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News & Blog > News > Meet IDS Scholarship Students > Meet IDS Scholarship Students 2019-2020

Meet IDS Scholarship Students 2019-2020

Meet this year's (2019-20) IDS Scholarship Students- learn about their journey to studying at IDS and how the IDS Scholarship Fund made this possible.
Photo by Sarah King: IDS Scholarship Students 2019-20
Photo by Sarah King: IDS Scholarship Students 2019-20

IDS would like to say a massive thank you to all IDS Alumni who have supported the IDS Scholarship FundYour donations are essential to help students like Alejandra, Ghousia , Janet , Nnaemeka, Saba and Tariro get to IDS and enjoy the unique experience of studying here.  It is only with the generosity of IDS alumni that we are able to offer these scholarships. To find out more, including how to donate to the Scholarship Fund, please visit the Support Us page.

"IDS had hundreds of applicants for these scholarships, reflecting young people’s huge need to find funding to help them achieve their Higher Education ambitions.  It is humbling and amazing to read these applications and to see the great pool of talent that exists in the world.  To be able to select such creative, innovative and inspired scholars, who have a vision for creating positive change fills me with joy and pride.  I am so grateful to the IDS Alumni who have made these scholarships possible and who, together with our scholarship students, work with IDS to help address inequality, poverty and injustice and in so doing help create a world in which we can all live secure, fulfilling lives." Linda Waldman, IDS Director of Teaching & Learning.

Read on to find out more about this year's IDS scholarship students

Alejandra Seminario (MAGov20)- MA Governance, Development and Public Policy

In Peru I worked as researcher and social worker for ConsultAndes helping to put tackling drug trafficking on the political agenda, and more recently, I was working to close social gaps through education with the Ministry of Education (MINEDU). I was able to help create appropriate and efficient strategies and activities in order to convince MINEDU and regional authorities to place their attention on rural, indigenous, ethnic populations, and adults who did not finish high school as high priority. At the intersectoral level, I worked with the leaders of other ministries on the Platforms of Social Action PAIS, which aims at designing and articulating different services in the remotest areas of the Amazon region. PAIS currently serves more than 200 communities, most of which are indigenous.

My master’s degree from IDS will give me the tools to boost my leadership and decision-making skills and help me do more for the most marginalised and vulnerable populations I am dedicated to. I plan to return to the Ministry of Education to continue my work there and apply for a higher leading role. With an IDS master’s degree, my commitment to the development of the country will be enhanced and I visualize myself serving as an inspiration to young people like to also commit to and serve our country. 

I am truly grateful for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Special thanks to IDS and the generous IDS alumni that have allowed me to come to the best place to study a master program in Development. 

Ghousia Rashid (MAP14)- MA Power, Participation and Social Change

Before coming to IDS, I worked for leading women’s rights organisation Shirkat Gah (SG) (Women's Resource Centre) in Pakistan. I  mainly worked on Humsathi a participatory research project with the goal of empowering girls to be their own advocates against Child And Early Age Marriage (CEAM) with boys acting as their allies. Working at SG was a dream come true for me, and because I lacked formal training in research methodology, it was the perfect place to learn about grassroots advocacy and conducting research.

I'm passionate about my feminist activism, and have been involved in the feminist movement for years. I have also been a member of Pakistan's oldest women's rights advocacy cum lobbying group Women's Action Forum (WAF), and a member of the Sangat Feminist Network. I also try to involve myself in local feminist activism groups such as Aurat Haq and Girls at Dhabas, which have emerged in recent years and have been taking the feminist movement forward. Groups like Aurat Haq particularly played an important role in organising the first women's march in Pakistan (called Aurat March), which was a beautiful, liberating moment in the feminist movement. 

Through my work, I have seen first-hand how the nexus between civil society, aid and donor organisations, and neo-liberal agenda defeat the purpose of rights-based work by making it difficult to chip away the foundations of systemic inequality, and oppression. This is why my activism is so important to me, because it helps me fill the gaps of development work. Right now, it is a glorious time to be Pakistani, with vibrant social movements such as the Student Solidarity March, the Aurat March, and the climate change movement. But the years ahead will also bring many new challenges, and new movements give me hope for a brighter future.

I'm hopeful that IDS will strengthen my ability to fight for social justice, and work towards sustainable change. After IDS I intend to return home to my feminist activism and work, and want to focus on issues pertaining to violence against women, particularly sexual violence which is very close to my heart.

