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Alumni Updates



Blanca Rico

The PLP broadened my understanding of women’s rights,
gender and
health in other countries."

- Blanca Rico, Mexico



Alumni Updates - Summer 2005 thru Spring 2006

2007 - 2008   |    2006 - 2007   |    Summer 2006    |    2005 - 2006
Fall 2004    |    Summer 2004

  • In October, Nolito Quilang of the Philippines wrote from Nagoya where he hopes to pursue his PhD, "By the way, I am now in Nagoya, Japan for my doctoral studies. I’m still doing my language lessons now until march. If I pass the PhD entrance exam in February, then I will start my PhD course in April." Even amidst his studies, Nolitz has managed to launch his Small Grant Proposal, entitled, "Tapping Youth Leaders in the Community for Adolescent Health and Youth Development". Originally designed as a curriculum initiative, Nolitz shifted gears upon returning the Philippines and redesigned the project to a community-based approach, identifying a local barangay (district) called Santa Ana in the municipality of Tagoloan. Nolitz successfully presented and received support for the program at the municipal government level, and then in August convened an orientation with 43 youth ages 15-24, also attended by Santa Ana officials. His progress report (full of excellent reflection) is available for distribution; just let me know if you’d like to see a copy. Juicy rumors are swirling about a December 2006 wedding for Nolitz - a pillar of his home plan presentation. Everyone stay tuned.

  • Earlier this summer, Elisabeth heard from Maria Mugabo, who had recently shifted jobs in Rwanda. She wrote, "I am so happy to get your e-mail. Right now I am O.K, I changed the job, I am working again with the Ministry of Health as a consultant in order to put down the strategy to reduce maternal and neo natal death due to Malaria in pregnancy. My family is quite o.k. too, and Dr Jeanne is with me she is greeting you. Best regards to your family and all friends over there. I am missing you!!" Through PLP Post Program support, Maria is currently working with the Rwanda Women Doctors Association (RWDA), strengthening their work in reproductive health by increasing members’ knowledge of reproductive health and their capacity to advocate for improvements in RH services and policies.

  • Aaron recently heard from Anthony Ofosu, now "holed up in some village in Ghana trying to create a health system out of nothing." If any can accomplish this, it would have to be Anthony. He continues, "It is real frontier stuff. I do not have ready access to internet service. That explains my silence. It amazing what goes on literally behind ones back. I have no idea that a research on this microbicidal is going on Ghana. It is interesting. I am looking forward to it appearing on the market. I hope it will not get priced out of the range of ordinary folks who need it." The PLP Post Program support a proposal Anthony put forward last year to collaborate with a UW physician, Dr. Donna Denno, on an anemia research study they were conducting in Ghana. They are in the process of collecting data and hope to finish by 2006, at which time the PLP Post Program will likely support Dr. Denno to return to Ghana to assist with, in Anthony’s words, "the quality of data assessment and developing of the database for analysis."

