Supporting the efforts of grassroots NGOs in Mombasa, Kenya focused on social, economic, health, environmental and educational issues.
George Agarn, FSD Program Director, Mombasa, Kenya
Jerusa M. K. Bosire, FSD Local Program Coordinator, Mombasa, Kenya
, International Programs Officer for East Africa and India, San Francisco,
Anna Welton, International Programs Officer - Strategic Partnerships, San Francisco, California
Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) supports the efforts of more than 25 NGO partner organizations in the Mombasa region to address a wide spectrum of development issues at the grassroots level. Rather than work on aid-based, short-term projects, FSD promotes collaboration with communities to enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local health, social, environmental, and economic issues for long-term development. While relying on active community participation, FSD provides multi-faceted support to our partners through four programs: 1) Sustainable Development Training for Interns and Volunteers—Students and professionals receive intensive education and training in grassroots sustainable development while supporting initiatives led by our partner NGOs; 2) Capacity Building— On-site workshops led by FSD Field-Staff, Interns, and Volunteers train our NGO partners to create economically and environmentally sustainable programs through community assessments, grant proposal development, project design and management, financial management, and monitoring and evaluation. Our asset-based approach to capacity building leverages local resources before looking to external inputs, emphasizes potentials rather than problems, and favors skill building over large financial awards; 3) Grantmaking—Our grant fund supports sustainable development projects led by our NGO partners; 4) Giving Circles—this program expands FSD’s grant fund through promoting more engaged, longer-term philanthropy.
DukeEngage students in Mombasa will:
* Undergo one week of orientation led by the FSD site team and community leaders. During this first week, students will learn about safety, health, and best practices for community engagement, and also explore local development issues, belief systems, and cultural perspectives.
* Receive intensive training throughout the program’s duration in skills essential to sustainable development, such as: community asset mapping, needs assessments, collaborative project design and management, grant writing, and monitoring and evaluation.
* Work for an NGO partner, side-by-side (40 hour work week) with community members focused on one or more of the following sectors: gender equality, human rights and public policy, education, youth development, microfinance, micro-enterprise, child and maternal health, major disease treatment and prevention, environmental sustainability, and appropriate technology.
* Gain grant proposal writing and project management experience through applying new skills acquired during training to the design and implementation of a community-driven development project.
* Participate in additional activities throughout the program, including discussion groups, reflection activities, cultural excursions, midterm retreat, and final debriefing.
* Access the FSD Alumni Connect Program upon return to connect with like-minded individuals who help one another reach their academic and professional goals through networking and regional events. FSD Alumni have won internationally renowned scholarships, studied at prestigious graduate schools, worked for prominent international development institutions, and have even started their own organizations.
Students in Mombasa will be individually placed with an NGO partner focused on one or more of the following sectors: gender equity, human rights and public policy, education, youth development, microfinance, micro-enterprise, child and maternal health, major disease treatment and prevention, environmental sustainability, and appropriate technology. Students will work with partner organizations to design and implement projects that sustainably address local needs and activate community involvement. Actual project activities will depend on the student’s skills and the priorities and needs of the NGO and community.
Recently students in Mombasa have:
* Collaborated with local clinics to train community educators on HIV/AIDS awareness, prevention, and affordable treatment.
* Designed rain water harvesting systems for local schools and trained schoolteachers to construct and maintain the systems, then conducted hygiene and health workshops with all students and faculty.
* Facilitated women’s circles that promote collective savings and loans for long-term capital development, a strategy that is proving to build an important foundation for poverty reduction amongst marginalized groups.
* Worked with schools to implement human and civil rights curriculum and increase civic involvement on a community level.
* Increased food security and nutrition by training families to grow their own produce at home.
* Trained youth groups in waste management theory and how to run a business through turning garbage into income generating materials such as compost and charcoal briquettes.
Please note that students in Mombasa have contributed to a wide range of development initiatives and the projects listed above are only a few recent examples.
Program Requirements & Environmentals:
Language/Other Prerequisites: Students must have a strong desire to work with non-profit organizations and be interested in learning about the social sector. Students must be open-minded to working in a cultural context different from their own. Students are expected to show flexibility, patience, and dedication to their NGO. Work experience with non-profits and travel experience in Africa is preferred,
but not required.
Reflection Sessions: FSD staff will lead weekly reflection sessions in which you’ll be expected to participate. More details will be shared with students once they arrive on site.
Neighborhood: Mombasa (pop. 900,000) is the second largest city in the country and is known for its cultural diversity, white sand beaches, and international trade. The city itself is a small island, and one of the major ports for eastern Africa. Swahili culture is dominant along the coast of East Africa and represents the blending of Arab and African cultures. Beautiful beaches and resorts line the coast to the north and south, attracting European tourists as well as the unfavorable sex tourism found along many beach areas. Relating to the sex trade, Mombasa is challenged with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, while also dealing with severe issues of water pollution, waste management, slums, malaria, unemployment, and thousands of orphaned children due to the AIDS epidemic.
Housing and Accommodations: Students will live with FSD host families, which is one of the most rewarding, challenging, and meaningful experiences during a student’s time in Kenya. The families who host FSD participants are carefully selected and offer their homes out of a genuine sense of generosity and the wish to learn about another culture. Living accommodations are basic by U.S. standards. Water and electricity are often unavailable for short periods of time. In certain parts of Mombasa, a lack of water pressure makes bucket showers the norm. The host family conditions vary considerably within Mombasa.
Meals: Host families provide students with three meals per day.
Communication: The FSD Site Team will provide each student with a cell phone. Internet cafes are also accessible at both sites.
Transportation: Transportation will vary by site by students can expect a range of bodabodas (bicycle taxis), matatus (public buses), and tuk-tuks (taxis).
Volunteer Placement Logistics: The FSD Site Teams will determine placements based on how student interests and skill sets align with community needs and partner priorities.
Opportunities for Autonomy / Private Space: Each student will be given a private room within the family home as well as a set of keys to the house so they are free to come and go as needed and when appropriate. Students are encouraged to spend the majority of their time with their community partners and host families to truly integrate into the local culture and build meaningful relationships that will last long past the students’ time in-country.