Last week, we introduced you to Kenya Sustainable Village Project (KSVP), a student volunteer group at the College of William & Mary. This week in part two of our KSVP Volunteer Spotlight, you will hear about KSVP’ in 2016 and their latest Nyumbani Village trip from current group members. Also get an update on their latest initiative and goals!
What did KSVP do at Nyumbani this past year?
This past winter, the W&M KSVP team began an Issue Education Platform Initiative with Form 4 graduating students at Lawson High School in Nyumbani Village. We had an informative seminar in which we spoke to the graduating students about possible opportunities available to them after leaving the village. Prior to our trip, each team member researched at least five universities across Kenya. During our research we made sure to include the interests of the Nyumbani students. We then compiled all the information together and had them available in the Village as college applications. We spent a lot of time in the high school observing classes and connecting with the students, teachers and even the principals.
Do you have plans in place for next year?
Our plan for next winter is to continue and expand on our Issue Education Platform Initiative. We are planning on holding a week long information session/ workshops to help students with college/job applications and finding the necessary resources; this is our main focus at Nyumbani.
In addition, we will work closely with the environmental permaculture aspect of the Village to learn more deeply about sustainable infrastructure. We hope to explore a side project focusing on women’s health issues at the village. We hope to bring menstrual cups as we have found that many of the girls miss school during their menstrual cycle. The village has approved we bring a few hundred to let the clinic have and distribute—our mission is to have Diva Cup Company on board with our project. organize that with the cup company.
Through our continued Issue Education Initiative, we hope to provide new ideas to the form 4 graduating students and those leaving Nyumbani. We plan on giving these students the resources and information needed to decide whether they should among other things attend college, join the military, or learn a trade. Through our Women Health Initiative, we hope to amend some of the health risks women face. In the long term, we hope to see rise in attendance for girls in school. Broadly, we hope to address the following issues: education, women health care, and environment and sustainability.
All of the above-mentioned projects would build a capacity of knowledge in the Nyumbani community. The more educated students and adults alike are about their environment, sexual practices, and medicine, the more emphasis they can place on sustainable values. Education on issues such as HIV/AIDs, and how washing your hands reduces germs, and throwing away trash is good for the environment, will help to reduce stigma. We hope to instill strong, safe, sustainable practices in the minds of both adults and children for them to develop throughout the year once we leave.
How has KSVP impacted the team?
This trip definitely had an impact on the KSVP team. For many, it was their first service trip and their first trip out of the United States. While there were flaws apparent in the education platform, many members hope to return before graduating at William & Mary as well as improve and expand upon previous programs. Development programs require constant reevaluation in order to maintain its efficiency. This trip brought KSVP together but moreover, our continual contact with and the Nyumbani community will only pave the way for the Village’s independence and sustainable future.
Thank you so much to current KSVP leaders Aoife League and Maimuna Sidibay for updating us on KSVP’s last year and future goals! Nyumbani values the support of KSVP and William & Mary immensely!
Check out KSVP 2016’s video, created by team member Tyler Kent, of footage from their time at Nyumbani Village!