Lakeland professor named to Raising Malawi group
Academics - posted on 1/23/2007
Lakeland College Professor Jeff Elzinga is among a group of international scholars asked to serve on Raising Malawi's newly formed Academic Support Network.
The Raising Malawi Academic Support Network - led by University of Vermont Professor, Peter Von Doepp - will bring academic leaders from all over the world together to discuss solutions for the current health, social and economic issues facing Malawi, Africa.
This highly esteemed council consists of a multitude of professors from various universities & colleges in the U.S. and Malawi, who have either worked and/or lived in Malawi and who have expert knowledge in international development or relief-related issues.
Serving as a global "think tank," the Raising Malawi Academic Support Network will use its experience to evaluate and critique the effectiveness of Raising Malawi, as well as provide meaningful insight for all future projects initiated by the organization.
With the collaboration and support of Raising Malawi, the Academic Support Network will undertake the task of improving the lives and futures of ordinary Malawians.
Lakeland's relationship to Malawi started in 1999 when Elzinga, a writing professor, led the development of the college's Malawi Teacher Education Initiative. Lakeland partners with the U.S. and Malawi governments to annually bring five Malawians to Lakeland for three years of intensive study. A total of 25 students have graduated with a bachelor's degree in education and returned to Malawi to become faculty in Malawi's teacher training colleges.
Elzinga, who joined Lakeland's faculty in 1980, went on a leave of absence in 1991 to join the Foreign Service. He served as an American diplomat in Malawi until 1993, an experience that left an indelible impression. He has returned to Malawi three times since his government service.
In addition to supplying Malawi with new teachers, Lakeland has conducted three book drives, which have collected over 75,000 books and textbooks for Malawi schools.
The Raising Malawi Orphan Care Initiative was co-founded in 2006 by bestselling author Michael Berg and internationally-recognized entertainer Madonna as a humanitarian aid program designed to revitalize hundreds of thousands of underprivileged and at-risk children.
Raising Malawi provides financial support, volunteers and technologies (i.e. solar power, clean drinking water systems, internet service, etc.) to increase the quality of life for countless children and adults. Its website is www.raisingmalawi.org
To learn more about Lakeland's efforts in Malawi, visit www.lakeland.edu/malawi
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