The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Davis Projects for Peace

Care about peace? Want to do something meaningful next summer? Would $10,000 help you make that happen?

Since 2007, Davis Projects for Peace has invited undergraduate students (including current seniors) to design grassroots projects that they will implement during summer break. The projects judged to be the most promising and do-able will be funded at $10,000 each. The objective is to encourage and support motivated students to create and tryout their own ideas for building peace.

Watch a video about the Davis Projects for Peace, featuring one the 2009 recipients, Kirsten Mandala (below) and check out more videos!

Davis Projects for Peace invites students to design grassroots projects for the summer - anywhere in the world - which promote peace and address the root causes of conflict among parties. The aim is to encourage student initiative, innovation and entrepreneurship focusing on conflict prevention, resolution or reconciliation.

Applicants are encouraged to use their creativity to design projects and employ innovative techniques for engaging project participants in ways that focus on conflict resolution, reconciliation, building understanding and breaking down barriers which cause conflict, and finding solutions for resolving conflict and maintaining peace.

The overall program is intended to be worldwide in scope and impact, but specific projects may be undertaken anywhere, including in the United States. Groups of students from the same campus, as well as individual students, may submit proposals.

Before You Begin Your Application

Reed is proud to participate in the Davis Projects for Peace by nominating at least one student proposal to the Davis Foundation.

Review the Davis Projects for Peace webpage:

Online Application Submission

Visit our Davis application details webpage.

Online submission deadline:

  • Friday, January 16, 2019 at Noon

Questions? Contact

2019 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

HamroPathshala: Shaping future for Peace by Pratik Kafle '22

Situated in the rural hilly region of mid-western Nepal, Kalikot is one of the poorest districts of Nepal, with a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.374. Kalikot was severely affected by Nepal’s civil war (1996-2006); the trauma of this conflict remains deeply instilled in its people. A number of factors, including poverty, limited mobility, the destruction of schools, and the enrollment of youth in the military, have prevented children in Kalikot from attending school and have normalized child labor. Most students in Kalikot only have access to school textbooks, and on an inconsistent basis; computers and internet services are, for the most part, completely inaccessible to students. The lack of educational resources in Kalikot has resulted in poor quality of education in the district. Lacking skills and work opportunities, Kalikot youth have flocked to gulf countries, while the plethora of valuable natural resources available in the region has been neglected. Social stigma and malpractices are rampant in Kalikot; untouchability is common, as are superstitious beliefs about women such as Chhaupadi, which dictates that menstruating women and girls should be banished from the home for being “impure”. This traditional custom has taken the lives of many innocent women. In addition, recent political turmoil in Nepal has resulted in castebased violence in several places in the country, especially in rural regions like Kalikot, where populations are less educated. For these reasons, accessibility to education in Kalikot is crucial; education has the potential to improve the socio-economic condition of the community and to ensure sustainable peace and harmony among the Nepali people. I therefore plan to focus my project on improving the quality of education in Kalikot by establishing the first student-led library and IT hub in the district. This project will give young people in Kalikot new opportunities to explore their passions and help them to develop valuable leadership skills.

2018 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

Time to Talk by Shisham Adhikari '21

Recently, Nepal has faced two massive disasters, an earthquake in 2015 and a flood in 2017. After the immediate impact of such disasters, relief is focused just on physical survival, however mental trauma should also be a major health concern for people who have survived. In a country like Nepal where mental health in general is a taboo, no efforts have been made to know about and address that post-disaster mental trauma and help empower all those who have suffered from them, including and especially women and children. Along with enduring the same trauma as the rest of the population, women and children are also targets of specific forms of traumas, including nutrition problems, menstrual taboos, sexual violence and social stigma like witchcraft due to which they feel blamed and responsible for having brought on the mental disorder. In communities where women and children are already marginalized, they have special needs and require different forms of physical, social, mental and emotional support to endure the trauma. However, there is not any individual or organizational effort to address the mental trauma, so through my project Time to Talk, I want to take initiative to address mental health-related issues, especially among women and children. In an effort to achieve this, I will conduct counseling workshops and talk-groups in affected areas, and my main aim would be to reach as many people (especially women and children) as possible to transform their attitudes towards mental health, especially during and post-disaster. 

2017 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

‘Bhukampa-rakshya’: Bridging the tremor information gap by Shulav Neupane '20

Initially, Shulav's project set out to establish an earthquake information center in Khotang, a rural district in Nepal. But, after arriving, he shifted to focus more broadly on education instead. Shulav and his team established a library and a series of computer labs in the district. The goal was still similar: making information readily available to ensure that people are well-equipped to deal with issues in the future. Shulav believes education is the key to peace because it fosters multicultural understanding, a lack of which is often the cause for conflict, and on a more primary level helps people understand why it is important to take steps towards achieving peace.  Read more via the Davis Foundation's projects list.

