The Kenya Project
University of Notre Dame Australia
Service Learning Experience
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Female Hygiene Kits
A house building fund was established by the students from the 2012 trip which has now seen more than 40 rudimentary timber and tin houses with water tanks being built in the local camp to replace the tents the IDP’s have been living in for the past 7 years.
Another group of three students, inspired by a talk from the UNHCR at university, raised funds to buy supplies for and put together 200 birthing kits, which comprise of a plastic sheet for giving birth on, a razor blade for cutting the umbilical cord, a piece of string for tying it off, a baby wrap, a bar of soap and plastic gloves. They put these kits together and had a graphic designer draw instructions for use and then one of the group delivered the kits and ran an information session at the local clinic. Another group of students continued this project in 2014.
Female Hygiene Kits
A group of three students who travelled in 2013 decided that they would explore the needs of the local community prior to the trip to see if there was a way they could add value to their invitation to work with the people at the Pipeline IDP camp. They discovered that many young girls miss several days of school each month and eventually drop out of school prematurely because they do not have access to sanitary items during their periods. The UNDA students discovered that re-usable, washable sanitary pads could be made or purchased and they fundraised to buy 300 of these and ran an information session for the girls at the school and the women at the camp. This project was continued and expanded by another three students in 2014.
Tertiary Education - Mary
In 2013, a decision was made by the Notre Dame students and staff to sponsor a young dance teacher from the camp named Mary, to complete University studies in Primary Education. The students had got to know Mary and through her, they realised how fortunate they were to be able to study and also to understand the agency they had in being able to raise funds and significantly change the life of someone who had been born into a very different situation. A commitment was made to raise $10,000 over three years to cover the costs of Mary's studies. In 2014 Mary completed the first year of her degree at the University of Nairobi, Nakuru campus. Below is a message of gratitude she sent after being told of our desire to sponsor her.
Dear Julie and Tim.
Previously my dreams had been shattered but thanks to you and all those who have made this happen, my hope in life has been restored. I promise to do my best. I am so happy. This is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I had to go back to my emails over and over again just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming! Education is the best thing at this time of my life. I am happy that my friends from Notre Dame saw that I am worth something and it makes me feel good to know that there are people who appreciate what I do. I promise you all I will not let you down. I will do all that can be done to be what I want to be. Please let all who are with you know how grateful I am. I look forward to your return with more students from the University next year.
May god bless you all.
Hot Off The Press - Update - a third cow was purchased in September 2015 and delivered to the Children’s Home.
In 2014, 2 cows were purchased for the specific purpose of providing daily fresh milk for each of the 121 children living in the Holding Hands Children’s Home all of whom are either orphans or ‘at risk’ children who attend the Aberdare ranges Primary School. Dr James Roberston who travels annually with the group from the University has stated that this will significantly improve the health outcomes for all of these children. This is an ongoing project which will be added to in 2015 with the purchase of a milking machine, a shed for housing the cows, more cows and a fund for providing for the ongoing maintenance of the project including feed, veterinary bills and artificial insemination to ensure that this is a sustainable and indeed profitable undertaking for the community.