International House Berkeley

I-House Times Fall 2012

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MasterCard Gives Millions for Sub-Saharan African Students (continued from page 1) Aisha Kigongo, Narissa Alibhai and Maanaa Pierre along with four undergraduate students comprise the first cohort of MasterCard Scholars at Cal. International House room and board costs are provided through The MasterCard Foundation for all three grad students and for all future graduate student scholars in the program. Undergrads in all cohorts will have the option of choosing I-House as junior and seniors. Aisha Kigongo from Uganda grew up with twelve siblings and, unlike the majority of teens in her country, she and all her siblings are among the 36% of teens on average that attended high school. Aisha was also among the 6% of her youth who go on to college. "My father would always say, 'Whatever little money I have, I'll give to you if it's relative to your education. If it's not, it's a luxury." Aisha is pursuing a Masters in Information Management and Systems to "help me develop and apply my technical skills for the betterment of society." Specifically Aisha hopes to use her degree to empower African women in rural areas through technology, with the goal of enhancing their economic opportunities. At I-House, Aisha attended the overnight retreat for new residents in Sonoma and says she immediately felt welcomed and was "very inspired by the diversity of I-House, and we all enjoy the bragging rights of living at I-House knowing so many notable people have lived here before us!" noting "This is why I'm here!" and that "an ability to work well with people across many cultures will help me help my country." Narissa Alibhai of Nairobi, Kenya, is pursuing a Masters in Development Practice and has an evolving interest in living conditions in slums, education, and women's access to birth control. She attended the I-House retreat and says "living at I-House is very important to me…the cultural diversity is incredible and there are so many unexpected connections across interests…I met a Japanese resident working on HIV whose approach to that issue is very different, and a Canadian student who is addressing water use and laws with an altogether different context. I know our friendships and collaborations will be mutually enriching." She spoke of attending the second football game held at Memorial Stadium and remarked "In Kenya even the national stadium is not that big!" She sat with many fellow residents enjoying their first football game, gleaning tips from new American friends on understanding the rules while sharing cell phone Wiki definitions of football terms among fellow international students. Maanaa Pierre is also in the Masters in Development Practice program. Originally from Ghana, she is interested in land use and forest management, noting her country currently has one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa."Being at I-House is definitely a big part of being at Cal," she said. "I love it here." Martha Saavedra, associate and interim director of UC Berkeley's multidisciplinary Center for African Studies, where the Scholars Program is coordinated, is herself a former resident of I-House. "The number and diversity of African scholars will greatly enrich the UC Berkeley community. From my own experience I know I-House's environment is supportive of these intercultural exchanges." The Berkeley International Office, located within I-House, is playing a leadership role to ensure that scholars receive comprehensive support that extends beyond finances to both academic and social services. Until now, out of 36,000 students enrolled annually at Cal, only about 30 each year were from Africa. The MasterCard Scholars Program will grow in numbers and will peak in 2016-17 when 81 scholars are enrolled. "An education does more than liberate people from poverty, it is the foundation of social and economic progress," said Reeta Roy, president and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation. For more information on the program visit Thanks to UC Berkeley Public Affairs and Gretchen Kell for contributing to this article.n Road Scholar participants in 2011 For further information, please contact David Gilliam, I-House Program Office (510) 642- 9460, PLANNING A VISIT TO BERKELEy? I-House maintains two guest suites with ensuite bathrooms for short- term stays. To reserve, contact Events Office at (510) 642-0589 or ihevents@ International House Times 13 Be a student again! Come to I-House for a six day residential program focused on Mexico. Expert lecturers will discuss key issues of U.S.- Mexico relations, immigration, religion, gender roles, the drug trade, cinema, music and dance, geography and more, including the rise, fall, and remarkable resurgence of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Participants will examine rare Mexican manuscripts and imprints from the UCB Bancroft Library. A special trip is also planned to the picturesque town of Sonoma, for a tour of its historic mission and acclaimed vineyard created by Mexican immigrants. Details at: Road Scholar Program # 18888 Mexico At The Crossroads: The Past and Its Futures June 16-22, 2013 All-Ages Program

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