2016 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

Help Impactful Voices: Changing Mindsets Surrounding HIV Initiatives Driven by Youth by Meaza Abate '18

Over 750,000 people live with HIV in Ethiopia with an average of 25,000 deaths annually. This epidemic has orphaned over half a million children. In Meaza's opinion, the biggest failure is not the prevalence of HIV, rather it is the failure to integrate these individuals into society. Meaza's project will consolidate and tailor existing HIV oriented projects, such as those from the United Nations and African AIDS Initiative International (AAII), for reception by Ethiopian youth with attention to cultural sensitivity towards HIV. Meaza will divide her efforts in two: 1) Identify, train, encourage, and mobilize youth leaders and 2) Establish a lasting policy-connected platform for change. Meaza will partner with African AIDS Initiatives International (AAII), a nonprofit based in Addis Ababa University that works with youth to create HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and UNAIDS, the section of the United Nations that works with HIV/AIDS. Read more via the Davis Foundation's projects list, and Reed's blog.

2015 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

A step toward hope: self-reliance and education by Celebrity Nyikadzino ‘17

Celebrity seeks to relieve the consequences of extreme poverty in Chivhu, Zimbabwe. Establishing a sewing club, teaching and mentoring villagers on sewing skills, money and small business basics, and helping them sell their products, thus creating employment in a village devoid of any industries, will achieve this. The sewing machines, left under the supervision of the local school, will allow participants to continue making products to sell or barter with farmers for food. The ultimate aim is to provide avenues for subsistence income to support families and tuition to help return the children to school. Read more via the Davis Foundation's 2015 project list, Reed's blog, and the Center for Life Beyond Reed's blog.

2014 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

FGA Suleja Digital Academic Project by Emmanuel Enemchukwu ‘16 and Zhe Li ‘16
Emmanuel and Zhe define peace, with regards to the secondary school students, as the presence of social stability and an infrastructural platform for students to optimize their academic and growth potentials. Their project aims to provide supplementary academic resources through digital devices for a target-group of students. Ultimately, their goal is to promote peace by fostering learning and circumventing challenges, as an improved educational outcome will unquestionably lay the foundation for a stronger citizenry and a stable and peaceful governing body. Read more via the Davis Foundation's 2014 projects list and the Center for Life Beyond Reed's blog.

2013 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

A Peaceful Mind; A Brighter Future by Desmond Rgwaringesu '14
Desmond aims to establish a self-sustaining chicken farm at Gokomere High School in Zimbabwe which will generate funding for tuition, bicycles, meal plans and incentives for students who show remarkable academic improvement. This will help to narrow the academic achievement gap that currently exists between day scholars (usually first-generation students from poor rural backgrounds) and boarders (students from wealthier urban backgrounds). Reed more via the Davis Foundation's 2013 projects list.

2012 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

Peace Through Health Care by Gabe Butterfield '12 and Michael Gonzales '12
The objective of this project is to provide critical and region-specific information regarding levels of antibiotic resistance to doctors at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua) in Managua. Locally sourced antibiotics will be tested to determine which drugs are effective versus counterfeit, thus allowing for more effective healthcare for children and adults. Reed more via the Davis Foundation's 2012 projects list.

2011 Davis Projects for Peace Award

In an effort to empower students and fight information-poverty, Suraj Pant '11 (Economics) established a computer lab at JanaKalyan Madhyamik Vidyalaya, the only high school in the remote Hungi Village Development Committee (VDC) in Western Nepal. Reed more via the Davis Foundation's 2011 projects list.

2010 Davis Projects for Peace Award

Erin Wilkus '10 built and maintained a language Resource Center in partnership with Tshulu Trust in a Venda community of South Africa. By overseeing construction of the center and dedicating two months' residency to developing a local support network, she hoped to provide the Venda community of HaMakuya with the tools needed to learn English, an invaluable skill which will open doors to education, employment, and socioeconomic mobility. Read more about Erin's experience on the Rosetta Stone blog. Reed more via the Davis Foundation's 2010 projects list.

2009 Reed Davis Projects for Peace Award

In 2009, the Davis Projects for Peace initiative awarded Reed students Kirsten Mandala and Skye Macdonald $10,000 to teach peaceful conflict resolution to traumatized orphans in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. Read Kirsten's account of their preparations and experience in Rwanda. Reed more via the Davis Foundation's 2009 projects list.

Travel Restrictions

Davis Projects for Peace student grant awards are tentative until travel permission has been received from the Reed College coordinators of such awards via completion of an award agreement form that outlines conditions of acceptance. Students who do not receive permission to travel will not be allowed to use such funds for their proposed project; however, accommodations for an alternate location may be made at the discretion of the coordinators of the awards (SEEDS, and college relations personnel in consultation with the President's Office). Travel restrictions usually follow State Department travel warning criteria. If you suspect that your proposed location of study may present safety or security risks, please consult the U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings Section.  If a project proposal includes travel to locations that may present safety or security risks, especially as identified by the State Department travel warning criteria, special note must be made in the proposal, and additional information may be requested before permission is determined. 

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