Scripps Senior Alissa Petrites Wins Davis Peace Grant

Alissa Petrites ’09

Alissa Petrites ’09, a humanities major from Oakland, Calif., is the recipient of a 2009 Davis Projects for Peace grant, in the amount of $10,000, to facilitate her “Promoting Breast Milk Donation” project in South Africa.

Petrites’ project is designed to further the practice of breast milk donation in Durban, South Africa, and will have three components: a promotional campaign geared toward potential breast milk donors, the creation of a combined history and manual of the iThemba Lethu breast milk bank to aid the development of further milk banks, and focus groups to explore possible challenges and cultural taboos that women might face in accepting donated breast milk for their premature infants. She will work in collaboration with the director of the breast milk bank at iThemba Lethu, and a professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Petrites describes her project as one that “fuses the social and biological, channeling the nutritional and immunological benefits of breast milk through the very social grassroots path of breast milk donation. It, therefore, engenders peace on both a material and interpersonal level.”

Petrites is currently co-director of Challah for Hunger, a student-run organization that, through baking and selling challah, raises funds and awareness about genocide in Darfur.


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