Mika Weissbuch ’11: Podcasts for Peace
During her senior year, Mika Weissbuch ’11 was a recipient of the Davis Projects for Peace grant for $10,000. Her goal was to return to Managua, Nicaragua, where she studied abroad, with the equipment and funding to empower youth through digital storytelling. From the first seed of an idea, when Weissbuch was studying abroad, to decisions about how to use the funding within the community, much of the beauty of the project was that it was completely collaborative. The children, like Ana Alondra, whose parents left to find work in America when she was very young, had many stories to tell. “Dear father, mother and little sister,” Ana Alondra begins her digital reflection entitled ‘Letter to my Family,’ “I remember when dad would go to work and return with gifts for us. I was happy to receive the gifts. I remember when my mom would go shopping she would take my brother and me with her. These are the only memories I have before you left.” Sometimes however, Weissbuch points out, empowering the youth in the community had some seemingly simpler first steps. “It didn’t just happen through the digital storytelling process, it happened through a number of different activities and interactions—like making friends, building confidence and learning to be proud of what they accomplished.” You can listen to Ana Alondra’s story and others on the Podcasts for Peace (Podcasts para la Paz) website.
—By Zanna K. McKay ’13
December 1, 2012