Zimbabwe ’03

As part of Fordham’s International Peace and Development Travel Scholarship Program, two Fordham IPED students, Mr. Daniel Durkin and Mr. Armand Tristan Suratos, spent the Spring and Summer of 2003 in Zimbabwe interning with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS is the official relief and development agency for the US Catholic community.

Tristan , a citizen of the Philippines, earned his A.B. from the Ateneo de Manila University where he majored in Social Science.  Prior to his enrollment at Fordham, Tristan served as a Jesuit Volunteer in the Philippines where he was active in coordinating rural development projects in Mindanao and Negros Occidental.  While at Fordham, Tristan focused his studies on development issues and project management.

While in Zimbabwe, Tristan helped plan and implement two important workshops for HIV/AIDS partners of Catholic Relief Services.  One workshop dealt with Agriculture and Food Security while the other dealt with helping HIV/AIDS groups advocate for their pressing needs.  An extremely high proportion of the Zimbabwe population is estimated to suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Daniel, a citizen of the United States, received his B.A. from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  He majored in Political Science and History.  After graduation and prior to his studies at Fordham, Daniel served as a Jesuit Volunteer in Nepal.  While in Nepal, Daniel assisted in the development of a local primary school in a remote rural village.

While in Harare, Daniel spent a lot of his time working with Catholic Relief Services’ Emergency Unit and dealing with the Food Crisis in Zimbabwe.  He also assisted in the development of a concept paper for Catholic Relief Services’s HIV/AIDS Unit in Zimbabwe.

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.