Introducing the Fellows Support Fund
Oberlin Shansi is excited to announce the launch of the Fellows Support Fund (FSF)! The first goal of the Fund is to offer Fellows affected by the Covid-19 pandemic the option to extend their Fellowships and foster in-person, cross-cultural experiences in Asia. In future years, the FSF will continue to provide Fellows with professional development opportunities in Asia and expanded mental health support.
Below, we've included a message from Deputy Director, Ted Samuel, and Executive Director, Gavin Tritt, about this new and exciting initiative. If you'd like to contribute to the FSF, please visit www.shansi.org/donate.
Dear Shansi Friends and Supporters,
For nearly two years, Shansi has been navigating a global pandemic. It has forced us to adapt, innovate, and examine our DNA as an organization. Much of Shansi’s programming has gone online, allowing us to collaborate with alumni and partners in new and dynamic ways. We launched a mentorship program, conducted virtual orientation sessions, and hosted webinars for audiences around the world.
Our Fellows have similarly adapted to teaching and managing programs remotely. They remain dedicated to their students and the communities they serve, despite the fact that their interactions happen from behind a computer screen in the United States. They still have not met their colleagues face-to-face, shared laughs over meals or tea, attended weddings and festivals, or even shopped with a friend at a local market.
As we reflect on 2021, we realize how lucky we are to work with this optimistic, resilient, and fiercely committed group of young people. At the same time, we mourn for the unrealized hopes and aspirations they had for this Fellowship. When our 2020 class of Fellows applied, they never imagined that they would still be working from their childhood bedrooms in November 2021.
To support these Fellows, we are honored to launch the Fellows Support Fund. The first objective of this fund is to give Fellows affected by the pandemic the option to extend their time with their host organization or propose an independent project elsewhere in Asia. We are also committed to building the Fellows Support Fund into a permanent fixture that will provide Fellows with additional professional development opportunities in Asia and expanded coverage for mental health support. Furthermore, the Fellows Support Fund would offer low-income Fellows assistance upon their return to the US to help them launch the next stages of their careers.
Shansi depends on our community to support our programs. Your gift this year can help Shansi and our Fellows navigate unprecedented times. Gifts designated to the Fellows Support Fund will ensure our Fellows can have the enriching in-person, cross cultural opportunities they have earned. Visit www.shansi.org/donate to donate online. You can direct your gift to the Fellows Support Fund by indicating this in the online “note” or on the reply card.
To learn more about Shansi programs, how our Fellows are doing, and how we have responded to the pandemic, please visit our website at www.shansi.org, our Instagram page at oberlinshansi, and our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/OBShansi/. The Shansi Breakfast 2021 was virtual this year, and you can view it at https://youtu.be/svRerDP5z44. And keep an eye open for our announcement of a series of online events in celebration of Shansi’s 70th anniversary of working in India starting in January. We hope you can join us.
Your generosity ensures the longevity of our programming and the vibrance of the Shansi community. Thank you for your continuing support.
Gavin Tritt & Ted Samuel
Executive Director Deputy Director