By Mariel Natanawan When I first came to Northeastern University, like many other students, I was inspired by the idea of making a difference. I […]
Nathan Cutler is second year student in International Affairs and Environmental Studies with a minor in Latin America Studies. Currently he is doing an international Co-op in Bolivia, Cochabamba in Fundación Pro Hábitat, an NGO which strives to improve the wellbeing of impoverished people by housing, legal paperwork and legal advocacy. However, his social work started at LIFT-Boston, a social advocacy organization that works to empower people lacking economic opportunities. Since the beginning Nathan was interested in empowering immigrants and less fortune people. Although he is currently in Bolivia he had some time to talk with me about his magnificent work in Cochabamba.
The past two months have flown by here. I originally planned to come here to independently research Kenya’s microfinance landscape—seeking to understand how Kenyans, both in rural areas and in the slums of Nairobi, use rotating savings and credits associations (ROSCAs) and accumulating savings and credit associations (ASCAs) to manage their finances— rather than the MFIs in the country. But then while co-oping in China and thinking about my experiences at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, I decided I wanted to learn more about approaches to income development beyond increasing access to financial resources.
This past spring semester, I had the great fortune to be on co-op in Cape Town, South Africa working for TSiBA Education at the Ignition Centre. TSiBA Education is a tuition-free higher education provider that focuses on building future business leaders from South Africa’s pool of talented but poor and disadvantaged young people.
“Everyone is hard-working, unbelievably friendly, dedicated and united for a greater purpose — ending global health inequality. When something so meaningful is a common factor in an environment, it’s electrifying. Contagious. Invigorating. Really makes waking up every morning a pleasure rather than a chore,” said Amanda Prifti, a senior at Northeastern finishing her final co-op at Partners in Health.
For students seeking co-operative education opportunities in the social enterprise space, just across the river an organization called Root Cause, a leading research and consulting […]