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GGG Alumni, Adriana Parra-Fox, PhD receives award

In late October 2010 Adriana Elisa Parra-Fox, who recently (9/2010) completed her Ph.D. in the Geography Graduate Group, traveled to Bogota to participate in an exposition, ExpoPaz, at the invitation of the office of the United Nation Development Program in Colombia. She represented Funbichocó, a not-for-profit educational foundation with which she has had close ties since 1989. In 2007 Funbichocó started training groups of displaced women in small business practice and offering loans to those who formulated feasible business plans. The funds for the loans, $3,600, came from a benefit dinner held in Davis. The number of women receiving loans grew from 25 to 49 in the first year. A group of friends of Funbichocó have continued to organize a benefit dinner in Davis every fall for the next three years. Today the number of women who have benefitted directly from this initiative exceeds 200. They have not only improved their economic situation but their children have been able to return to school, they have an increased sense of confidence and agency, have overcome the trauma of forcible displacement, and have built healthy community networks. For all of these reasons Funbichocó was recognized by the UNDP as one of the organizations building peace in Colombia.