[MUSIC PLAYING] DOROTHY GARCIA: While on sabbatical in South Africa, I developed a strong connection with the mothers of Khayelitsha. Khayelitsha is a sprawling township created through the forced relocation of black South Africans during the apartheid regime. Many residents are unemployed and living in makeshift housing, so survival is a daily struggle. In addition to having the largest HIV-positive population in the world, South Africa also has the highest rate of rape. So women and children are especially vulnerable.
To grow as a scholar practitioner, I enrolled at Walden University, drawn to its emphasis on developing real world solutions through positive social change. By employing Walden's strategy of connecting, I strengthened relationships with Khayelitsha women, and facilitated the purchase of a piece of property. With the building in place, it was time to utilize the Walden value of exchanging ideas and insight to create effective and culturally relevant projects.
I have drawn on Walden's vision of global connectivity to fostering learning and inspired participation. With leadership abilities developed through the Walden experience, I have traveled the universities, conferences, and homes across America, creating awareness about the AIDS crisis and inspiring support for the new South African democracy and its citizens.