10 months in Bangladesh

Latham native one of 17 recipients of Fulbright Fellowship

Ali Horton, back row second from left, joins Hillary Clinton and Fulbright scholars.

Ali Horton, back row second from left, joins Hillary Clinton and Fulbright scholars. Submitted Photo

— For 10 months, 27-year-old Alison Horton won’t have clean running water. She’ll have extremely limited access to electricity. And for almost a full year, she’ll basically be living in poverty in Bangladesh. But for the Latham resident working toward her doctorate in geography at Rutgers University, these are welcome challenges.

Horton is one of 17 recipients nationwide to receive a brand new type of Fulbright Scholarship called the Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship. These fellows will travel to eight different countries as special assistants in ministries of education, agriculture, commerce, health and others offices. Each recipient will get a stipend depending on the country – Horton will receive almost $30,000 for her stay, for airfare and a monthly stipend. Horton will be going to Bangladesh with two other recipients.

From October to August, Horton will be living in Dhaka, Bangladesh and working with the National Ministry of Education. Continuing her studies from Rutgers, Horton said she is focusing on alternative approaches to developing countries – “rather than just trying to expand the city … trying to strengthen the rural areas.”

“Bangladesh is super poor, super overpopulated and way underdeveloped,” Horton said. “The majority of the population still lives in the rural areas. They don’t have access to health care or education or the formal economy at all. (We want to work on ) clean water, food, basic health care in the attempt to facilitating lifestyles they have instead of forcing development.”

Horton is no stranger to Bangladesh. In the summer of 2011, she lived there for four months at an internship for the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee, a nongovernmental humanitarian organization. Horton said BRAC has a “stronger presence than the government” and it helps run schools, teach reading and writing and even teaches women how to be midwives. Because of BRAC, there has been a dramatic change in mortality.

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