Houghton College senior Aminata-Martha Kanu ’14 recently participated in writing two grant proposals that generated $1 million dollars during an internship with World Hope International (WHI).

One grant was provided by USAID and the other by UNICEF, each totaling $500 thousand.

The USAID grant was awarded to help fund WHI in partnership with Pennsylvania State University’s Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program. The project, which targets women farmers in Sierra Leone and Mozambique, entails scaling up access to affordable greenhouses by developing an independent for-profit greenhouse business in each country. Kanu is originally from Sierra Leone and was able to provide information on the farming systems—especially with regard to women farmers. “I helped with research, editing and filling out paperwork for the grant to be sent to USAID,” explained Kanu.

Doug Gaerte, chair for the department of communications at Houghton, commented, “Aminata is a serious student with a passion to improve the lives of others. She has tremendous potential and epitomizes the Houghton ideal of the scholar-servant.

The second grant, provided by UNICEF, will help fund WHI’s goal to integrate health care services for hard-to-reach areas and marginalized and vulnerable children and women through trained and supervised community health workers. Kanu assisted with corrections to the grant proposal and ensured that sources were cited properly.

“Internships such as this provide valuable opportunities to take classroom learning and apply their knowledge in real-world contexts,” noted Gaerte.

Kanu is currently majoring in international development and communication and remarked on her experience during the internship: “Houghton has helped to create all these opportunities for me, and knowing that my little contribution helps change lives and restore hope [and] dignity in the lives of individuals and communities is fulfilling.”