The following profile is drawn from our 2021 Annual Viewbook, a report celebrating grantees, their projects, and the history of Projects for Peace. To read the full Viewbook, click here

Three people in light blue t-shirts and surgical masks pose for a photo in front of a white wall.
Bowdoin College student Ruby Ahaiwe planned “Gbasaa Ozi!” as a way to promote community health and connection in her hometown (Photo Courtesy of Ruby). 

Even when she left her home in Isiala Ngwa, Abia, Nigeria to study at Bowdoin College, Ruby Ahaiwe kept her roots close to her heart. She took on a remote internship with Chinonye Hospital in Abia to promote community health and a connection to the hospital. She walked away from that experience knowing she had more to give to help promote and support health care and safety in her hometown, and so turned to Projects for Peace to do so. She designed her project to “create rural health awareness and increase access to health-care information….with the purpose of bridging the gap between modern medicine and traditional care.”

I have learned about the stages involved in providing affordable and accessible health care, from funding to creating awareness. This has provided me with experience working with underserved communities and deepened my interest in public health.
— Ruby Ahaiwe, Bowdoin College

“I have always dreamed of working back home because I believe that the change we seek in our countries begins with each and every one of us as individuals,” writes Ahaiwe, and “Gbasaa Ozi!” marked her first time in six years physically returning home so she could do just that. The work of building awareness of health-care services and establishing trusting relationships between medical staff and community members was made up of distributing fliers, holding conversations, and even training members of the general public to be community health advocates.

“I believe the project contributes to peace by acknowledging that everyone deserves the right to adequate and proper health care,” writes Ahaiwe. “Without good health, people can neither control nor lead their daily lives.” Even with this project done, Ahaiwe is attending graduate school to study vaccine indifference and hoping to return home once again to continue her work.