The Interfaith Health Program is collaborating with Emory’s Religion and Public Health Collaborative and Emory’s Global Health Institute to support four students working and studying in Kenya during the summer of 2014.  These students will be working with Kenyan program partners to better understand the scale and distinctive characteristics of services provided by faith-based organizations.  These students will be blogging about their activities this summer, so please check back here for regular updates about their experiences.The students working in Kenya this summer are:

Sarah-NealeSarah Neale:  Sarah has completed her first year of studies in the Masters in Public Health (MPH) program at the Rollins School of Public Health.  She will be working with the St. Paul’s Institute for Lifelong Learning at St. Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya to develop a monitoring and evaluation (M/E) framework to measure progress in implementing community action plans developed through the Faith, Health Collaboration and Leadership Development Program. The Leadership Development Program brings committed religious partners to the table to mobilize the distinctive capacities of religious traditions to fight stigma and to build individual and community-level support structures.  Sarah will be visiting four teams working together in Nakuru County since late 2013 to find out about their successes and challenges in implementing the community action plans they developed.  READ MORE ABOUT SARAH’S WORK>>

Taylor-OsborneTaylor Osborne:  Taylor has also completed her first year of studies in the MPH program at Rollins.  She will be working at Nyumbani Village, a one-of-a-kind program in rural Kitui County that is the permanent home to over 1,000 children who have been orphaned by HIV and to over 150 senior adults whose adult children have died from HIV infection. Nyumbani Village, an independent faith-based organization with close ties to Roman Catholic religious communities around the world, brings these two generations together with the senior adults serving as grandparents to the children who now call Nyumbani Village their home.  Taylor will work on two areas this summer: the Village’s water and land management programs and a longitudinal study of height/weight measurement of children in the Village.  Kitui County is a semi-arid region with infrequent rainfall.  In this environment, the Village has developed a 400-acre organic farm and is growing a 500-acre hardwood forest.  Both of these programs are designed to generate income to make the Village self-sustaining and the farm will also supplement the residents’ diet with nutritious foods.  Such an ambitious program requires smart use of land and water resources. READ MORE ABOUT TAYLOR’S WORK>>

Sheila-OtienoSheila Otieno:  Sheila has completed her second year of studies in the Masters in Divinity (MDiv) program at the Candler School of Theology at Emory.  Sheila is a Kenyan citizen and is returning home to Nairobi to work with IHP’s long-standing community health assets mapping program.  She will be working with our Kenyan partners to employ the mapping methodology to identify key community health assets that can support the medical and psychosocial needs of HIV-positive adolescents growing up in eight informal settlements around Nairobi.  READ MORE ABOUT SHEILA’S WORK>>

Alex PlumAlex Plum: Alex has also completed his first year of studies in the MPH program and hopes to serves in the General Board of Global Missions of the United Methodist Church. Alex is also working in Nyumbani Village and will be developing a program for adolescent young men that will draw on cultural conceptions of male identity among the Kamba (the ethnic group who call Kitui County home) to support positive health behaviors. Alex will work with Kenyan colleagues at St. Paul’s University to draw on religious and cultural teachings and rituals to help equip the young men at Nyumbani Village to live healthy, successful lives as adults.  READ MORE ABOUT ALEX’S WORK>>