Preston Public Interest Career Fund Recipient
“I spent every day working with Kenyans of different backgrounds, ages, and education levels in four different provinces, thus working with and learning the culture of four different Kenyan tribes. Perhaps most of all, I have received a realistic view of how medicine works in rural Kenya.”
First, I wrote three extensive work plans for income generating activities. These work plans detailed the steps necessary to get an income generating project up and running from scratch. Each plan outlined all of the materials, labor and other resources needed to create a sustainable source of income for SOTENI’s villages of hope. I created a work plan for a banana farm, a fish pond, and a sunflower farm. When I left Kenya, the banana farm was underway with money budgeted based on the plan I had worked on.
Second, I met with 38 orphans whose education fees are being paid by SOTENI and wrote a “needs assessment” for each of them. This involved at least an hour discussion with each student about their education, family, living conditions, challenges and goals. Often these topics could be sensitive and gaining information was difficult. The information I gathered and compiled helps SOTENI ensure each child has safe living conditions and a healthy school environment.
Third, I began research into the efficacy of the community health programs implemented by SOTENI’s AIDS Barefoot Doctors (ABDs). This required me to meet with ABDs and their clients in three regions and have lengthy discussions on the programs implemented to help fight HIV and other diseases in their communities. I met with individuals in their homes and with HIV support groups to obtain the perspective and ideas of those directly benefiting from the programs. I gathered a huge amount of information, often through interpreters, and compiled it into an understandable format before sending it to SOTENI in the United States. I was effectively the eyes and ears on the ground in rural Kenya for the staff in the US and Nairobi that is working to design better programs for fighting HIV over here.
- Date September 1, 2013
- Tags 2013, Africa, Business, Preston, Social Service, Sophomore