Kirsten Mandala, Political Science, Class of 2011

Mandala is currently working as an intern with the Quaker United Nations, a non-profit that supports peace and dialogue at the United Nations. During her time at Reed, Kirsten Mandala served as a SEEDS Orientation Odyssey leader, a SEEDS intern and received, in partnership with fellow student Skye McDonald, a grant for $10,000 from the Davis Projects for Peace Initiative to teach peaceful conflict resolution to traumatized orphans and to establish a community lending library in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. It is estimated that over one million orphans live in Rwanda due to the combined effects of HIV/AIDS and genocide. The goal of their project was to promote understanding and tolerance in youth who have been burdened by the loss of a parent and who live in a region with a powerful history of ethnic hatred. By instilling cooperative skills in the children, and helping to construct a library, they worked to build a sense of hope for a better future. Since that summer, Mandala has been back to work on the lending library and continues her connection with the region. She welcomes contact from any Reedie interested in interning in the area.

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