Meet Jenkins Divo Macedo: IDCE Student and Refugee Rights Activist

Jenkins Divo Macedo (IDSC ’12) is a Liberian native who grew up in Ghana due to the 20-year civil war in Liberia. As a Liberian refugee living in a refugee camp in Ghana, he earned his associate’s degree in agriculture education from the West African College for Sustainable Development in Accra. After graduation he worked in the refugee camp as a community developer for five years, focusing on youth, religious institutions, and refugee schooling.

In 2004 he began working for Respect International, a nonprofit organization that helps create awareness about refugee issues among local and international students. Macedo resettled in the U.S. in 2006 and attended Worcester State University, graduating with a B.S. in sociology and geography with a concentration in environmental science. He garnered the Colleges of Worcester Consortium Worcester State College 2010 Community Engagement Award for volunteering at the African Community Education Program (ACE), where he worked as a mentor and math instructor.

Macedo, who is a second-year student in the International Development and Social Change program, is an IDCE Fellow and one of three Compton Foundation International Development and Sustainability Research Fellows. His research interests at IDCE focus on refugee issues, including local integration, warehousing refugees, and sustainable development. In the summer of 2011 Macedo (in photo above: back row, fifth from left) returned to the refugee camp in Ghana, where he researched the human and environmental security implications of the protracted displacement of Liberian refugees.

“IDSC gives me the skills to think critically about development and the theories that govern development work not only in Sub-Saharan Africa but globally,” Macedo says. “It allows me to create connections and gain insights as well as proposed alternatives that are doable in a refugee context.”

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