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Trees near the tennis courts.

Swapnil Mishra

Janjgir, Chhattisgarh, India

Major in Economics, Minors in Business & Management and International Relations

Swapnil worked for Saha Global to bring a clean water system to a village in Ghana.

Swapnil Mishra worked in Ghana to bring a clean water system to a local village.

Describe your experience.

I traveled to Ghana, where I volunteered as a water field representative for Saha Global. I worked with three others from the U.S. and Brazil to bring clean water to the rural community of Kpingyili.

After our business model was approved by the chief and elders of the village, we worked with three community-appointed women to build a water treatment center. We then trained the women to use alum and chlorine to treat contaminated water from their local community sources to make it safe to drink.

How did Knox prepare for this opportunity?

The relevant coursework from the environmental studies department encouraged me to pursue a career in international development. I worked with Economics Professor Steve Cohn on a project for my Environmental & Natural Resource Economics class called "Economic Analyses of the Costs of Greenhouse Abatement Options for Developing Nations." Working on this project, with the expertise of my professor, I was exposed to the notion of how each meaningful monetary contribution can come in handy when it comes to improving the lives of people in the developing world.

What are some main takeaways from your experience?

This program reinforced my belief in the quote, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach him how to fish, he eats for a lifetime." By transfiguring the project into a sustainable business enterprise, which is now owned and operated entirely by the community-­appointed women entrepreneurs, not only does the community get to drink clean water, but the women are able to keep the business running by regularly selling the water for a nominal fee to customers.

How did Knox make this opportunity possible?

My international economics professor gave me encouragement and guidance to participate in the program and also wrote recommendation letters to Saha Global as well as for the funding applications. I was also awarded Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies funding that covered the cost of travel in conjunction with Richter Memorial Funding.

Pictured above, Mishra with this team in Ghana.

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Printed on Saturday, June 22, 2024