For Christabel N. Koomson ‘18, the project she’ll soon be undertaking with funding from Davis Projects for Peace is a very personal one: before the end of May, she’ll be returning to her home country, Ghana, to empower other girls to speak up against domestic violence.
“As a young girl growing up in Ghana, like many other young Ghanaian girls, I was always taught to revere shyness, to be coy, to only speak when I’m spoken to and above all, to never question authority,” Christabel says. “While these are not exactly terrible teachings, it becomes problematic when girls become women in a society which taught them from infancy that they can only speak up when asked.”
Christabel knew she had to act to stop the alarming rate of domestic violence suffered by women in Ghana. Her plan, Project Duafe, will engage girls at the local and, eventually, national level, beginning with the Yaa Asantewaa Girls Senior High School in Kumasi, Ghana.
Working with about 150 girls from May to August, Christabel has planned a series of weekly lessons covering topics like listening and story telling; survivor sessions; intervention and resource availability; self‐esteem; and the need for teenage girls to get educated.
Christabel hopes to establish an ongoing Girls Against Domestic Violence club at the school, which will provide resources for future students, and establish an annual conference of local schools for addressing domestic violence.
“This will go a long way to bridge the gap of gender inequality and oppression of the female voice in the Ghanaian society,” Christabel says, “and to promote peace and stability by ensuring that there are equal opportunities for women to speak up against social injustices.”
Projects for Peace invites all undergraduates at the American colleges and universities which are partners in the Davis United World College Scholars Program to compete for Projects for Peace grants.
A total of 120 winning projects have been selected and are being awarded $10,000 each for implementation during the summer of 2017
"Competition is keen and we congratulate those students whose projects have been selected for funding in 2017," said Philip O. Geier, Executive Director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program that administers Projects for Peace. "We are pleased to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to improving the prospects for peace in the world."