Photo: Ford Fellows visit Coney Island
We have some amazing visitors at the 92nd Street Y for the next couple of weeks. A doctor working in rural Mali. Two young entrepreneurs from Thailand. A foster home director from China. Egyptian and Israeli community leaders. An anti-trafficking advocate from Laos. They’re all taking part in the three-week Ford Motor Company Fund International Fellowship at the 92nd Street Y, which has been happening every June for 10 years now.
All activists for NGO’s, they will take management classes at Columbia University. The students will also meet business and nonprofit leaders here in New York City, from places like Doctors Without Borders, General Electric, Common Cents, the Open Society Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Global Green. And last but really not least, they get to know each other. The friendships they make here are prized.
Some of them will be tweeting on the 92Y Twitter, using the hashtag #92YFord and sending out text messages explaining what they are doing, where they are or what they have learned. You can follow those tweets here!
One great feature of the program is the series of country presentations. There, we not only hear about the fellow’s countries and the projects they are working on, but also sample authentic cuisine from around the world. This week’s presentation by Dr. Cheick Omar Toure – who runs a nursing school in remote, rural Mali that has helped to drastically reduce infant mortality rates there – included some tidbits about his homeland. It’s very large (like California and Texas combined, but landlocked). The average life expectancy in Mali is 47 for men, and 50 for women. It’s also home to Timbuktu, which gives you a sense of how remote it is. One of their major exports is music, and there is an unlikely “Festival in the Desert” there every year which is “out of this world.”
Want to know more about the Fellowship? Check them out online, and watch videos of past fellowship activities here,
» Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join our eNews