trying to make the lives of women like them easier. So when I heard about the Community Water Solutions Fellowship program, I jumped at the opportunity not only to return to West Africa, but to get my hands dirty and make a difference.
Working with CWS as a Winter Fellow was an incredibly rewarding experience, as I was able to vastly expand upon my knowledge of development and health, all while helping the people of Chanaayili. Furthermore, I was able to interact with the people of the village, and build relationships with the Chief, the women who run the water center, and some of their children. While I returned to Middlebury more invigorated and motivated than ever, sitting in my African Politics class, and discussing the theories of development cannot come close to jumping in and getting work done. I simply cannot wait to get back to Ghana and work with all the new, and surely amazing, fellows and villages.
– Hannah Stonebraker