Making peace

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Sibylle Freiermuth and Megan Keaveney just won $10,000 — but these seniors are not going to Disney World. Instead, they’re headed to India this summer with a goal of empowering women who live in the slums of Mumbai.

The $10,000 came from the Davis Projects for Peace initiative, which funds undergraduate projects that promote and build peace across the globe.

Freiermuth and Keaveney’s objective?

According to their project proposal they want to “… help women learn about and realize opportunities to improve their health and develop income-generating skills.”

“When we were coming up with this project, we looked at our own skill sets, what languages we spoke, what connections we had, and how we could really make a difference,” said Freiermuth.

“We also wanted it to be sustainable – to have an ongoing impact after we’re gone,” said Keaveney.

For their project, “Slum Women for Peace in Mumbai, India,” they will travel to India to create two documentary films: one, of Indian women sharing their entrepreneurial success stories; and two, of women sharing important health information. Then they will partner with a local nonprofit clinic to have these documentaries shown in their facilities throughout India.

Freiermuth and Keaveney are graduating this spring, Freiermuth with a double major in biology and international studies (with a dance minor), and Keaveney with a major in sociology/anthropology.

As for what comes after their summer in India, Keaveney is a Fulbright finalist – she wants to do fieldwork in the Cape Flats of South Africa. And Freiermuth’s goal is to work in sustainable development. She’s crossing her fingers while she waits to hear about an opportunity in Costa Rica.

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