Georgia Fulbright Association Alumni greeted the Malawi Service Corps initiative

The latest Fulbright Association Alumni Reception which took place on Tuesday, June 27th at Gordon Biersch in Buckhead, Atlanta from 6 to 8 pm, featured prominent speakers who are committed to the Fulbright mission, from the Chairman of Fulton County, John Eaves (a two-time Fulbrighter in Germany and Finland), to Carlos Pagoaga from Coca-Cola Headquarters in Atlanta), to the president of a Georgia College and former Congressman (Max Burns), to a newly minted Fulbright Scholar (Dr. Sureth Muthukrishnan) from Furman University who is about to begin his Fulbright journey in Malawi with his family in August 2017. These alumni (and soon to be alumni) met with 30 other former Fulbrighters from the Atlanta community to hear more about the upcoming Fulbright Association Service Corps trip to Malawi.

These speakers all discussed their passion for the work they’ve done with Fulbright and many also reflected on their connections to Malawi and the ties Fulbright has with Malawi. The keynote speaker was Malawi’s Ambassador to the U.S., Edward Sawerengera.  He spoke of the great need in Malawi for just the type of project that the Fulbright Association envisions to carry out in on Water, Health, Sanitation and Watershed Management (WASH) and signaled strong support for these initiatives which the people of Malawi are in need of.

The trip to Malawi provides a great deal of momentum for the Fulbright Association GA Chapter that will also serve to collect key data relevant to finalizing a major grant proposal to Coca Cola’s partner, the Global Environment and Technology Fund (GETF).  The grant proposal will seek to launch a 5-year, sustainable plan to bring clean water to over 37,500 citizens of Malawi by impacting best management practices (BMPs) for watershed areas, supporting water distribution and filtration as well as promoting a Public Health and Sanitation campaign in Malawi.  GETF helps oversee Coca-Cola’s Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) that focuses on bringing safe, clean water to over 6 million people in Africa.

The Fulbright Alumni event, put on by the GA Chapter board effort, was a dynamic and memorable event with Fulbright alumni from around the globe. This exclusive event came 2 and 1/2 years after the GA Chapter board first chose Global Health as one of its core impact areas, under the Pathways to Peace banner. Being the first Fulbright Alumni Reception, the president of the Fulbright GA Chapter, Dr. Zipangani Vokhiwa, thanked the board members who planned this Alumni Event and all the alums who took time from their schedules to attend the reception. Further, Dr. Vokhiwa asked the alums to consider taking an active part in all the future Chapter activities that are prepared by the GA Board for the Fulbright Scholars in Georgia colleges and universities. The GA Chapter president thanked the Malawi Ambassador to the U.S. for having accepted to come to Atlanta to be part of the Alumni Reception and to convey his thanks to the work of the Fulbright Association in Malawi over the years and to those Americans who will be going to Malawi on a Service Corps trip in July this year.

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About the author

Brad K. Hounkpati Agricultural Engineer, he served as an Agricultural Engineer at Nouvelle Société Cotonnière du Togo (West Africa). Prior to his Fulbright experience, he was previously Technical Coordinator for Peace Corps Togo in Natural Resource Management Program. He has also served in many roles with organizations working to support agriculture in West Africa, including FAO, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Cashew Espoir Ltd., and Plant Resource Of Tropical Africa (PROTA).

In addition to Fulbright Scholarship, he had been awarded other prestigious awards such as: the WARA travel grant, The Norman E. Borlaug Leadership Enhancement in Agriculture Program (Borlaug LEAP) Fellowships Award, the Global Programs Graduate International Travel Award and the Graduate Travel Grant from the University of Georgia and nonetheless the U.E Brady Award. His pairs know him as networker or a “to-go person”.

Fulbright Fellow 2011-2013 at University of Georgia (UGA). He is currently serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Entomology, UGA. Since 2011, he has been serving as the national contact for all Fulbright and Humphrey grantees from Togo. Inspired by his Fulbright experience, he later created BSBIZTOGO, Inc. & Grain de Sel Togo, Inc., two Georgian 501c3 organization to support underprivileged students in public universities in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and other Fulbright scholars in the US. He has served as Membership Database Administrator, and Advocacy Director until 2017 before being elected as Vice President and Communication Officer of Fulbright Association Georgia Chapter in 2018