Farah Mohamed is a recipient of the Summer 2015 and Academic Year 2015-2016 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
I am a graduate student in Department of Global Health and the School of Social Work. I received the Center for Global Studies FLAS fellowship to study Swahili during summer 2015 and throughout the 2015-2016 academic year. For the summer, I studied Swahili at the University of Washington before returning to Kenya, where I lived several years before embarking my academic journey in Seattle. I spent a month and a half in Kenya using my Swahili language skills to communicate and engage with the local community.
The two programs that I am enrolled in have equipped me with administrative, analytical, and communicative skills, which are very applicable to the job I see for my future. I am currently doing my practicum project at Health Alliance International (HAI). This experience has provided me with a social justice-oriented perspective and a rich insight into interdisciplinary collaboration for health system strengthening. After graduation, I plan to work with governmental institutions and/or non-governmental organizations in East Africa to strengthen health systems and support the health needs of vulnerable populations. Swahili is widely used in East Africa, and studying it will facilitate my interaction with the local communities using a culturally sensitive approach.