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College of Education

Education faculty visit to Kenya continues existing projects, creates new international connections for UW students

   A summertime visit to Hillside, Central Kenya, offered two University of Wyoming-Casper professor opportunities to follow up on projects initiated during a 2013 service learning project, explore future collaborations involving UW students, and deliver desks for school children.

    John Kambutu, associate professor of educational studies, and Lydiah Nganga, associate professor of elementary and early childhood education, delivered about 100 desks to Karati Primary School in Imago. The desk project was funded by a participant from the 2013 Hillside Kenya project, with support from the UW Foundation. John and Lydiah spearheaded the construction of the desks.

   They also delivered a $100 donation to be used toward buying school uniforms for poor children, a donation from our students.  The desks and money were well received. While there, Nganga visited with Mr. Kamonde, the principal of Karati Primary School, to discuss plans for a future service-learning project involving UW students.

  Nganga and Kambutu visited Mburu Gig lunch program that was started after the group’s 2011 Kenya service-learning project that saw the construction of a dining hall and a kitchen. The program is going strong and has seen the improvement of children's health as well as performance.

   “The school principal reported that truancy is a thing of the past,” Nganga reports, “and children are excited to be at school since they are assured of a warm meal for lunch.”

   Nganga visited their early childhood program and reports “the teacher and I discussed issues pertaining to early childhood on a global level and the possibility of involving our education students at the school at a future date in a short observational/participatory experience.”

   Lydiah also met with the principal/manager of the Thick Primrose Academy and explored the possibility of having our students visit the school for a cross-cultural international experience. They discussed the possibility of having UW students hosted by Kenya University during such an experience. Kenya University is willing to engage in such an experience. Discussions are ongoing; a memorandum of understanding would be required for the project to proceed. 

   While at Kenya University, Nganga discussed her research interests with a colleague with the hope of future collaboration in areas of international educational and global education. 

   Nganga also visited the 2013 Hillside water project site, funded through Community members and UW-Casper in collaboration with the UW Foundation.  A community group has been formed to help in the daily running of the project. Community elders reported that the project has immensely helped women and children who no longer have to walk a 20-mile round trip to fetch water.

   “The travel was a great learning experience,” Nganga says. “It provided me with the opportunity to discuss and plan future learning experiences for UW students as well as for myself. Everywhere we went we were well received and the Kenyan people were excited to discuss what the University of Wyoming is doing in Kenya through our service learning projects.”

   Nganga will lead another service learning group to Hillside Karati School next summer to help in the construction of a classroom. Interested students and community members can contact her at Lnganga@uwyo.edu.

 

New School Uniforms

New School Uniforms
Students at Hillside-Karati School model uniforms purchased with a donation facilitated by participants in the UW/Kenya project.

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