  • We recieved good news from Bui Thi Thanh Mai in Viet Nam, who wrote, "I am happy to inform you that the Ford Foundation will support me to participate in 3rd APCSRH in Malaysia (to be held November 16-22). I will have chance to meet Bob and PLP family there. Best wishes." While in Malaysia, Mai will be able to reconnect with Shan Abdulwahid of the Philippines (there with his VOCA colleagues), Abhijit Das and Ena Singh from India, Saman Khan and Raana Zahid of Pakistan, and Mon San Pascual and Obet Ador of the Philippines, all representing the PLP on a policy advocacy panel moderated by PLP Senior Advisor, Bob Plotnick. Mai also extended herself to three Evans School students based in Hanoi for the summer, assisted by Duong Hoang Quyen.
  • Blanca Rico’s dog had 6 puppies in Mexico City. Diana has photos should anyone care to see them. Additionally, Blanca has piggybacked her Small Grant Proposal onto a larger grant application to the MacArthur Foundation, to pursue research on factors which affect the capacity to create and maintain partnerships between NGOs and government regarding efforts to advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health rights.
  • Ifeoma Charles-Monwuba from Nigeria wrote, "Hello Anita and 2004 Fellows, thanks Anita for sending the update. I just read from Aaron that the new Fellows are great and are settling in nicely. I will be starting work on October 10th with Wateraid a UK based NGO working here in Nigeria involved with water, sanitation and hygiene. I will be working as Head Partnership and Policy. I feel the job will help sharpen my policy and advocacy skills. Sisay and Ermias, I hope to be in Ethiopia from Sunday October 16th for a Wateraid policy and advocacy workshop. Please let me know how I can get in touch with you when I arrive. Cheers to all." Ify is also taking the lead, along with Herby Derenoncourt in Tanzania to present a panel entitled "Accountability, Politics and Policies in HIV/AIDS - Initiatives fulfilled and Unfulfilled" at the 14th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), to be held in Abuja, Nigeria, this December. Steve Gloyd will join the panel, along with Bola Oyeledun and Segun Fatusi, both of Nigeria. A final paper will be available after the panel for distribution, just contact Steve.
  • Saman Yazdani Khan of Pakistan has recently written from her recent travels in Pakistan post-earthquake. "Assalam u alaikum/Hello, I have just returned from Mansehra after almost 3 weeks. We (WHO) were conducting a 2- day hygiene promotion course with other lead agencies like UNICEF, OXFAM and RWSSP. I also visited the tented villages/camps in Mansehra district. I visited Bissian and Jaba camps, organized by the army, and the spontaneous ones in Oghi tehsil. The spontaneous ones are the ones that the population sets up on its own, without help from the authorities or NGOs. These camps do not have the food, education, health, water and sanitation and other services provided in the organized camps. Whilst the army is doing an admirable job of camp management of the organized camps, yet they are going to be leaving soon. The Commiserate for Afghan refuges (CAR) is going to take over in a couple of months. CAR is going to be under the district civil administration. Both these authorities have far fewer personnel than the army to deploy in the camps. Also these camps are going to swell because it is planned that smaller spontaneous camps should be merged with larger organized ones so that relief wok becomes more manageable. One of my deepest concerns after visiting is the vulnerability of the displaced women and girls in the camps. All social structures have broken down in the camps because of displacement, placing the population to increased risk of exploitation. This is especially true of the women in these camps."
  • Aaron and Anita were able to catch Maria Luisa Sanchez-Fuentes of Mexico for an early bird breakfast back in October during her week of intensive coursework for the Executive MPA. She is reveling in the opportunity and spoke animatedly about the chemistry of the cohort and the amount she is learning. She’ll next be back in Seattle for the weekend of December 10-11. Luisa is facing a serious restructuring year at GIRE, with the near certainty of staff cuts on the horizon due to dried-up streams of funding. Letting staff go is never easy, and given the family-like atmosphere at GIRE, I get the impression she’s really dreading it. Her son is eager to study in Seattle, but for the time being Luisa and her recently separated husband have encouraged him to wait a year or two, and consider coming here after he’s finished high school. She’s recently taken up kickboxing.
  • Femi Kayode of Nigeria but still living for the time being in Namibia is back on his feet and up to his usual tricks: "I have been so busy since Pakistan and my long bout of malaria. See, I am working on a series here and while the pay is consistent, the work is tough and the deadlines are tight. I should be through with it by the end of next month. How is the PLP? I am going for a dinner today to honor a lady from Seattle who is the cultural envoy at the US embassy. So I am thinking I might be able to swap stories with her." He and Nekka are expecting their second child in the near future, so Simi will soon be a big brother.
  • I recently heard from Bari Abdulla, who is working hard to revitalize the Maldives after the devastating tsunami. He writes, "Dear Anita, I have been involved in Tsunami Recovery work. I have able to play a leadership role in recovery efforts. During the last 6 months I have been working with very high-level delegations including meeting with Bill Clinton and Eric his Deputy recently. If you like I can send you some photos." I have requested photos, so will send around when Bari emails them after he returns mid December from a three-week leave of absence.
  • Anita just recently had a visit to my office from PLP friend Frank Ordway, who had news of Edith Mukisa, and her Naguru Teenage Health and Info Center in Kampala. Edith has officially handed over the reigns at Naguru, and has her sights set on a position outside of Uganda, in Namibia. Her plan is to relocate with her son when the necessary work visa is provided. Right now it’s a bit of a waiting game. Vivien Tsu of PATH was also recently visiting Edith in Uganda, and forwarded this message, along with the photo I’ve attached to this email: "Dear Anita, I had a great visit at Edith's Naguru Teenage Health and Info Center. It is so impressive what they are accomplishing, with one room in the health center, several tents, a small office, and the VCT center in an old container (I think)." Edith got some great press recently in the Los Angeles Times, speaking out against the growing emphasis on abstinence and backlash against condom use in Uganda and the disastrous effect this could have on the national HIV rate.
  • The PLP’s Post Program is supporting Moawia Hummeida of the Sudan to attend the JHPIEGO (http://www.jhpiego.org/) Cervical Cancer Prevention Program’s global meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. Moawia is traveling to Thailand this week, and was identified by JHPIEGO for his work treating cervical cancer in Sudan as they build a global network of like-minded professionals. I look forward on getting a full report from Moawia upon his return, which I shall share with the PLP staff.
  • Also in the Sudan, Kawther Badri recently submitted her final report outlining the work of her Small Grant Proposal. Kawther spearheaded a national conference last May on the Millennium Development Goals in Sudan, in particular the role of government, national partners, and donor community. Steve Gloyd attended as the "overall advisor and commenter" and the final report is an impressive encapsulation of the session and subsequent action items, which I am happy to share with those interested.