Rachel Wilson

Rachel is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor's in Social Work and a minor in Political Science. As an undergrad she traveled to Uganda and worked in a school and clinic conducting research on stigma related to orphans on HIV/AIDS and went on after graduating to become a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya, where she worked in the public health sector facilitating group work, teaching life skills classes, and providing assistance to local medical clinics. After Peace Corps, Rachel volunteered at an orphanage in Kenya for several months before working for a short time in foster care in Illinois. Rachel is now completing her Master's in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at Arcadia University in Philadelphia. After her fellowship, Rachel wrote: "Working as a Peace Fellow in Kenya was a very unique experience that not only helped me develop different professional skills but also changed my personal views on development work and the importance of local answers for local problems."



Nakuja :)

31 May

It is Tuesday. I write this from a little cafe in Frankfurt, counting the few days left before my Fellowship begins.

I will be working with very talented peace builders and have the incredible opportunity to do so in Kenya, a place that I fell in love with several years ago. It is almost too coincidental that I fly into Nairobi four years to the day after I originally came to the country as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Now, as a Master’s student, I return with what I hope is a more focused and motivated mindset as well as a better informed sense of empowerment.

rachel window

I will be working with Children’s Peace Initiative, a local NGO that works towards decreasing inter-ethnic conflict primarily through projects focused on children of different tribes. Tribal identity is very important in Kenya and can be recognized sometimes by just looking at a person or asking where someone is from. Though I will always initially be marked as a muzungu, hopefully I can challenge the identification as an outsider. My kiswahili is not as good as it was but I have my Peace Corps handbook and intend to study because I will be much more effective if my language skills are up to par.

I am very much looking forward to this experience, to collaborating with some innovative and progressive thinkers and to learn from them and take in as much as possible. I hope that additionally I am able to contribute something back to this organization and to Kenya, not necessarily for change but for understanding. I am sure that 10 weeks will pass too quickly and I will attempt to take full advantage of my time there. 

rachel quilts

Checking out the advocacy quilts from previous fellowships at AP

This time next week I will have a much more concrete idea of the imminent game plan… and most importantly I will be in Kenya! 

 

 

Posted By Rachel Wilson

Posted May 31st, 2016

89 Comments

  • Amanda

    May 31, 2016

     

    Rachel, great first post! We are so happy you are excited to return to Kenya, and are certain that your passion for Kenya and its people will allow for this experience to be an unforgettable one and your impact significant. We look forward to seeing the great work you will do with the Children’s Peace Initiative. Good luck and safe travels!

  • 745457202

    June 1, 2016

     

    看看您的博客!

  • Hannah Chi

    June 9, 2016

     

    I’m so happy you get a chance to return back to Kenya! I’m sure you’ll pick back up on Kiswahili– can’t wait to hear about your experiences.

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