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Posted by BEN BEAUMONT - The blogosphere has allowed us to keep updated on the happenings of the Clinton School students as they travel throughout the world for their International Public Service Projects. Here’s some photos from some of the students:
Lukman Arsalan met President Clinton for the second time. Lukman is working with the Clinton Global Initiative in New York.
Jay Thompson recently traveled to the Taj Mahal. Thompson is working to improve college preparation programs at the Loreto Day School in Calcutta.
Lindsey Clark took Flat Stabley to Malawi’s Senga Bay. Clark is working to improve retention in the Clinton Foundation’s HIV/AIDS initiative drug treatment program there.
Molly Brunkow poses with students from the Nabin School in Bhaktapur, Nepal, where she is working to improve educational quality.
Emily English poses with Flat Stella on a trip to Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. Emily is analyzing the work of an agriculural research station there.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Clinton School student James Mitchell recently emailed us about his time in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he is working with USAID to implement a program to bring education instructional support to rural communities there.
“The idea of the project is to provide basic educational instruction to the most isolated and under-served kids through radio broadcasts (it’s a lot like Sesame Street in Swahili),” Mitchell says. “So kids who cannot attend public school for whatever reason can attend a RISE club for free and learn through the radio broadcasts. I’m helping to draw up a report of the student progress over the past year and then determining if they project has been effective.”
Mitchell, who attempted to quickly learn some Swahili before leaving the states, says the locals enjoy his attempts to speak their language.
“Tanzanians are incredibly friendly people and seem to think my attempts at Swahili are hilarious,” Mitchell says.
Overall, Mitchell says he’s enjoying life in Tanzania. He reports that the food is good and the work he’s doing is rewarding.
“The people I work with are ridiculously talented,” he says. “I get the chance to meet lots of peace corps volunteers, USAID staff, State Department people, and locals here at my office. I’m feeling like a kid in a candy shop.”
Mitchell also sent along this photo of downtown Dar es Salaam:
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Movies in the Park, the popular outdoor film series at the Riverfest Amphitheater will announce its 2009 schedule at a fundraiser at the Clinton School on August 7 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. More than 10,000 people have attended the 2008 series which continues this Wednesday with James Bond thriller Casino Royale.
A $25 contribution at the door is suggested to attend the fundraiser. If you can’t attend and would like to help, make checks payable to Downtown LR Partnership/Movies in the Park and mail to: P.O Box 1937, Little Rock 72203.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift kicked off the Clinton School’s fall distinguished lecture series today. She discussed her new book, “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics.” Click here for more.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – Several local media outlets yesterday and today covered the Clinton School’s new study on after-school programs in Arkansas. Here’s a rundown of items on the Web:
Arkansas News Bureau: Report calls for more after-school programs
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscription required): Study: Kids say yes to after-school plan
KARK Channel 4 (video): More After-School Programs Needed?
Fox 16 News: After School Study Results In
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – A report on the demand for after school programs in Arkansas authored by three Clinton School students is making news today. Students Jose Guzzardi, Marquita Little and James Mitchell found that more than half of middle and high school students in Arkansas are unsupervised after school on a daily basis. The students also offer reccomendations to the Governor’s Task Force on After School and Summer Programs on policy related to state after school efforts in the future. Click here for a story on the study from the Associated Press.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – NPR’s “All Things Considered” has an item this morning on the presidential candidates’ views of public service. Presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama has called for expansion of the military and Peace Corps, while Republican John McCain has said that American leaders should have issued a greater call to public service after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Both candidates boast extensive backgrounds in public service — McCain as a Vietnam War veteran and former POW and Obama as a community organizer in Chicago.
While the NPR story lays out the differences in the candidates’ philosophies toward service, we at the Clinton School love to see both of them making serivce a focus of their campaigns. As the first graduate school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service Degree, we believe in the importance of educating the next generation of public servants. Click here for the NPR story.
Posted by BEN BEAUMONT – This fall we will welcome a truly remarkable woman to the Clinton School. Beatrice Biira, whose rise from poverty and illiteracy in Uganda inspired the bestselling children’s book “Beatrice’s Goat,” will be one of 30 new students starting the Master of Public Service Degree program this fall. Birra’s family received the gift of a goat from the gobal nonprofit Heifer International and used this new source of income to put their daughter through school. Her story is artfully told in today’s New York Times by columnist Nicholas Kristof. Read it here. Below is an excerpt.
Beatrice was such an outstanding student that she won a scholarship, not only to Uganda’s best girls’ high school, but also to a prep school in Massachusetts and then to Connecticut College. A group of 20 donors to Heifer International — coordinated by a retired staff member named Rosalee Sinn, who fell in love with Beatrice when she saw her at age 10 — financed the girl’s living expenses.
A few years ago, Beatrice spoke at a Heifer event attended by Jeffrey Sachs, the economist. Mr. Sachs was impressed and devised what he jokingly called the “Beatrice Theorem” of development economics: small inputs can lead to large outcomes.
Granted, foreign assistance doesn’t always work and is much harder than it looks. “I won’t lie to you. Corruption is high in Uganda,” Beatrice acknowledges.
A crooked local official might have distributed the goats by demanding that girls sleep with him in exchange. Or Beatrice’s goat might have died or been stolen. Or unpasteurized milk might have sickened or killed Beatrice.
In short, millions of things could go wrong. But when there’s a good model in place, they often go right. That’s why villagers in western Uganda recently held a special Mass and a feast to celebrate the first local person to earn a college degree in America.
Moreover, Africa will soon have a new asset: a well-trained professional to improve governance. Beatrice plans to earn a master’s degree at the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas and then return to Africa to work for an aid group.