Tuesday, September 21, 2010

After a bit of a rough start, I am finally getting settled in Kakamega. Many people have been emailing about my experiences and work here in Kenya. I would be more than happy to share. I ask you to share with your friends and family as well. Kenya is a beautiful place, where some amazing things are taking place. Let’s break the stereotype!
For the next 8 weeks I will be taken care of by the Mulindi Family. They have graciously provided a room, food, and security to me during my stay. We are learning all kinds of new things from each other. I am adjusting to their way of life including bucket showers, pit toilets, and eating a variety of Kenyan dishes throughout the day. I am really enjoying my time with them. I promise to cook my favorite, chapati, when I get home. 
During the day I am busy at work at the Daisy School. It is just down the road from my home. Now that orientation is over, I report directly to my supervisor at Daisy. I am completely independent, having FSD only as necessary support and facilitating various weekend seminars.
Daisy School is both a day school and a boarding school. There are 276 pupils, with around 130 boarding. The staff includes 15 teachers and 15 support workers. This school is unique because it accepts physically and mentally disabled children. The teachers are trained to teach these special students. There is baby class, middle class, pre-unit, and Standards I-VIII. In addition, they have an occupational therapy room and vocational training. The regular and special students work together to create a supportive learning environment. It is a lovely place.
As an intern, it is my duty to carry out a needs assessment during my first week of observation. I am looking for places within the center where there are opportunities for improvement. Next week, I will be working with the staff to generate a work plan for the following 7 weeks. This work plan will act as a map, guiding me through the steps to achieving my ultimate goal, whatever it may be. The tricky part is finding an opportunity to work on that will be sustained long after I am gone. After all, I am a Foundation for “SUSTAINABLE” Development intern. It takes a lot of thinking out-of-the-box to differentiate between development and aid. My goal must be development, something that will create lasting positive change. The challenge is great, but I am up for it and already have ideas rattling around in my head.
Feel free to ask questions, make comments, and throw out ideas. I will try to keep you updated on my work.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Awesome! Kiddos eh? The first thing I think of is... mental therapy. Appropriate outlets for emotions like anger and sadness that are often not available. Although I have no idea what that is like to a Kenyan child or even if it is encouraged.
    ps Great post Jax!