Alperton woman wins research grant to travel in America and Africa

Rachael Owhin

Rachael Owhin - Credit: Archant

A young woman from Alperton has beaten more than a thousand hopefuls to travel abroad to do valuable research she can use in the UK.

Rachael Owhin, who lives on the Abbey Estate, will set off this month to spend four weeks in America and a further four weeks in Kenya and South Africa as part of the Churchill Fellowship.

The 25-year-old, who is head of programmes at the Powerlist Foundation, beat 1,031 applicants to become one of 150 around the country to be chosen.

She is one of six people in West London to receive the grant totalling more than £42,000.

She said: “This is really exciting for me and a life changing experience.

“The programme gives us an opportunity to travel round the world to learn how things are being done in other countries and bring those ideas back to the UK

“I’m looking at how schools and organisations in other countries develop leaders from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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“In Kenya they are doing good work for disadvantaged people. People don’t often go to African countries for best practice, but a lot of valuable work is being done in countries considered to be ‘developing’. Sharing what you discover can create a huge impact.”

The former Lion Park primary school pupil hit the headlines three years ago after she succeeded in raising £15,000 to enable her to study a master’s degree in Migration Studies at Oxford University.

She set up a crowdfunding page and raised £10k in 10 days having saved £6,000 with £2,000 by her family.

She added: “The Churchill Fellowship is open to anybody in the UK, it doesn’t have to be connected to your job. You just have to prove there are organisations in the UK that will benefit from your research.

“I hope now I’ve done it, it will encourage others to apply.”

The charity was set up in 1965, the year Sir Winston Churchill died. The popular prime minister was adamant that he did not wish to have another statue as his memorial, so he approved the setting up of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Julia Weston, CEO, said: “Churchill Fellows are motivated and talented individuals who travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to share their findings to help others in the UK.”

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