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A Report from the White House Fellows
  Summer 2003 VOLUME 27 Number 3
From the Director
Meet the 2003-2004 White House Fellows
Fellows Journey to Africa
Get Ready to Recruit!
Education Program
Fellows Corner
Where Are They Now?
Meet the Staff
Highlights of White House Fellows in the News

Fellows Journey to Africa

The White House Fellows visited South Africa and Botswana from July 25th to August 10th for their International Policy Study Trip. The class studied issues including HIV/AIDS, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), and the Millennium Challenge Account to increase their understanding of the impacts of international policymaking.

In both South Africa and Botswana, the Fellows took an in-depth look at the HIV/AIDS crisis and discussed the impact of the high rate of infection. In South Africa, five million people are infected, with about 600 dying daily. In Botswana, 35% of the population is infected with HIV/AIDS and the average life expectancy has plunged from 74 to 33 years of age. Through a series of meeting and tours, the Fellows observed that the two countries are taking vastly different approaches to managing this health crisis -- with Botswana appearing to take a more aggressive and progressive action.

In South Africa, the class studied how the nation.s businesses are impacted by and attempting to address HIV/AIDS. In meetings with diamond and gold mining industry officials, the class learned how businesses are providing health services to protect their workforce. The Fellows discussed the South African government.s approach to HIV/AIDS in a meeting with Dr. Fareed Abdullah, Deputy Director General Department of Health. The class also toured Cape Town's Guguletu Health Center and met with HIV/AIDS physicians, counselors, and patients.

In Botswana, the Fellows visited the Baylor Children's Clinic, as well as the Tebelopele Testing Clinic. The class also met with the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnership, which is targeted at reducing Botswana.s HIV/AIDS incidence through diagnosis, treatment, prevention, access to health care, and patient management. The Bill and Melinda Gates and Merck Foundations have each committed $50 million over five years to fund this initiative.

Also in Botswana, the class participated in a press conference at the U.S. Embassy regarding their visit. Facing a dozen of reporters and television cameras, class members responded to questions about their visit and the White House Fellows Program, which was later aired on the local news.

Throughout the trip, the Fellows maintained a demanding schedule, participating in meetings on international trade, terrorism, peacekeeping efforts, economic development, black economic empowerment, and urban revitalization. The Fellows toured the Chrysalis Military Academy and the International Law Enforcement Academy. Additionally, the Fellows met with John Jeffery, Member of South Africa.s Parliament and Parliamentary Counselor to the Deputy President.

The class also examined the cultural and economic impacts of apartheid through a series of meetings, tours, and discussions with individuals who struggled under apartheid rule. The Fellows visited the Apartheid Museum, met with officials at the Soweto Satellite Center, visited the Regina Mundi Church, and were briefed at Robben Island.

White House Fellows examine HIV/AIDS at the Baylor Children's Clinic in Botswana.
White House Fellows examine HIV/AIDS at the Baylor Children.s Clinic in Botswana.

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