Luka Klimaviciute, a University of Richmond senior majoring in international studies, has been awarded a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant, which will benefit refugees in her home country of Lithuania.
Her self-designed project was one of 120 selected among all undergraduates invited to apply from American colleges and universities that partner with the Davis United World College Scholars Program. She is the 11th UR student to win a Projects for Peace award.
Klimaviciute’s project will be implemented this summer as Lithuania begins accepting more than 1,100 asylum seekers primarily from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of her project is to enhance refugee integration through a three-step process, including language acquisition, endorsement of refugees’ cultural values and personal contact along with a community potluck on World Refugee Day June 20.
Klimaviciute has a deep connection to this project, as it combines her research from Richmond classes and study abroad experiences with current events affecting her home country and other countries around the world.
“As a UR student, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Chile, Jordan and Nepal, where I interviewed refugee families and began to understand migration on a global scale,” Klimaviciute said. “The Davis Project for Peace is my chance to promote refugee integration in Lithuania.”
Projects for Peace, the vision of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, is a competition that funds grass-roots level projects developed and implemented by U.S. college students. These projects seek to promote peace and understanding in communities around the world.
"Competition is keen and we congratulate those students whose projects have been selected for funding in 2016," said Philip O. Geier, executive director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program that administers Projects for Peace. "We are pleased to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to improving the prospects for peace in the world."
For more information on Projects for Peace, see www.davisprojectsforpeace.org.
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