UW Freshman Synergy Class to Raise Funds for Kenyan Project

November 24, 2010
Three students
Harakati ya Kilimo-Uhifadhi After-School Program children in their classroom. (Harakati ya Kilimo-Uhifadhi Photo)

University of Wyoming students will sell silicone bracelets Tuesday, Nov. 30, from 1-4 p.m. in the Wyoming Union to raise funds for an after-school program in rural Kenya.

Freshmen students in the Synergy Program class: "Images of a Continent, Old and New: Exploring African Cultures" will raise funds to purchase classroom furniture and produce a free newsletter in the local language, Gikuyu, for the rural community in Mutunguru, home of Harakati ya Kilimo-Uhifadhi NGO (non-profit organization).   

The NGO gives needy elementary school children access to books and other literacy materials to allow them to learn, to share and to be part of a reading culture, says course instructor Gatua wa Mbugwa. He says the organization also manages an adult education program that aims to attain 100 percent literacy for the community, and a grassroots research and training program in conservation agriculture for smallholder farmers.

"Images of a Continent, Old and New: Exploring African Cultures," explores U.S. and global impacts of African diverse cultures and history in some of the most unexpected and everyday areas. Students critically examine issues and impacts of African writing and literature, music, agriculture, politics, religion, medicine, education, and life. They learn more about American and world cultures as they read and examine little-known influences from Africa to the rest of the world.

Upon learning about the humanitarian need in Kenya, the freshmen Synergy students came up with the plan to sell silicone bracelets to raise funds. They also came up with the bracelet message, "Helping Save Kenya," that is inscribed on the bracelets.

Synergy is a nationally acclaimed learning community for first-year students that provides a challenging set of courses in a supportive environment.

For more information, e-mail Gatua wa Mbugwa at gwmbugwa@uwyo.edu.

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