By Jeff Calareso
Study.com: Can you tell our readers a little about TWI's mission?
Nishta Modi: TWI is a student organization at the University at Albany fostering awareness for the establishment of primary schools for orphans in developing countries in order to address the issue of brain drain.
Study.com: TWI received the Newman's Own Foundation award due to your efforts in building a primary school in Uganda. How did that project come about?
NM: TWI had been working with The Giving Circle for two years and helped them raise money to build an orphanage in Uganda called the Koi Koi house, which would house 30 HIV-positive orphans. During the summer of 2010, I decided to go to Uganda and help out to build the orphanage. After coming back from the trip, I knew that building a primary school in Uganda was the best thing we could do for the children. So, along with several other members of TWI, we decided to build a primary school in Uganda in partnership with The Giving Circle.
Study.com: What will the involvement of UAlbany students be in the construction of the school?
NM: A group of students from UAlbany will go to Uganda during the summer of 2011 and help out with the construction of the primary school, playground and soccer field. The primary school is going to be a green school so UAlbany students will also help out with farming.
Study.com: After it's built, will these students still be involved with the school?
NM: After the school is built, UAlbany students will go to Uganda and teach at the school for a semester or more for credits. The idea is to keep the students at UAlbany involved in the Uganda school project and let them experience the feeling of spreading knowledge and giving back to society.
Study.com: How do you expect winning this award to affect the organization? Will it raise your profile on campus?
NM: TWI is a fairly new student organization; it was founded 3 years ago by Emmanuel Adomfeh, Vern Perera and Uzezi Isaiah Obaro-Best. Winning the Newman's Own Foundation Award has helped TWI to spread their mission statement. Students have become more aware of the community service opportunities TWI provides and, above everything, the award has inspired students to do something about the problems around the globe as world citizens.
Study.com: What other projects are you currently working on?
NM: TWI is doing a clothing drive this semester, so we are working on sending the clothes to Panama and Uganda. TWI is also doing a program on the beauty of the Third World, which is one of our biggest events of the year. This program is going to focus on the culture, tradition and spirit found in underdeveloped and developing world countries.
Study.com: TWI includes students from many parts of the world who intend to devote time after graduation to developing nations. Can you tell us about what some recent graduates have done?
NM: Since TWI is a new student organization, the first batches of students who have been part of the group are graduating this year. Many of them are going to law school, medical school and graduate school for international studies, politics and much more. Without a doubt, these students are not only going to be the future of the United States, they are also going to be the future of many underdeveloped and developing countries.
Study.com: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers about TWI?
NM: Third World Impact wants the students and everyone else to realize that our duty is not just to be good Americans but to be good world citizens.
TWI is working to build schools, which could improve the entire local community. A recent study showed that there is a link between education and economic growth.