Class 12

Lyttelton Braima, Sierra Leone

Master in International Development Policy, Duke University

Lyttelton always dreamt of becoming a banker. After completing undergraduate studies in neighboring Liberia, he returned home to a ruined nation where communities had been virtually destroyed by war. Touched by the devastation of his own village, he decided that his economics degree could be more meaningful if put to use to lift people out of the ashes of the civil war. Thus, Lyttelton began to work for Care International as program officer for the Rights Based Approach program sector from 2002 to 2006, planning and implementation of community empowerment projects. These interventions led to greater awareness on rights, regular interaction with local government bodies, and collective action by communities on several fronts.  Lyttelton joined the World Bank as program officer in 2008. As a research economist, he has conducted series of analytical studies on post war governance and justice issues with a view to understand the policy environment, and shape the discussion in a way that makes reforms fair and equitable for poor sections of the society. Findings from these studies are currently helping Sierra Leone’s local level justice reform and decentralization program.

AFE: NAMATI, Liberia

Pranisa Ekachote, Thailand

Master in International Development Policy, Duke University

Born and raised in Thailand, Pranisa grows her interest of relationship between security – both human and physical security – and development through her career with a Bangkok-based security consulting and risk assessment firm. The firm has given her a first hand understanding of the Southern insurgency. She is required to closely monitor the situation in Southern Thailand, where unequal development policies and a lack of government accountability have allowed civilian grievances to evolve into an Islamic insurgency. Pranisa believes that the insurgency is an avoidable tragedy that demonstrates the link between equitable development policies and security. Understanding the links between these two fields is important to addressing countless global security challenges caused by cultural and religious differences. By studying in this area of interest, Pranisa hopes to improve her understanding of the links between security and development to create a lasting peace in Southern Thailand. Her hope is to become a public servant to promote conflict resolution in the South and also at the national level, because politics are also dividing the country.

AFE: Mothering Across Continents, Charlotte, USA

IMG_2049Geysar Gurbanov, Azerbaijan

Russian & Eastern European Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Geysar Gurbanov is a human rights activist who advocates for a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. He graduated from Baku State University with a degree in law.  In 2005-2006, he studied Administration of Law and Justice in Washington State through a fellowship program of the U.S. Department of State. Before running for 2009 Municipal Elections, he was employed as an executive director at the NATO Information Centre. His professional portfolio includes work with OSCE-ODIHR, EPF-CRRC, British Council, and IREX. As a consultant and legal expert he was advising Council of the European Union in matters concerning human rights and political issues in Azerbaijan from 2008 till 2011. Meanwhile, he was a president of the Rotaract Club of Baku International and a vice-chairman of the U.S. Educated Azerbaijan Alumni Association. He also administered various projects in the field of human rights, intercultural dialogue, and conflict resolution.

AFE: Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA

IMG_2042 Dilshad Jaff, Iraq

Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dilshad graduated from The College of Medicine at Al‑Mustanserya University in Baghdad in 2000 and finished his studies at Sulaimania University College of Medicine in 2007 in Medical Microbiology. He worked as manager of the Khanaqin Primary Health District in the Iraqi Ministry of Health from 2003 until 2008, after which he was appointed as Khanaqin’s General Hospital Manager by the Iraqi Ministry of Health.  In 2008, he was sponsored as a Peace Fellow by Rotary District 7710 and the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club to attend the Rotary Peace and Conflict Resolution program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and graduated from that program in 2009.  Following graduation he was hired at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a medical doctor.  At ICRC he has been involved in the development and implementation of two major medical training projects: “Strengthening the Emergency Services in Iraq” and “Supporting Selected Primary Health Care Centers in Iraq.” The main goals of these programs are, respectively, to train and educate the local community what to do in case of emergency, displacement, and/or epidemic threats and to improve the quality of care and ensure that women and children have equal access to curative and preventive health care as men.

AFE: Global Institute for Health and Human Rights, Albany, NY, USA

Manish Kumar, India

Department of Public Health Leadership, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Manish Kumar is an international development professional with over 14 years of experience and expertise in research, design, implementation, scale-up and institutionalization of innovations (information system innovations in particular) in global health, nutrition, and agriculture. Kumar, a Rotary Peace Fellow, graduated from the Public Health Leadership Program (PHLP) of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2015. He says, “Rotary Peace Fellowship has positively influenced his thinking and practice towards international development”.

He currently works as the Senior Technical Specialist for Health Systems Strengthening in the MEASURE Evaluation Project- a United States government funded global health information systems project-of the Carolina Population Center. His work includes providing technical and capacity-building support for implementation of the Data for Accountability, Transparency and Impact Monitoring (DATIM) System of the United States government in more than 50 developing countries.

Kumar, a native of India, is also an adjunct assistant professor in the PHLP.

He has worked with international NGOs such as John Snow Inc. Research and Training Institute, Abt Associates, IntraHealth International, Inc., and OneWorld International-South Asia. He has offered leadership, management and services in projects such as Health Finance and Governance (HFG), Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovation in Nutrition Globally (SPRING), and Vistaar (Hindi word for “Expansion”).

