Ashley Jowell, '17, and Sharon Wulfovich, '17
Research rooted in public service
The sun was setting upon Arusha, Tanzania, as we joined together for an evening discussion. We, along with our translator, Jenipher, and project manager, Sianga, enjoyed our home-cooked meal in celebration of completing our 16th interview. Our faces were glowing as we sipped our tea, finished our last bites of mchicha, and discussed the data we collected as well as its potential impact.
The stories Maasai women shared had been informative, alarming, and inspiring as they described the impact that moving to Arusha from their village had on their lives.
How, we discussed, might we use this research to benefit the women facing such hardships upon migrating? This was a conversation we would continue to grapple with throughout our entire project and on-campus conversations.
Our research, designed in collaboration with The Future Warriors Project, a Maasai-run NGO created by Sianga, involved interviewing female Maasai migrants who had moved to Arusha. While both researchers were looking at the impact of this journey on their health, Sharon's project focused on health decision making behavior and Ashley's focused on resilience and identity.
As the four of us bounced ideas, we felt honored to conduct research that strove to benefit the community we were so privileged to serve.