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Division III?Nari Jibon Microcredit Project
Kasia blogs from Bangladesh
Abraham Zablocki, visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Hampshire College and chair of the Five College Buddhist studies certificate program, said of Kasia Paprocki's senior project:
"Kasia's Division III really exemplifies the very best student work at Hampshire. She designed, raised the funds for, and implemented a microcredit program, complete with business training, for economically disadvantaged women. A program of this magnitude would have made for an extraordinary Division III under any circumstances, but the fact that Paprocki conducted her work in Bangladesh?where she had never been before?is all the more impressive."
Paprocki became a human rights activist early in life?in the sixth grade, to be exact, when she and five of her classmates successfully petitioned their St. Paul, Minnesota, school district to stop buying soccer balls made by child laborers (some as young as six) in Pakistan.
Paprocki went on to found a chapter of Free the Children, and in 2000, when she was fifteen, was one of six recipients of the Twin Cities International Awards given to those who have made "clear and significant contributions to both the local and global communities; a strong commitment to international understanding and cooperation; and a demonstrated sense of mutuality and respect in relations with other countries and people." She has also been an intern at the Goldin Institute, a think tank that promotes grassroots initiatives of global peace, justice, and sustainability, and has worked with the American Friends Service Committee to stop the Iraq war.
Before coming to Hampshire, "I thought I wanted to be a diplomat," Paprocki says. Her plans changed. By the time she arrived at the college, "I had a very specific idea of what I wanted to study. I was very excited by the enthusiasm Hampshire students had for their work." Now that she's successfully completed four years at the college, she says, "I'm so much better prepared for what I want to do."