AFE: SPRING, JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. Virginia, USA

Tekle-Ab Mekbib, Ethiopia

Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

During school vacations, Tekle-Ab accompanied his sister, a community nurse, when she traveled to rural health centers in Gondar, Ethiopia. Her team examined children and pregnant women and helped women in labor. Since then, he dreamt of becoming a doctor. As a result of a national uprising in 1974 in Ethiopia, the university where Tekle-Ab studied was closed. However, he was selected for a scholarship to study medicine in St. Petersburg, Russia and later pursued specialty training in maternal and neonatal health. After serving as a physician, his career led him to join a research organization called the Population Council. He was then able to see the health problems of the rural population and this influenced him to step out of his day-to-day clinical work and see the big picture in public health. Programs that were led by Tekle-Ab focused on improving the reproductive health (RH) and livelihood status of adolescent girls and women in Ethiopia. For Tekle-Ab, it has been satisfying to see how research influences policy by providing evidence based research to decision-makers who need facts at hand to develop cost-effective and appropriately designed interventions that can be replicated. Upon completion of the Rotary World Peace Program, Tekle-Ab will pursue a career within maternal and child health. This will help him produce and promote evidence based findings for policy change in maternal and child health. At the same time, this opportunity will enable him to become a public health expert in general and a leader in international maternal health in particular. 

AFE: WHO Collaborating Center for Research Evidence, UNC-Chapel Hill, USA


IMG_2014Aybolek Ovezova, Turkmenistan

Russian & Eastern European Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Aybolek was educated at the Turkmen State University majoring in English and Literature. This allowed her to gain work experience in various interesting fields and expanded her scope of interest. She enjoyed working as a teacher of English at school where she developed more patience, perseverance, and drive for results. All these attitudes have helped her greatly in her future career path. Working in the oil and gas industry was a great opportunity for her to sharpen her skills and also learn to operate in a completely different environment. Currently Aybolek is an active member of the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat where she works on implementing the Export Control and Border Security Program (EXBS). This program gave her an insight to the international development area. Collaboration with her colleagues on daily basis at the international, national and regional level provided an understanding and concern over the territory and natural resources, in particular the use of water in Amu-Darya River Basin. This issue is particularly close to Aybolek’s heart because she was born and raised in the north of Turkmenistan, where conflict exists.  Aybolek truly believes that after gaining Peace and Conflict Resolutions skills as well as expand her understanding on the region through different prospective, she will join the international organizations and contribute her skills to urge the international community with the Turkmen government into the resolution of this issue.  In particular, Aybolek is planning to join UN projects working in the region and be able to impact the resolution of the dispute between Central Asian countries.

AFE: UNEP FI, Geneva, Switzerland

IMG_2017Luiz Pinto, Brazil

Master in International Development Policy, Duke University

Luiz is a Computer Scientist, specialized in business management, who strongly advocates for sustainable development in the Brazilian Amazon. As General Coordinator for the Suppliers Development Network (REDES) at the Federation of Industries of Pará State for the last seven years, he has been working to ensure that national and multinational corporations implementing large-scale infrastructure projects in the Brazilian Amazon hire local professionals and purchase goods and services from local suppliers, thus creating local jobs, generating local income, and promoting local economic development. Luiz strongly believes that without local community development there is no development at all.  Upon completion of the Rotary World Peace Program, Luiz intends to return to the Brazilian Amazon to resume his work and activism in support of local suppliers and communities. He is certain that the world-class training at the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center will enable him to prevent development-related conflict and to make a greater difference for the benefit of local communities in the Brazilian Amazon region.

AFE: Amazon Peace Center, Durham, USA

Hai-Ryung SungHai-Ryung Sung, South Korea

Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Hai-Ryung has been involved in many different healthcare projects around the world. She worked in MediPeace (a humanitarian medical NGO) as a program officer. She has worked in the Maritime Province of Russia for primary health care. By interacting with Koruyin (ethnic Koreans in the post-Soviet states) and helping them with basic care, she realized that these people weren’t getting enough attention from the Russian government. The lack of awareness of the government and the lack of governance of these people was alarming. In China, she also was not only involved in improving the sanitary needs of the rural countryside, but also in helping develop the medical system to what it is today. She is especially interested in the reduction in child mortality and improvement in maternal health in Africa and developing countries. After the fellowship, she is going to contribute to the efforts of providing visionary global public health leadership in vulnerable populations by mobilizing governments, international organization and NGOs.

AFE: WHO, Intersection of Maternal and Child Health & Water and Sanitation, Chapel Hill, USA

Daniela Tort, Mexico

Master in International Development Policy, Duke University

Daniela Tort is a community development practitioner committed to advancing the equality of the most vulnerable populations. She started her career in the public sector with the Ministry of Social Development in Mexico, leading projects to identify and prioritize poverty, guide decision makers and improve public expenditure for poverty eradication in local governments. She later joined the Susan G. Komen Global Initiative, where she designed the framework to implement a new granting program to advance breast cancer awareness and access to screening services in Latin America. Working with indigenous and other vulnerable populations in Panama, Mexico and India, she has gained expertise in community development, gender integration, and peace building. After graduating she hopes to join initiatives to increase resilience and development in fragile states.

AFE: Gandhi Manave Kalyan Society and ICRW – India

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