Janet Adekunle (MAGlob12)- MA Globalisation, Business and Development

Immediately before starting at IDS I was working on societal transformation with the AiMP Network helping businesses and individuals positions themselves as strategic vehicles for nation building. I also founded the Good Works Company (GWC) to help small scale companies create impact in their communities in their own way. For example, through GWC I was able to work with teams to provide reading materials to public secondary school students who ordinarily might not have had access to such materials.

It is my hope to alleviate poverty and its defining elements, particularly in Africa, starting with Nigeria, because like we say in Nigeria “You can only share treasures if you have them”. I hope to achieve this feat by harnessing the positive power of business and good governance, both of which I believe I will get the opportunity to learn at the Institute of Development Studies.

Nnaemeka Iduma (MAPov13)- MA Poverty and Development

Between 2016 and 2018, I was involved in community development activities in insurgent-ridden Northeast Nigeria. I led the distribution of health products like vaccines, essential medicines and ready to use foods to underserved communities and internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Borno and Yobe states. It was my work in these communities which made me want to study and learn more about international development to help prepare me to support my country on its journey to becoming a developed nation.

In selecting a school and course, I wanted a school that would adequately prepare me to support my country and other development organizations and I believe that the training and certification I will get in IDS will position me to play on a bigger field in the development sector in Nigeria and Africa. In the future I want start a non-governmental organization that will focus on developing and implementing strategies to curb social inequality and provide equal opportunities for people in underserved communities.

Saba Aslam (MAPov13)- MA Poverty and Development
Development in Pakistan is characterised by quick fixes. There is need to generate robust evidence underpinning issues of deprivation, vulnerability and marginality. Over the last four years, I have researched on some of the most pressing issues facing socially excluded communities in both urban and rural regions of Pakistan. A significant area of my research, as part of the LANSA consortium (which IDS is part of), has focused on understanding the link between women’s agricultural work and their health outcomes, as well their children’s. My work with colleagues at a leading progressive think tank, Collective for Social Science Research allowed me to identify key gaps between evidence and policies in Pakistan. As part of this team, I also got the opportunity to work towards redesigning social protection programmes for the poor and vulnerable population. Working alongside senior policymakers and researchers, I learnt about the process underpinning systemic change which is long and challenges existing structures within all tiers of government. I worked with this team at an earlier stage to provide inputs to the manifesto of a national political party that is creating social change in the country by initiating a provincial level social protection programme for the poor, vulnerable and marginalised populations.

The four years that I spent conducting extensive fieldwork informed me not only about systemic issues but also allowed me to reflect on the personal – I learnt about my own markers of identity while interacting with rural communities. I now wish to ground my findings in theory, engage critically with debates prevalent in the Global South, and develop a rigorous set of research skills. My master’s degree from IDS will position me as one of the leading social scientists in Pakistan. Given IDS’s expansive network of researchers and practitioners across the globe, I will learn from experts and acquire skills that will allow me to generate evidence independently and push for evidence-based social policies in Pakistan. Upon my return to Pakistan, I commit to researching on issues that unpack structural inequalities for a more equitable society.

Tariro Rachel Masaraure (MAGen33)- MA Gender and Development

I am a human rights defender focusing on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for adolescents and young people especially adolescent girls and young women.  I dream of a better world where human rights for vulnerable populations especially women and girls are observed and appreciated, and this pushes me to make the dream becomes reality. I founded and registered a non-governmental organization (Adolescent Girls and Young Women for Southern Africa Trust-AGYWSAT) to empower women and girls economically, health wise and challenge patriarchy which is a huge barrier to women’s empowerment.
By undertaking the IDS master’s degree, I will enhance my skills and knowledge in development work to help my work for empowering young people including women and girls. For example, I will be able to participate effectively in gender and development related research, policymaking and program implementation.  I know that change starts with me and I intend to reach out to the many people who are experiencing social inequality and amplify their voices on issues that matter.

Coming to IDS has become a life changer to me. Learning is so practical; equipping me with the skills I need for future work. The lecturers are experts in the areas they teach bringing a reality to the theories and concepts. Outside teaching I am benefiting from a lot of activities that are shaping me into a better leader in gender and development. The IDS Scholarship gives me the chance to network with a diverse group of students and experts in my area of interest which is a lifetime investment for me. I feel equipped and motivated to go back to Zimbabwe, give back to my community and be the change I want to see in fighting social inequalities and promoting gender equality in reproductive health and economic strengthening.

Watch Tariro Rachel Masaraure present at the Data for Development Festival 2018

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