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