A Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow Brings Her U.S. Public Health and HIV/AIDS Policy Work Back Home
Asia Mbajja Namusoke applied for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program in 2011 because “I had a dream to achieve: making a difference in the lives of marginalized and disadvantaged populations [in Uganda]. Although I had convinced the panel at the U.S. Embassy in Uganda that I would design a youth program to support vulnerable children living with HIV/AIDS on my return after my Humphrey year, I didn’t know how to do it.”
The Humphrey Program brings young and mid-career professionals from designated countries to the United States for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. During her Humphrey year, Asia was placed at Emory University for 10 months of non-degree study between August 2012 and June 2013. There, she studied HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention in a cohort of Humphrey Fellows all dedicated to Public Health and HIV/AIDS Policy work, with the aim of applying what she learned in the U.S. to help vulnerable children in her home country.
Upon returning to Uganda in June 2013, Asia founded the “People in Need Agency” (PINA), a local NGO that creates hope and happiness among vulnerable children, especially those living with HIV/AIDS. PINA uses printed materials, counselling and live performances to promote their efforts. According to Asia, “the knowledge and skills attained during my Humphrey year have supported me to remain connected to my mission.”
In 2015, Asia applied for and received a Humphrey Alumni Impact Award (AIA) to further help her community. The Alumni Impact Award provides Humphrey Alumni with up to $10,000 to implement a project of their own design in their home country or region. The Alumni Impact Award is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State and IIE’s Fulbright Legacy Fund.
Since 1978, more than 4,600 fellows like Asia from 157 countries have participated in the program at more than 40 host universities. The Humphrey Program is a Fulbright exchange activity. Its primary funding is provided by the U.S. Congress through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State. Co-sponsors include other governmental agencies, multinational organizations, and private donors. The Institute of International Education (IIE) assists the U.S. Department of State in administering the Humphrey Fellowship Program.