On January 29th, 2023, Abigail Ndikum arrived Cameroon from Connecticut for a self-driven internship experience, under the Thomas C. Barry Fellowship. Abigail is a visionary interested in investing her time, energy, and resources into people and communities through innovative and sustainable strategies. She is a Yale University student studying Global Affairs in the hopes of understanding how the world functions so that she may support and collaborate with innovators breaking traditional boundaries. Abigail is the Founder and Executive Director of the Yale Africa Innovation Symposium, a conference for young, bright minds and African field experts to convene, deconstruct issues, and produce innovative resolutions across various African industries. She's interested in finance, venture capital, global development, and women's empowerment.
The Thomas C. Barry Summer Travel Fellowship supports self-designed project/research that is intellectually purposeful and personally enriching, in emerging-market countries. The Fellowship seeks to encourage students to challenge themselves in an unfamiliar environment, pursue experiences that will enhance and diversify their personal and academic goals and test their resourcefulness and resilience.
As a recipient of the fellowship, Abigail will, for about three months, work primarily on the educational empowerment of IDPs under Open Dreams mentorship and related organizations in Douala, Yaounde and Bamenda. Abigail won the 2019 Lorant Fellowship which took her to Ghana where she volunteered at a hospital and also taught junior high school students. She also spearheaded a proposal for the Davis Projects for Peace Fellowship that targets 35 - 40 internally displaced children in Cameroon, addressing in part, their educational and psychological needs.
The Thomas C. Barry award reflects Mr. Barry's broad international perspectives and strong commitment to initiatives that both foster a keen appreciation of global issues and give evidence of sustainability.