GANDHI team members traveling with Duke this summer

This summer, three GANDHI student team members are traveling with Duke to complete GANDHI-related project work or engage in new projects and areas of interest.

Anna Martin, Master’s in Public Policy student in the Sanford School of Public Policy, will be in Durban, South Africa, this summer as a DukeEngage site coordinator. Anna and her team will be partnering with non-governmental organizations and schools to support children/youth services, community development and outreach, education, literacy, and social and environmental justice.

Rachel Shapiro, Class of 2019, was selected to take part in Duke Global Education’s Duke in Silicon Valley program this summer. Duke in Silicon Valley is designed to immerse students in what it’s like to found a commercial or social venture. Rachel and other students will tour research facilities and company headquarters throughout the Bay Area.

Chelsea Liu, Class of 2018, was awarded Independent (Indy) project funding from DukeEngage to complete a self-driven research project related to GANDHI’s work in Beijing, China, this summer. Chelsea will be working with Dr. Yongjun Wang, Dr. Liping Liu, Dr. Yilong Wang, and Dr. Zixiao Li at Beijing Tiantan Hospital as well as the Chinese Stroke Association to improve stroke patients’ education and recovery post-discharge.

GANDHI team members Anna Martin (left), Rachel Shapiro (center), and Chelsea Liu (right) are all traveling with Duke this summer.


Want to know more about Inclusive Education? Ask GANDHI graduate team member Anna Martin!

Recently, graduate team member Anna Martin, Master of Public Policy student in the Sanford School of Public Policy, was published on UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning’s learning portal. Anna collaborated with Joshua Josa, the Disability Inclusive Education Specialist at USAID, to write a piece titled, “5 things to know about Inclusive Education.” Inclusive Education (IE) is the, “education of children with a diverse range of learning needs and inclusion of them in all aspects of school life.”

To learn more, explore Anna’s blog post.

UCLA’s WORLD Policy Analysis Center assesses countries’ efforts to address rights of persons with disabilities

In honor of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the University of California, Los Angeles’ (UCLA) WORLD Policy Analysis Center at the Fielding School of Public Health produced a report to assess countries’ efforts to meet the promises of the CRPD. The report analyzed each country’s overall equity and non-discrimination, inclusive education, the right to work for adults with disabilities, and the right to health for persons with disabilities. The report found that while progress has occurred, there remains much to be done.

To learn more, including visualizations of the analysis, explore the WORLD Policy Analysis Center’s press release regarding the assessment.

GANDHI-CAH Group Meets with Dr. Rune Simeonsson from UNC

GANDHI-CAH had a lunch meeting with Rune Simeonsson from UNC to discuss the WHO ICF-CY (International Classification of Functioning – Children and Youth) last Thursday.

Dr. Simeonsson’s research explores the intersection of child development, special education and public health. He is also engaged in international work related to the development and education of children. He worked with the WHO in developing a version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth.

According to the World Health Organization,

“The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, known more commonly as ICF, is a classification of health and health-related domains. As the functioning and disability of an individual occurs in a context, ICF also includes a list of environmental factors.

ICF is the WHO framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels. ICF was officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Member States in the Fifty-fourth World Health Assembly on 22 May 2001(resolution WHA 54.21) as the international standard to describe and measure health and disability.”

The team discussed Dr. Simeonsson’s ideas for moving work forward with GANDHI-CAH’s work within the ICF framework.

Four students and a professor smiling in a group photo
Dr. Rune Simeonsson and members of the GANDHI-CAH team.

Undergraduate team member Mathama Bility and Amina Bility to screen Ebola documentary film at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo

Two girls, sisters, smile at the camera. One has her arm around the other.
Sisters Mathama and Amina Bility have partnered to work on their documentary film, “Ebola in Liberia.”

GANDHI undergraduate team member Mathama Bility, Public Policy Studies major, Class of 2018, and her sister Amina Bility, Public Policy Studies major, Class of 2017, have worked together to produce a documentary film called “Ebola in Liberia.” This film The film captures the stories of Ebola survivors, community leaders, and health workers as they reflect on the epidemic and its impacts on Liberia. The film argues that to effectively respond to a health crisis, one must understand cultural context. “Ebola in Liberia” will be screened at the American Public Health Association (APHA) 2016 Annual Meeting & Expo in Denver, Colorado, between October 29th and November 2nd, 2016.

Mathama and Amina were interviewed by Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy regarding their recent documentary work. In the interview, Mathama emphasizes the importance of understanding culture and engaging with communities to promote health. Mathama says,

“The central argument of the film is that to effectively respond to an epidemic or health crisis, you have to understand cultural context. There were a lot of mistakes that were initially made in engaging with the community because people weren’t thinking of how others would respond culturally.

Having Ebola goes against our natural instincts because if someone is sick, our natural instinct is to care for them. If someone says ‘don’t touch your sick daughter or husband,’ you’re not going to listen to them. Especially in African culture, where community solidarity is so important.”

Mathama is also minoring in Global health and pursuing a certificate in Documentary Studies.

The GANDHI team wishes the sisters best of luck at the upcoming APHA screening of “Ebola in Liberia.”

Graduate team member Anna Martin working with RESULTS to eliminate poverty

Anna Martin
GANDHI team member Anna Martin, Master’s of Public Policy candidate

Graduate team member, Anna Martin, Master’s in Public Policy candidate in Duke’s Sanford School, recently attended a global leadership training with RESULTS in Louisville, Kentucky. RESULTS is an organization that brings passionate advocates together to influence political decisions with an end goal of eliminating poverty worldwide. They focus their attention on health and education and have people that are working on domestic campaigns, as well as global.

When Anna came home to the US after completing her Peace Corps service in 2013 she began looking for ways to speak up about some of the things she saw in Kenya. Knowing that there were too many children not receiving the quality education they have a right to, and, seeing families endure one health crisis after the next, she knew she had to help share the stories of the people that she’d lived alongside for two years. RESULTS supports volunteer advocates through trainings which teach them to effectively advise policy makers.

Anna has stepped into a leadership role with the local Durham chapter of RESULTS and will begin hosting events with her classmate and co-leader, Himanshi Jain. She will keep us all posted of the meetings and events they schedule so that we can all join in and be effective agents of change for people all over the world while we are here at Duke.

Anna Martin and other members of the RESULTS team in a group photo. People are smiling in casual clothes outdoors with their arms around one another.
RESULTS partners gather for training in Louisville, Kentucky. GANDHI member Anna Martin is third from the right