Reciprocity takes shape in myriad ways

Komabu Pomeyie in wheelchair, holding her award, surrounded by seven people of varying genders, ethnicities, and ages
During December, we’re focusing on reciprocity — one of the core values shared by all SIT programs. Each week, we’re highlighting stories and posts from the past year about the ways students and staff give back through projects and research on their programs, and alumni who have taken reciprocity beyond their SIT experiences to make it part of their daily lives.
Funding accessible, inclusive schools
Komabu Pomeyie in wheelchair, holding her award, surrounded by seven people of varying genders, ethnicities, and ages
Komabu Pomeyie receiving an Advancing Fellows award earlier this year.

SIT Graduate Institute alumna Sefakor Komabu Pomeyie understands well the challenges faced by persons with disabilities around the world. After contracting polio as a child in Ghana, she remembers having to crawl on the ground to enter her school because there were no ramps for wheelchairs. “You can only survive through education,” says the disability rights advocate and educator. She completed an MA in sustainable development at SIT in 2013 and is working on a PhD at the University of Vermont. At the same time, Sekafor has launched a Go Fund Me campaign to support a group that advocates for schools that are inclusive, accessible, and welcoming for students of all abilities,

Bringing new perspectives to host communities
Teens and young students bake together
SIT students work with children in schools or community centers during rural stays.

Students on SIT’s Czech Republic: Arts & Social Change program give back through volunteer opportunities such as collecting clothes for a civic organization devoted to empowering marginalized Roma families. But the students are also valued for less-tangible contributions  through creative work, research, and intercultural discussions. This is especially the case on rural stays where students spend time with artists and civic leaders outside Prague. As one regional host reflects, SIT students help us “test our ability to reflect what we normally do not see. … As we acquaint them with our local environment, we also see our local community in a different perspective.”

Confronting post-genocide challenges in Rwanda

Sunday Justin oversees general operations for SIT’s Rwanda program Post-Genocide Restoration and Peacebuilding. He also works as a peacebuilder trained through SIT’s CONTACT summer peacebuilding program. Sunday has founded a nonprofit that empowers single mothers. Hear him talk about his work on our podcast OnSITe.

Studying side by side in Senegal

On Senegal: Global Security and Religious Pluralism, Senegalese university students are invited to take classes, participate in activities, complete assignments, collaborate on projects, present research, and travel on excursions alongside SIT students.

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About the Author: Kate Casa