Nine University students traveled to Kenya this summer after a year of fundraising to work on a sustainability project and give back to a community severely affected by poverty.
The students are members of the University chapter of Nourish International, an organization that works to promote sustainability around the world and alleviate burdens caused by poverty.
While in Kenya the students worked with Unite4Africa, an organization that works to transform communities in Africa “spiritually, socially, physically, and economically.” They built two greenhouses with funds that were raised throughout the year.
“UGA has really risen to be one of the all-stars in our network,” said Allie Treske, the chief operating officer of Nourish International. “We run special ventures throughout the year to bring in revenue and then they invest that money in a community partner in the developing world and then they go over the summer to help with a project.”
The greenhouses were a need in the third-world community severely affected by poverty.
“One of the greenhouses that we built is at the site of an orphanage. When the orphans move in they will have already have a source of food and more well-rounded diet,” said Crew Mayne, the University Nourish International chapter leader that was also on the Kenya trip.
The other greenhouse was built in the village and will help contribute to the school feeding program.
“[The school feeding program] is a huge part of the community because it’s almost one of the reasons that the children get up and go to school because that may be the one meal they have a day,” Mayne said. “It will help raise the bar on education, having a more educated community and therefore slowly bringing the community out of poverty.”
The University chapter raised the funds for the Kenya project though a venture called Sidewalk Symphony, where the group partnered with local restaurants and bands to host a benefit night.
The Vanderbilt University chapter also partnered with the University and helped provide funds for the trip.
In addition to building the greenhouses, the group also traveled to schools and played with the kids, practiced Swahili, gave out sex education and HIV/prevention surveys at high schools, worked in clinics, gave out 300 bars of soap to orphans in the community, planted trees and gave hygiene and hand-washing lessons at schools.
“One of the things that impressed me most was how happy and joyful the people were 24/7 with how little they had and how they thankful they were for every little thing we did,” Mayne said.