Alixa Sharkey

Alexi Sharkey (Undergo Society of Kenya - USK): Alexi graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2007 with degrees in Political Science and French. She then spent a year in Yenta, Shandong Province, China, teaching Global Issues and English language courses. Alixa has also undertaken projects with immigrant youths in Lexington, Kentucky and interned for the Conceal General du Calvados in France. At the time of her fellowship Alexi was a graduate student at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego with a focus in International Politics. After her fellowship, Alexi wrote: “One day I was really grumpy during one of the training sessions, when one of the students came in and you could just tell he was so happy. So I asked him, 'Elias, you seem really happy, why are you so happy?' And he replied, 'because I am here and I am learning to bog.' And then I couldn't help but be happy as well...For now all I will say, with confidence, is that I am a much more patient person.”

A month to go before leaving for Kenya

03 May

I will be using this blog to document my time in Nairobi and to share what I learn through the Undugu Society of Kenya (USK) and by working with street children in Nairobi. Throughout the summer I will be posting about my experience, including interviews, photos, and videos. However, I will not be departing for Kenya until June 23rd. Perhaps that is why the fact that I will be spending three months in Nairobi has not completely sunk in. While most AP fellows will be leaving in the next few days or weeks for the summer, I cannot leave for another month as my classes are not yet over.  For this reason it feels a bit strange to be writing my first blog post already.

This doesn’t mean that my fellowship and the street children of Nairobi have not been on my mind. I chose to apply for this fellowship program because of the blogs written by the previous two Advocacy Fellows who worked with the USK . Their stories had a great impact on me and I have been reflecting on all the problems they encountered during their fellowships, wondering how they may be addressed. I hope to do as good a job as they did in communicating my experiences with whoever might be willing to read/listen.

In preparation for this summer I have been using Kenya as a case study in one of my classes. For my term paper I have been studying the presidential system in Kenya and making suggestions as to how it may be improved. In the past few weeks I have begun to feel a bit overwhelmed in trying to find solutions to such a complex problem. I feel much the same way about the street children in Nairobi. I truly hope my efforts in advocating for their rights will have some impact. Above all, I hope to help them advocate for themselves so that their own voices might be heard.

In the coming weeks before I depart I will post more information about The Advocacy Project and the Undugu Society of Kenya and what I will be doing over the summer.

Posted By Alixa Sharkey

Posted May 3rd, 2009

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