• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 

The Malnutrition Project - Connect for Growth

My name is Divya, and I’m a rising junior at Brown University studying Health and Human Biology, with a focus on Global Health. I am originally from India (Baroda, Gujarat), and I’ve grabbed each opportunity I’ve had to go back. Two summers ago, I spent some time in the rural village of Mota Fofalia in the village school and health clinic, and absolutely fell in love with the people I met, the incredible work being done to increase community development, and the rapport between that work and the members of the community. I left that summer committed to continue my work with them and to return to give back to my home community.  

This summer, I’m going back to the villages outside the city of Baroda to spend time listening to as many stories from members of the community as I can, and through that, I hope to learn how change sparks from within the community itself. With the support of the Shakti Krupa Charitable Trust NGO in Mota Fofalia and the CV Starr Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship at Brown, I will study the social, economic, and cultural causes of child and maternal malnutrition. I will work to develop a strong and sustainable connection between community members and the health clinic, and learn how we can foster stronger relationships among the women of the community to discuss and improve issues of malnutrition as a local solution to this vast problem. I believe that this will be an incredibly empowering experience, both for myself as well as the local community.

Personal Statement 

A consortium of life experiences have fostered my passion for global health equality, and I strive to improve the health of a developing community very close to my heart. When I was seven, my family relocated to the United States from India. Since high school, I have been searching for ways to effectively contribute to global health with my knowledge and experiences. Health is so closely tied to social development, and in countries such as India, there is a vast need for both in order to improve health equality. Through my past experiences, I have learned that true change occurs when one takes the initiative to create bonds within a community. 

With greater awareness of the importance and requirements of proper nutrition, malnutrition and its negative implications on kids' cognitive and physical development can be prevented.