Zimbabwe ’02

(Matopos, Zimbabwe)

As part of Fordham’s International Peace and Development Travel Scholarship Program, two Fordham IPED students, Mr. Greg Bastian and Fr. Juan Molina, OSST, are spending the Spring and Summer of 2002 in Zimbabwe interning with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS is the official relief and development agency for the US Catholic community.

Greg , a citizen of the United States, earned his B.A. from St. John’s University, Minnesota.  Prior to his enrollment at Fordham, Greg worked as an AmeriCorp Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) with ACCION New Mexico.  ACCION New Mexico is a non-profit micro credit organization.  While at Fordham Greg was a recipient of a Language Immersion Study Award that allowed him to spend two months last summer studying Spanish in Bolivia. Upon graduation he hopes to work as a project manager with a non-profit international relief and development organization.

(Lukosi River, Zimbabwe, drought of 2002)

While in southern Africa, Greg has been heavily involved with the emergency efforts of Catholic Relief Services to provide famine relief in Zimbabwe.  Due to poor rains, as well as the difficult political and economic situation in Zimbabwe, the World Food Organization expects that by November 2002 up to six million people in Zimbabwe will be without adequate food supplies.  Greg has been involved in visiting various hospitals and clinics in very remote areas of the country that could serve as food distribution stations for the most vulnerable.

Juan , a citizen of El Salvador, received his theological training at the Washington Theological Union.  Prior to his studies at Fordham, Juan was heavily involved in church related outreach to the hispanic community in various parts of the United States.  He was also active with various church groups concerned with issues of international social justice. Upon the completion of his MA at Fordham, Juan will continue his studies here at Fordham towards the Ph.D. in Economics.

While in Harare, Juan has been principally assisting the Catholic Alliance for Justice and Peace in Southern Africa.  This work has entailed trips to Angola and Lesotho to conduct training sessions for those countries’ Catholic Commissions for Justice and Peace.  Juan has also assisted in the drafting of a position paper to be presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

(The Great Zimbabwe, ruins circa 1200)

The International Peace and Development (IPD) Travel Scholarship Program provides IPED students with a valuable work experience that they frequently need in order to pursue careers with relief and development organizations. The IPD Travel Scholarship Program also promotes Fordham’s Jesuit tradition. Dealing with issues of justice as well as with people in need goes hand in hand with Fordham’s mission as New York City’s Jesuit University.

(From left to right: Mr. Greg Bastian, IPED Intern; Prof. Henry Schwalbenberg, Fordham; Fr. Juan Molina, OSST, Jesuit Father Freddie, Harare Cathedral)