African Leadership Academy finds innovative ways to make our curriculum relevant to the real world. Last year, David Scudder, head of Life Sciences, challanged his Biology class students to write mock proposals to the Global Fund, presenting possible solutions to HIV, TB, or malaria for a target population in a specific African country.
Wilfred Griekspoor, Former Managing Director (start up in 2002) and Chief Financial Officer (2010) of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, is a longtoime supporter of ALA, and very much an active participant in the Global Fund proposal vetting process. Mr. Griekspoor kindly agreed to read eight of the proposals and give feedback directly to the students on them.
On November 9, Mr. Griekspoor spent 2 hours discussing not only how to write a proposal to Global Fund standards, but also how the students’ proposals could possibly be realized. His insightful comments and strategic thinking offered our students real-world opportunities to apply their knowledge to problems that have affected their lives.
Mr. Griekspoor also spoke with each student individually, not only discussing their proposals but also role-playing the process with them, with Mr. Griekspoor playing the role of evaluator and each student having to think on the spot as they faced the types of logistical questions that experience has taught Mr. Griekspoor.
This invaluable feedback has led some of the students to consider the feasibility of actually implementing their Biology Class projects as real-world opportunities to improve the lives of their fellow Africans.To cap off this amazing experience, Mr. Griekspoor plans to visit ALA in early December to meet with these proteges personally.