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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Call For The Sidama Lunar New Year, Fichchee, To Be Recognized as The UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage

Biodiversity, Health and Food Systems in Ethiopia

Location: The field course will be based in Hawassa in the Sidama region of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People Region (SNNP) of Ethiopia
Dates: December 29 – January 15, 2015, tentative, may change by a day or two in either direction
Credits: 3; Inter-Ag and Nutritional Sciences 421, Global Health Field Experience
Instructors: Heidi Busse (co-leader), Girma Tefera (co-leader), Ephrem Abebe, Kerry Zaleski, Tiffini Diage
1. Personal Qualities–Self-motivated, active learners; interested in food security, global health, and sustainable development issues; able to accept unexpected changes in travel schedule, accommodations, and other course logistics; able to tolerate heat, dust, and simple living conditions and be without modern conveniences
2. Language–There is no language prerequisite, as English is the language used for secondary education and above in Ethiopia. We will have language lessons prior to and during the field course. Students should indicate if they have any Amharic or other Ethiopian language skills in their application.
3. Minimum GPA–3.2
4. Coursework–Students must have completed at least one of the Certificate of Global Health’s core classes: Introduction to Global Health
Agriculture and health are interrelated, as the health of people depends upon productive agricultural systems and productive agricultural systems require healthy people, plants, and environments. Agriculture and health impact each other in important ways. Too often their policy-making processes, however, are conducted independently of each other, resulting in programs and policies that are not aligned and may, in fact, have goals that are in contradiction with each other. Consideration of the interrelationships between agriculture and health throughout the policymaking process can have multiple benefits: improving health outcomes, reducing malnutrition and food insecurity, and alleviating poverty.
One strategy for creating policies that consider agricultural and health goals is to design community-based food systems that are culturally appropriate, locally driven, and meaningful to stakeholders. A community-based food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic, and community health of a particular place. Designed with the community in mind, local values, beliefs, and leadership can be infused throughout the tiers to promote health and sustainability.
The Ethiopia Field Course will explore the intersections of agriculture and health in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region of southern Ethiopia. The region is primarily agricultural and inhabited by many tribes with distinct cultural, linguistic, and spiritual beliefs. Most of the rural communities in southern Ethiopia have cultivated the land for generations, producing crops for subsistence/household consumption. However, the landscape and communities are changing rapidly, largely due to external factors that impact local economic, environmental, and social/household structures. These changes are often guided by market goals which may conflict with the values of local communities and are not ecologically sustainable. The field course will take these historical, political, cultural, economic, and environmental issues into consideration as we explore the question of how can we create food systems that integrate the best practices of industrial agricultural with the local values of communities in order to maximize human and environmental health.
The students in the Ethiopia Field Course will attend lectures by faculty and staff from the UW, Addis Ababa University, Hawassa University, government, and local/international NGOs in order to ask questions about and improve understanding of the interrelationships needed for professionals from across sectors (not just agriculture and health, but also business development, transportation planning, and education, as examples) to work together to achieve shared goals. The course will involve students in service learning projects in rural Ethiopian communities, with a focus on food systems, school/community gardens, and nutrition/health education. We will also be involved with implementing a youth leadership program at Project Mercy, working with camp coordinators and counselors to deliver lessons on food systems, nutrition, and health, and helping youth identify meaningful service learning projects in their communities. This goal is that this will foster future UW service learning projects that come from the community, and they can support Ethiopian youth in their ideas.
Learning Objectives
1. Introduce students to rural community life and culture in Ethiopia, discussing the burden of disease and factors that impact well-being and the root causes of these issues. Explore how health is viewed from community members’ perspectives, and the importance of working through a variety of disciplines (health care, agriculture, engineering, business development, etc.) to contribute to sustainable community development. Health in this field course is broadly defined, to include not only individual and family well-being, but also social, economic, and environmental indicators (e.g., food security, social ties, role of traditional healers, emotional/mental health, and climate change).
2. Define the concepts of food security and describe how food systems relate to public health. Explore the relationships between ecosystem and public health, considering how the health of ecosystems affects the health of human communities. Students will gain understanding about current environmental issues in rural Ethiopia (e.g., climate change, deforestation, water quality and availability, overgrazing, loss of biodiversity, etc.), considering both how ecosystem health impacts humans and how humans affect the health of the ecosystem. With consideration given to traditional knowledge about the local flora, fauna, and landscapes.
3. Using the Social Ecological Model as a guide, the course will look at case studies to show how change at multiple levels – community, academic institutions, government policy – is a necessary strategy for sustainable development. Meet with community and government representatives to understand measures being taken to address key health concerns locally.
4. Observe and understand the major issues related to nutrition and food security, and its subsequent public health impacts. Special emphasis will be placed on maternal and child health, local foods and traditional ways of preparing them, and innovative projects that are working to strengthen community food security.
5. Integrate students into community-based education and service activities (COBES), providing opportunities for service learning with community groups, rural health clinics, and NGOs. Practice respectful and mutual engagement with local populations during site visits.
Service Learning
The community service learning projects are a vital part of the Ethiopia field course. We have carefully selected the community-based learning site, choosing partners that share common values and whose mission aligns with that of the UW’s global health ethic. The community service learning site, Project Mercy located in Yetebon, Ethiopia, has hosted university student groups previously and the directors and staff have the experience and leadership to offer meaningful service learning experiences. The primary service learning activity at Project Mercy is for the UW students to assist with the pilot implementation of a youth leadership camp. The camp is being coordinated by Project Mercy, Hawassa University, and UW staff, with the primary instructors/counselors to be Ethiopian students (from agriculture and medical student groups from Hawassa). The camp is called NEFSE, which stands for Nutrition, Environment, and Food Systems in Ethiopia. In Amharic, “nefse” means “life”. The camp content emphasizes topics in nutrition/health, the environment, and food systems/agriculture, with a key theme of leadership and community service in the Ethiopia context woven throughout. In addition to participating in this group service project, each student will have an independent project.
Program Fee:
$2100 for in state/Minnesota
$2350 for out of state
Fees include: summer credit, lodging, most in-country transportation, health insurance while abroad, and in country programming
Other Expenses:
Airfare at an estimate of $2000
$70 Exit fee
Application Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis until program fills.
Application Materials: Fill out and submit the application here.
Acceptance: We will contact you via your campus e-mail address with acceptance into the program. In order to hold your spot, you will need to:
• Make a first payment of $500 (nonrefundable)
• Your signed acceptance forms (forms will be emailed to you)
• A copy of your valid, non-expired passport; if you don’t have a passport, apply for one now and bring in the other materials
The remainder of the program fee will be due April 30.
Please direct all questions to either the CALS Study Abroad Office, or Sweta Shrestha or Robin Mittenthal, Global Health Advisors. Where appropriate, they will forward your question to one of the trip leaders.