A DU student's service in Senegal

Grace Bachmann
Posted: April 9, 2014

GRANVILLE, Ohio—This summer, Denison University student Grace Bachmann will travel to a village in Senegal to establish a solid-waste management system. Bachmann will be funded for her work through the Davis Projects for Peace initiative, which funds 100 college students each year to design and implement projects that will help build peace across the world.

A first-year student from Worthington, Ohio, Bachmann will travel to Dindefelo, a remote village in southeast Senegal, to execute the two components of her project. Bachmann has previously spent a year in Dindefelo as a fellow of the prestigious Global Citizen Year Program, which sends diverse corps of fellows to developing countries during a “bridge year” after high school.

The components of Bachmann’s project are to establish a sustainable waste management system, where containers for inorganic waste will be collected and sorted in a newly established facility outside the system. Then she will reach out to the community and educate them on best principals and practices of solid waste disposal, and of the village’s system in particular.

“Waste management is especially crucial in rural communities like Dindefelo, where few resources for processing garbage exist and where subsistence is rooted in the environment and agriculture,” says Bachmann. “The consequences of mismanaged waste economically stress villagers, in addition to compromising physical health and public sanitation. A customary short-term solution—openly burning trash in the village—releases toxins and can cause chronic health issues.”

Bachmann has negotiated an agreement with the Rural Community Council of Dindefelo, the Reserve Communautaire de Dindefelo (biological reserve), and local businesses and ecolodges, to sustain the system once the Davis Peace Project funds have been depleted.

Speaking about her project, Bachmann says, “It offers the following pathways to peace—healthier, more productive livestock resulting in alleviation of economic stress and increased financial and food security; promotion of public health by eliminating human exposure to uncollected inorganic waste; and preservation of natural lands vital to the community and which also encourages small-scale tourism.”

“Grace represents the tremendous impact of programs like Global Citizen Year when they are combined with a world class liberal arts education,” says Denison President Adam Weinberg. “She is a true global citizen who is addressing the critical issues that will shape the future.”

Projects for Peace is an initiative inspired by the late Kathryn W. Davis, an accomplished internationalist and philanthropist. Upon the occasion of her 100th birthday in February of 2007, Mrs. Davis, mother of Shelby M.C. Davis who funds the Davis UWC Scholars Program, chose to celebrate by committing $1 million for one hundred Projects for Peace.

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