Follow-Up Projects: Kenya February 2018

Learn how Project Inspire participants have shared their experience and made an impact in Boston.

Debbie

 

“I wanted to bring a bit of Kenya back home to share the love and knowledge I experienced while there with Project Inspire. My post-trip project began before we even left Boston.  With the help of the Israeli Embassy in Kenya, I connected to a fifth-grade teacher at the Star of Hope School in Nairobi, Kenya.  My 35 students at Belmont Day School wrote multiple pen pal letters to the 100 students in the fifth grade at Star of Hope, and I brought them with me to Kenya.  When we visited the school, I handed the letters to their teacher and explained to the students where all these letters came from. Little did I know, that I would leave Kenya with return letters for my students in Belmont.  Throughout the remainder of the year, my students continued to chat about Kenya and their pen pals and continuously asked when they may get more letters.  This was my hope: to open my students' eyes so they could relish in similarities in a world that so badly wants us to focus on difference.”

 

Erica

 

“After coming back to Boston, I offered to do the voiceover for the recap video that was made about our trip. I worked with the producer to refine the language so that CJP would have a video that offered a glimpse into our incredible trip and experience.  Not long afterwards, I was honored at by the ADL with the Ginsberg Leadership Award. In my speech, I spoke about our trip and quoted an amazing woman named Esther who deeply inspired me.”

 

Jasmine

 

“I brought together a room of 80 temple members on the South Shore for a dinner and discussion about Project Inspire. I used my talk to shine a light on Israel’s standing in Kenya, living a life of purpose, and why all this should matter to American Jews. My talk focused on our visit to Joel Omino Secondary School and their use of Education for Sustainable Development, a MASHAV-trained farmer named Albert who is changing the face of agriculture in his community using Israeli technology and techniques, and our meeting with Kenarava, a Kenyan startup founded by 3 young entrepreneurs who spent 11 months in Israel being trained at the Arava Institute in the Negev. I concluded the event with a Q+A where people asked questions about the history of Israel's MASHAV program and CJP’s reasons for supporting this project.”

 

Lauren

 

“I had hoped that upon returning to Boston, I could work with the talented and inspirational journalism club students from the Joel Omino School on a joint project. When that idea didn't come to fruition, I used my own interest in writing and interviewed my fellow trip participants to see what about the trip, three months later, had stuck with them and continued to inspire them in their day-to-day lives. It was fascinating for me to see that each person reflected on the trip so differently, which underscores one of the best parts of Project Inspire: by bringing together a group of participants with such diverse personal and professional interests and perspectives, the program engenders an extremely rich learning environment in which participants are inspired not just by the local people we meet on the trip, but by each other as well.”

 

Rachel

 

“One of the core tenets of Project Inspire is to inspire others. Through my follow up project, I had the pleasure of meeting with Jewish young professionals engaged in the CJP community through LEADS and Kadimah to share about my experience on Project Inspire’s inaugural trip to Kenya. As an alumna of both LEADS and Kadimah, I knew both groups would include civically minded individuals interested in the mission of Project Inspire and through my conversations and those of my cohort, we inspired the next group to apply to Project Inspire in Nairobi this past August.”

 

Ross

 

“Project Inspire introduced us to new ideas, people and business in a place I had never traveled to. As a follow up, I have been fortunate to combine all three of those as an advisor to new friends at the Kenarava group. It has been a pleasure to learn more about and support their mission of providing agritech information, excitement and solutions in Nairobi. As they grow their business and the positive impact it generates throughout Kenya and beyond, I hope to continue to support them in business and grow our friendship.”

 

Scott

 

“My follow-up project was as an opportunity to engage the staff at Camp Avoda, an all-boys Jewish overnight camp, in a dialogue around my trip experience. I attended Avoda for thirteen summers and appreciate how formative staff years can be in shaping one’s world views and providing a sense of purpose. Through MASHAV, Israel stimulates social and economic development in emerging markets including Kenya. It accomplishes this objective by providing expertise, connecting volunteers and issuing funding grants. I communicated my Project Inspire story to raise awareness and promote these potential volunteer opportunities for Avoda’s ~40 staff members to pursue.”

 

Staci

 

“Off the plane from Kenya, I was excited to share my experience with friends.  As one of my follow-up projects, I hosted a Shabbat Dinner featuring Kenyan dishes through One Table (https://onetable.org).  Doing a project centered on food was important to me as many of our site visits during the trip focused on partnerships with Israel and agriculture and sustainable education.  We visited sites including one with a farmer who attended a MASHAV training program to increase his produce yield and we visited a children’s home that received drip irrigation technology and a greenhouse from Israel to reduce food costs and provide nutritional meals to the children.  For my project, sharing in a meal and sharing stories gave me time to reflect and demystify stereotypes of Kenya - both of which, were a privilege.”

 

Tal

 

“I hosted a Shabbat dinner with different Kenyan foods and invited friends who wanted to learn more about my trip.  At the dinner, I spoke about some of the highlights including our visit to St. Ann’s orphanage, work being done by Israel’s Development Agency, MASHAV, and meeting with young farmers at Kenarava. One of the outcomes of this meal was that one of my friends became intrigued by the trip and applied for Project Inspire’s second trip to Kenya.  She wanted to learn about the Israeli-Kenyan relationship for herself.”