I am a graduate student at the University of Washington in my second year of an MA International Studies-African Studies program. I also work within the Department of Global Health and am working on a demography traineeship. I joined Mother Africa last year, an organization focusing on community action and empowerment of African women and their children that have relocated to Washington state as immigrants or refugees. In the past year, we wrote our first grant application and got it funded from the Seattle Foundation. This funding has allowed us to start our pilot project, community mapping/assessment of needs of our target populations specifically in Kent, WA. We aim to compile a database of all service providers offering services to these populations, as well as identify all African communities in the area. From there we will hold focus groups to speak to the community leaders and key informants, followed by recommendations to key stakeholders such as city officials and service providers. We intend to build our future programs from the findings in this pilot study.
My graduate research centers around women's empowerment. I have conducted qualitative research in Ghana looking at how small business owenership (batik and seamstress) works to empower women to gain autonomous decision making ability and control over financial assets.
I am also beginning a research project to explore the literature available on how education empowers women, or more specifically how education affects the use of birth control and then leads to changes in fertility rates, specifically in Sub Saharan African countries. This would be looking through a demographic lense, utilizing demography methodologies.
I am part of a team working on a large scale program evaluation of a training program for medical doctors in tropical medicine, taught for 3 months yearly in East Africa (Uganda and Tanzania). This is a qualitative study analyzing the feedback given by students throughout the 3 month course in 2012.
I also work on developing online education modules for medial residents on global health topics. This is focused for pediatric residents currently, with the hope to expand to other residency programs in the future. The goal is to prepare a resident for overseas rotations before they leave home. Our topics include: neonatal & maternal health (my focus), malnutrition, socio-political-economic determinants of health, respiratory disease, diahrreal disease, cultural competency, etc.