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Katelin Wilton

Faculty mentors: Frank Holmquist, professor of politics, and Jennifer Hamilton, assistant professor of legal studies
Favorite courses: State and Politics in Africa , Embodiment and Difference, Locating Resistance in a Globalizing World, Critical Ethnography

young child with mask

With a Hampshire experience like Katelin Wilton’s, it’s hard to know where to begin.

Wilton first traveled to Zanzibar, an island off the east coast of Africa, on field study in the fall of 2007.

While there, she connected with an organization, the Zanzibar Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS (ZAPHA+), and helped found their first youth support group.

“The real leaders are the youth in the area who wanted to do this work but didn’t yet have the practical skills, such as writing budgets, but had passion and knowledge of the experience of living with HIV/AIDS,” Wilton says.

Explore Your Passions Through Real-World Experiences

Working with these young people, she helped train them so they could manage the group themselves. Since then, the group has supported children affected by HIV/AIDS.

Upon her return to Hampshire, UNICEF hired her as a paid consultant to research and write a 50-page report (one piece of her Div III) on the pilot group she had helped form and the nine other groups created in its wake.

She returned to Zanzibar in fall 2008 to write this report.

“I wanted my Div III (senior project) to be useful for this organization,” she says, and it has been: ZAPHA+ used the report to garner more funding for facilitating its groups. Read Wilton's situational analysis and strategic plan for UNICEF (pdf) >>

Create New Knowledge

For her Div III, "‘Where there is no water we go to the ocean to fill our stomachs’: How HIV positive youth in contemporary Zanzibar navigate NGOs, globalization, identities and politics in search of social and economic support," Wilton served as a consultant to UNICEF, presented at a conference in Zambia, and wrote an essay on the complexities of representation of children in a youth support group she helped found in Zanzibar.

She also held a gallery show in Hampshire’s Johnson Library of artwork created by HIV/AIDS-positive children.

“I am constantly drawing on my education at Hampshire— conversations with professors, class discussions, literature assigned, lectures etc.—to ask critical questions of the world around me.”

“Before the group, a lot of these children had never met another child who was HIV/AIDS positive,” she says. “Now they use art as a way to talk with each other about their experiences.”

Read more about ZAPHA+ >>


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