USIU-Africa hosts students and faculty Mississippi State University under the Summer 2022 study abroad program

By Caleb Mukhwana

Last month, USIU-Africa hosted a team of three faculty and 13 students from Mississippi State University on a 2-week study abroad program. The visiting team was drawn from various disciplines including Social Work led by Mrs. Veronica Knowels, Animal and Dairy Science led by Ms. Jessica Graves and Fashion Design and Merchandising led by Dr. Caroline Kobia, who was also the Team Leader. There were also students of English and Biomedical Engineering.

The objective of the study was to assess the progress towards attainment of the 17 SDGs with a key focus on Sustainability. Kenya was definitely the choice case as it hosts the world environment capital within the 4th UN headquarters in Nairobi.

The USIU-Africa Student Affairs Division held a short welcome ceremony for the team on Monday, May 16 on campus. Mr. Patrick Mulindi, a Tourism lecturer at USIU-Africa and associate of the Knowledge Exchange Institute (KEI) briefly highlighted the objectives of the study and outlined the two-week event schedule to be followed. Speaking at the welcome ceremony, Mrs. Ritah J. Asunda, Ag. Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs at USIU-Africa welcomed the team and wished them a successful and enjoyable stay at USIU-A. The visitors were later given a brief campus tour after which they embarked on a rigorous itinerary of field studies to various firms as scheduled.

The peak of the program was a visit to the UN Headquarters in Gigiri on Wednesday, May 25. Here, the team was treated to a comprehensive tour of the UN Complex and later had an open session with the UN HABITAT Officials to discuss the sustainability projects being spearheaded by UN HABITAT within Kenya and the region. The team also visited the Ministry of Agriculture Headquarters at Kilimo House, Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant in Naivasha, Kenya Leather Development Council, Export Processing Zone in Athi River, Brown’s Cheese Farm in Tigoni and an experiential learning session at Vera Beauty College in Nairobi.

They also visited the Bomas of Kenya, Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Bead Centre, Nairobi National Park and Orphanage, Hell’s Gate National Park as well being treated to dinners at Carnivore Restaurant, African Heritage House and an African family dinner in Ruiru.

Finally, the team got an opportunity to visit Kibera slums and Happy Life Children’s Home and School in Juja Farm. Here, the Animal Science and Dairy students trained the children on sustainable rabbit farming and demonstrated proper rabbit harvesting. The team later made some donations to the orphanage before leaving.

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