Anonymous donor offers peace-making scholarship

Led by a vision for Goshen students to be involved in peace-making organizations, an anonymous donor has offered a scholarship for four students to study and travel abroad.

Two weeks ago, Tamara Shantz, assistant campus pastor, received an e-mail from a donor stating they would grant two students $1,000 each to participate in a Witness for Peace delegation in 2011. The following week Shantz received another email that the donor would also grant $1,000 to two students participating in a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation throughout 2011.

The donor’s requirement for the four student recipients is that they share their experience with the public when they return by holding talks in their home congregations, initiating dialogue on campus, and writing a perspective for The Record. The students are also expected to maintain publicity as they fund-raise for their expenses beyond the $1,000 scholarship.

Witness for Peace (WFP) is a nationwide organization that supports justice and fair trade in Latin America and the Caribbean. WFP formed in 1983 when U.S. citizens living in Nicaragua were present to document the consequences of President Reagan’s administration in the Contra War. The organization sends delegations of 10 to 20 people to other countries to experience the affect the United States has on economy and policy. Delegations in 2011 will travel to Colombia, Mexico and Nicaragua.

Becca Yoder, a second-year, has participated in both a 2008 and 2010 Witness for Peace delegation. She traveled to Nicaragua for two weeks in each delegation, learning about the country’s economics and trade policies.

“There is a big difference between studying issues from afar, and studying them first-hand through relationships and real experiences. It makes human issues more powerful and gives you a human base to work from,” said Yoder.

Christian Peacemaker Team (CPT) is an international organization that sends peace teams to areas in conflict. CPT delegations seek to lower violence rates through nonviolent direct action and a continued visible presence. This summer, CPT delegations will travel to Colombia, Israel/Palestine, and Ontario.

Four students, including one spot for a graduating student, will be selected to receive the scholarship. Though the CPT donation will run every year, the WFP donation is currently offered only this year. The scholarship will be valid to any delegation that runs through the year 2011.

The deadline for applying to the scholarship is tomorrow, Friday, April 13. For an application, contact Tamara Shantz at tamaras@goshen.edu. For more information about the organizations, visit www.cpt.org, or www.witnessforpeace.org.

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Written by Becca Kraybill

Becca Kraybill is the fall Editor-in-Chief of The Record. She is a fourth-year English Writing major and enjoys waving to babies in the grocery store.

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