BRANTINGHAM — South Lewis alumna Alexandra L. Doney intends to travel to the Oyam district of Uganda with the Syracuse University chapter of Nourish International on May 25.
“We're a group of college students, and we raise money all year to support projects, and we go into various countries to educate,” Ms. Doney. “It can be in any sector — poverty, women's rights, crime.”
The students will be in Uganda for nearly seven weeks and will return on July 10.
“We're going to teach women about sexual and reproductive health so hopefully there's less unplanned pregnancies. We'd like to see a decrease in STDs through the use of condoms, let them know medications that are available and we'll talk about abstinence,” said Ms. Doney, daughter of Robert V. and Michelle Doney.
According to the United Nations AIDs program's Joint Epidemiological fact sheet, 35 percent of Ugandans live below the poverty line and 8 percent are infected with AIDs. The group also will build a latrine, raise money toward a library fund and educate women on business practices.
While she is there, Ms. Doney hopes to take as much from the experience as the Ugandan women will gain from her group.
“I'm hoping to learn about a culture I've never had the privilege to know,” she said. “In a different continent, I'm going to be the one who's different. I want to know that after my six weeks are up, I made a difference in this community.”
The Syracuse sophomore will make the trip with 15 classmates, 13 of whom are women. The Brantingham native said that as a student on a scholarship to “one of the best universities in America,” and with a loving family, she felt it was her duty to reach out to women who may not understand the opportunities American women have.
The trip costs about $1,600, so Ms. Doney is asking family and friends to support her.
A political science, policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement major, she recently set up a Go Fund Me account. She also asked family and friends to give her money for the trip instead of gifts for her birthday, which was Monday.
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/bdaywanderlust.