Penta is a social venture that addresses the social and educational issue of limb disability in Vietnam, which affects up to 15% of the nation’s population. The main causes are US-Vietnam war casualties, the lasting effects of Agent Orange (a herbicide warfare that causes mental and physical disability) and accidents. UNICEF-Viet Nam estimates that there are 1.2 million Vietnamese children (out of the 30.5 million Vietnamese under 18) with disabilities. Most importantly, many disabled people’s challenges are not only physical, but also social—they are stigmatized and ostracized from society.
Penta aims to challenge the conversation around disability through two-pronged approach. First, Penta provides free prosthetics for disabled youth. This is funded through grants, sponsorships, donations, and volunteer service charge. Second, Penta organizes volunteer programs that pair a local non-disabled high school student with a disabled youth. These programs will involve educational components for both parties and will serve to reduce the stigma of disability. The program educates non-disabled on the issues of disability and includes workshops for disabled youth such as CV-writing workshops, basic English and Computer skills lessons and sewing.
Fiction for Kids
Fiction for Kids is a collaboration of student volunteers using creative writing to brighten children’s lives. Our project is threefold: craft personalized fiction based on each child’s favorite settings, genres, and ideas; donate stories to child patients; and initiate the intersection of education and creative writing in classrooms. Our team of writers, illustrators, editors, and translators from Brown University, RISD, UC Davis, and other universities and high schools across the nation work to write and illustrate customized stories based on details of the child’s choosing.
Sarah Doyle Women's Center Zine Collection
The intent of this project is to begin a zine collection to be housed within the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center (SDWC) Library. Zines (short for magazines or fanzines) are handmade, self-published magazines created as an expression of creative passion rather than to make a profit. The zines in the collection would combine the artistic self-expression inherent in the medium with subject matter central to the Center’s mission, including feminism, race, gender, sexuality, class, (dis)ability, consent, and self-care. Students could engage with the zine medium inside and outside of class. The collection would also introduce a primary resource that does not currently exist in Brown’s collection, elevating marginalized voices. This resource would provide people who are examining their identity or wishing to learn about these topics an accessible way to do so, and give students inspiration to express themselves in this way.