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The guiDE program provides DukeEngage alumni a pathway to continue their commitment to service and civic engagement by providing leadership, mentorship and service opportunities that support wider DukeEngage efforts on campus and beyond.



Blake posing with trees and rocks


Major: Public Policy

Contact Blake:

Blake Faucher is a sophomore from Hoboken, NJ. She is planning on pursuing a major in Public Policy. During her summer in Togo with DukeEngage, Blake taught English classes and computer skills at an elementary school and to students of all ages in her village. Her experience has expanded her interest in education. Blake also enjoyed getting to know everyone in her village and plans to maintain many of the friendships she developed this summer. On campus, she is a tour guide for the Admissions Office and plays on the Women’s Club Soccer team.

Resource Guide

Following her summer working in Togo, Blake developed the following list of resources for students who are interested in that program — or similar programs.

CulAnth 307/AAAS 307/Pubpol 207/ICS 308: Development and Africa with Charlie Piot. Although I did not take this class, I wish I had! This course would allow students to learn about past attempts at economic development in African countries and offer more historical and political context for their work with DukeEngage as they formulate their own projects for this development-focused program.

“Fred Swaniker: The leaders who ruined Africa, and the generation who can fix it” This TED talk discusses the importance of empowering young people in Africa and giving them skills to become the next generation of political leaders and entrepreneurs. A lot of the examples of young adults that he discussed reminded me of many university and high school students that I met this summer, due to the intelligence, creativity, and resourcefulness that they shared.

“Viola Llewellyn: A new model of microfinance for Africa and beyond” Although this TED talk is focused on microfinance and may be more relevant for Duke students who want to take on the microfinance project in Togo, the underlying message is also pertinent for any DukeEngage student. Llewellyn emphasizes the importance of putting aside Western perspectives when evaluating practices, businesses, and other aspects of life in Africa, which is incredibly important for anyone participating in DukeEngage.

Church World Service Durham: a refugee resettlement agency that allows volunteers to work closely with refugees in the Durham area, many of whom are from Francophone African countries.

Palace International restaurant: serves East African food not super similar to what you would find in Togo, but still a worthwhile dining experience