Kenya: Urbanization, Health and Human Rights
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“One of my favorite things about SIT is its commitment to experiential learning. Rather than sit in a classroom all day we visited organizations, spoke to Kenyans about current issues, lived with host families, engaged in fieldwork, and more.”
Catherine Matthews, University of Richmone
Excursions range from 10-day to single-day trips. In past semesters, the program has made day trips to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) on the outskirts of Nairobi, the Mathare Youth Sports Association (one of the most celebrated success stories of urban African development) in a Nairobi slum, the Nyumbani AIDS Hospice for HIV positive orphans, and the Langata Giraffe Center. Two of the longer excursions are the Educational Tour and the Seminar Excursion.
The Educational Tour involves 10 days in Uganda and/or Tanzania. The Uganda segment focuses on development-related issues; students usually visit both rural communities and Kampala, the capital city. In all locations, students engage with local development organizations and government agencies of varying description, and take in lectures about Ugandan history and political economy at Makerere University. The Tanzania segment centers more on issues of culture, the arts, and social transformation. Students normally spend a few days in a rural community center.
In past semesters students have visited the town of Arusha and have had the opportunity to attend the Rwanda Genocide Tribunal, which is currently taking place there. Students also camp in more remote areas in Tanzania. Students engage with members of a community-based organization dealing with indigenous people's issues in a small Maasai community, spend time hunting and gathering with Wahadzabe people near Lake Eyasi, and visit a community-based conservation program on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Please note that not all of these segments will be possible in any given semester.
The Seminar Excursion includes 3-4 days where the group focuses on a particular theme from the program’s lecture series. In past semesters, the excursion has taken place in Maasai communities on the floor of the Rift Valley and on the Mau Escarpment and has focused on issues of development, culture change, and cultural autochthony. Students discuss Participatory Rural Appraisal techniques of development studies, and then experience the application of these techniques as students visit communities which play host to development projects. The location and theme of this excursion may vary.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Kenya, Nairobi
Language Study: Swahili
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