TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Global Peace Exchange co-founders Nick Fiore and Alex Merkovic-Orenstein were awarded a Resolution Fellowship during Harvard University’s World Model United Nations conference at The Hague.
The fellowship will support the Florida State University seniors in the implementation of an economic development project in rural Rwanda focusing on empowerment through information technology. The fellowship comes with a $3,000 grant and assistance from various non-governmental organizations and foundations enabling the Global Peace Exchange to expand its humanitarian work in Rwanda.
Their winning proposal, “IT Empowerment in Rwanda,” was presented at Harvard’s WorldMUN conference as part of the Social Venture Challenge (SVC). Four fellowships were announced at the closing ceremony of the conference in front of 2,600 delegates from more than 80 countries at the World Forum conference center. Fiore and Merkovic won the top prize and were the only recipients from the United States.
SVC is a global competition designed to identify and support teams of young people whose ideas offer the best solutions to pressing international problems, both local and international. Together with partners Ashoka’s Youth Venture, Harvard WorldMUN and Richmond Management, the challenge rewards outstanding innovation, initiative and enterprise in a myriad of fields. In addition, the SVC affords the opportunity to form a global community of young, socially responsible leaders whose ideas are creating real change.
Merkovic-Orenstein and Fiore will be working in Rwanda this summer with Global Peace Exchange and the Rwandan Ministry of Education. They will be working on foreign-language education and establishing the first Internet connection in the rural area of Byimana by creating a self-sustaining Internet café that will bring information, education and jobs to a highly impoverished community.