Elinor and Kelli in Kenya
Name: Elinor Landess
Where the project will take place: Kisumu, Kenya
One sentence description of project: I plan to travel to Kenya to volunteer for nine weeks at the New Life Homes Orphange, an orphange for abandoned and/or HIV positive infants and toddlers.
When grant is to be used (month/year) and approximate duration of project (in weeks): June 6- August 8, 2006 (9 weeks)
Note: A grant recipient may be required to repay a portion of his/her grant if the trip is terminated early. The Dean Rusk Program staff retains the authority to determine the sum of such a reimbursement. This does not apply to cases in which early termination results from developments beyond the grant recipient’s control.
Total amount project is expected to cost: $5407.00
Amount requested from the Dean Rusk International Studies Program: $5407.00
Have you received any previous grants from the Dean Rusk Program? No.
If yes: When? How much? For what trip?
Please explain all other potential or actual sources of funding for this project (including other grants, personal savings, family contribution, Davidson College scholarships that provide summer travel/research funds etc.)
I am applying for the Staley Grant, the McCall Grant, the Class of '89 Fund, and the Leonard Fund. I am also hoping to receieve funding from Davidson United Methodist Church and my home church.
What effect would lack of a Dean Rusk grant or an amount less than requested have on your travel plans? This trip being so costly, I am depending upon every source of funding possible; if I do not receive funding from Dean Rusk, it is likely the trip is not possible.
Have you had previous experience abroad? If so, please describe briefly: I have taken two ten-day mission trips to Mexico, and have traveled to Australia and Europe with my family.
List your involvement with the Dean Rusk International Studies Program and/or other international activities on campus: I have attended the morning breakfast lecture on human rights in Africa.
Please provide a budget for your project. Use as much detail as possible.
Plane Ticket Price, according to cheaptickets.com $1834.00
Visa to enter Kenya $40.00
Housing in Nairobi at Mayfield Guest House (1 night) $37.00
Transportation to Kisumu on Kenya Air $140.00
Housing in Kisumu at St. Ana’s Guest House (52 nights) $1560.00
Food in Kisumu (53 days) $371.00
Transportation back to Kisumu (by bus) $15.00
Housing in Nairobi at Savelberg Retreat Center (6 nights) $250.00
Food in Nairobi (6 days) $60.00
Safari (3 days) $350.00
Transportation to Mombasa on Kenya Air $160.00
Housing in Mombasa (2 nights) $100.00
Food in Mombasa (3 days) $30.00
Transportation back to Nairobi on Kenya Air $160.00 I
n Country Transportation (taxis, etc) $100.00
Please attach a description of your proposed project (or study abroad experience) and how a grant would be used. Explain in as much detail as possible what you plan to do, why you want to do it, and what you think the project will allow you to contribute to the Davidson community.
Late last semester, I participated in a discussion at a Bible study I attend about AIDS in Africa. This night’s discussion was particularly long and particularly frustrating. We had plenty of talk about the politics of Africa, the history of Africa, and the economics of Africa; we even covered the Christian response to the AIDS crisis. But all the Christian response entailed was donating to foundations that go to Africa and help, or praying for people that go to Africa and help. This was not enough for me- I decided that I needed to go to Africa, not only to offer a physical helping hand, but to learn so that I could be productive in discussions like this one.
The Gap makes T-shirts; Mac sells red iPods; you can buy a lot of things to support the AIDS relief movement. I’ve bought and worn the red ribbon, but I didn’t feel like that was enough. Over the past year and a half, I’ve become increasingly interested in the AIDS relief movement; still, I’ve never done anything. You can buy the ribbon, read the brochure, and be passionate about the cause, but I believe you can’t really understand until you get “on the ground” in Africa.
Knowing and learning about the AIDS crisis is important. This movement is impacting the world. Too many people are dying every day. The numbers are staggering. In Kenya alone 14% of the adult population lives with HIV/AIDS, compared with 0.6% of adults in the United States . I would like to be able to say that I had an impact on that number, that I kept the death toll one body lower. To be able to say that you have helped, or more importantly that you know how to help in the future, is important. This idea of service, of helping others, makes the trip matter to me.
I am going, along with Kelli Caroll (a sophomore at Davidson) and another student from Wake Forest University, to Kisumu, Kenya for nine weeks to work at the New Life Homes Trust, an orphanage for HIV-positive infants and toddlers. Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, is currently under UN reforms because of its staggeringly high poverty rate. Here, the population is growing faster than the infrastructure, and many problems are resulting. Slums run rampant with street vendors and young, drug-addicted children. AIDS also concerns the UN, as a significant proportion of the population is living with the disease in the city . The orphanage I am going to, New Life Homes, was founded by Methodist missionaries in Nairobi, Kenya in 1994. Since then, they have expanded their program to seven other homes across Kenya. Their mission is to alleviate the problem of abandoned and orphaned babies, particularly those who are HIV-positive . While there I’d also like to learn about how people in this area view the AIDS crisis. In the United States, there is a lot of support for the cause, but I feel it will be helpful to know what people who are actually living with the problem think.
We leave June sixth for Kisumu. We will work in the orphanage, helping with the children, until July eighth. For the next week, we will travel and tour Nairobi with a group of students from the Amani Foundation. This week will allow us to visit slums, other orphanages, and meet with scholars about the AIDS crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am very excited about this opportunity, because it will give us more of a guided, educational part of the trip, and a chance to explore options that we wouldn’t be able to on our own. After this week with the Amani Foundation group, we will travel with them back to Kisumu, giving us a chance to see the countryside. From July fifteenth to August first, we will continue our work at New Life Homes in Kisumu. For these final three weeks, I’d also like to explore the slums of the city and learn about the conditions there. For the last week we plan to do personal travel, for which we are not asking for funding.
A nine-week trip to Africa is an experience that would be thought of by many as “life-changing.” I’d like to buy into this cliché and have an experience that will challenge my values, teach me, and change my opinions. These new perspectives, opinions, and passions will make coming back to Davidson difficult. I would like to take my personal growth and translate it into growth at Davidson. Specifically, I would like to take what I learned back to MCF (Methodist College Fellowship), the place where I had that first discussion about Africa, and teach my friends there about my experience. Principally, I’d like this trip to give me concrete evidence of what is really needed for relief. Whether it be money, volunteers, or goods, whatever the need, I hope to bring this knowledge back to Davidson and act on it to be a productive and proactive force, both at school and back in Kenya.
June 6th: Depart the US—likely fly from Charlotte to Detroit to Amsterdam to Nairobi
June 7th: Arrive in Nairobi and check in at Mayfield Guest House
June 8th: Depart Nairobi for Kisumu Check in at Santa Anna Guest House in Kisumu
June 9-July 8th: Work with daily children at New Life Homes
July 8/9th: Fly back to Nairobi and check in at Savelberg Retreat Center
July 8/9-12/13: Stay in Nairobi and work with group from the Amani Foundation visit slums, other orphanages, and meet with scholars about the AIDS crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.
July 12/13: Leave Nairobi and either fly back to Kisumu or take bus through Nakuru to Kisumu (possibly with group from Amani Foundation) July 13: Arrive back in Kisumu and check back in at Santa Anna Guest House
July 13-August 1st: Work Daily with the children at New Life Homes in Kisumu
August 1-7th: Visit the New Life Home in Mombassa and go on Safari
August 7th: Arrive back in Nairobi and stay at Mayfield Guest House
August 8th: Depart Nairobi for US (Nairobi to Amsterdam to Detroit to Charlotte)