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Project for Peace competition set to be announced on Monday

Published: October 4, 2012, 12:48 am ET
Collegian Staff

Last year, a University of Richmond freshman built toilets in the urban slums of India. The year before, a sophomore started a chicken farm in Uganda. This year, a new student will have the opportunity to receive funding for a project of his or her own.

The United World College’s 100 Projects for Peace competition will be presented to Richmond students at 5:30 pm. on Monday, Oct. 1 in the International Commons.

Krittika Onsanit, the director of international student, scholar and internship services, and sophomore Aarti Reddy and senior David Davenport will conduct the presentation. Reddy won the competition last year and Davenport won the year before.

The competition offers the opportunity for students from 90 campuses across the United States to design and propose a grassroots project, based anywhere in the world, that promotes long-term peace. Winning proposals will be funded with $10,000 and implemented during the summer of 2013, according to the project’s website.

Onsanit, the competition’s Richmond liaison, said that at least one Richmond student had been chosen for funding each year since the competition first came to the university in 2007. She said that she was not surprised that the competition had been ongoing, considering the impact of the projects.

“If you look at [Projects for Peace’s] website, the past projects and outcomes are pretty impressive,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to do something tangible in these countries, but also make a long-term, sustainable impact.”

Reddy and Davenport said the projects’ sustainability was crucial to win funding.

The toilet idea was a sustainable model with scope for large-scale replication, Reddy said.

Senior Tunde Olatunji, who has entered the competition for the past two years, but lost because of sustainability issues, said he would enter again this year. Olatunji, who is a native of Lagos, Nigeria, is trying to win funding to build a school there.

Contact staff writer Abby Kloppenburg at abby.kloppenburg@richmond.edu

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