Above: With support from the Crary Foundation, Rachel Child, center, researched human rights through fieldwork in mining towns across Nicaragua.
"I encourage people to donate to the Crary Foundation so other students can have the same opportunity I did.”—Rachel Child, Crary Scholar
Rachel Child of Malone is in her fourth year at the University of Ottawa, studying International Development and Globalization. She recently returned from three months in Managua, Nicaragua, through the Faculty of Social Sciences International Internship program.
There she worked for Alternatives, an international nonprofit, where she contributed human-rights research through fieldwork in mining towns in Bonanza, Limón, Bandera, and La Libertad de Chontales. Support from the Crary Foundation helped Child cover tuition and books, so her savings could go toward living expenses.
“Nicaragua is a beautiful country with many lakes, volcanoes, and beaches, but it is also the poorest country in Central America,” Child said. “There are many large mining companies in Nicaragua as well as private, unregulated mines. The working conditions are deplorable: workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals, there is not always an efficient use of safety equipment, and salaries are very low. Not all mines have serious accidents and deaths, but even the safest mines are a hazardous working environment compared to most other jobs. I learned a great deal of how projects are implemented and how organizations work to promote development within their countries.”
Child encourages students from the Adirondacks to go abroad, but also cautions against what she calls “voluntourism.”
“If you are not prepared to work in another country or do not have the necessary language skills, please travel to those countries instead of working, or donate to a nonprofit the money you would spend on a volunteer trip,” she said. “I encourage people to be aware of their impact globally and to visit countries in a responsible manner.”
The generosity of the Crary Foundation and its supporters helped Child pursue her educational goals and contribute important human-rights work.
“The ripple effect of Bruce Crary’s original gift truly stretches across the globe,” said Jim Kinley, Crary’s executive director. “It’s amazing what one simple act can do.”