“Empowered to Lead” (E2L) is a collaboration between the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church (MPPC) International Missions Team and Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya focused on creating long-term, transformational change in Kenyan communities struggling to overcome persistent challenges in economic well-being, public health and/or education.
The collaboration involves Daystar University graduate students returning to their own villages and communities, working alongside community leaders to execute competitively-selected, multi-year community development projects. Daystar University provides the mentoring and oversight for the participating students throughout their project; MPPC provides resources for infrastructure and other costs critical to overall project success.
E2L’s first project completed in the spring of 2017. By every measure it was a resounding success. Based upon the relationships forged during this project and the lessons learned from it, MPPC and Daystar University launched the second project in September 2018 for what we hope can be sustained as a long-term partnership.
The new project is titled “Indigenous improved chicken farming and school health initiatives in the quest for better livelihoods among the rural poor.” The key partners in this endeavor are the Katangi Community (approximately 45 miles southeast of Nairobi), Daystar University and MPPC.
The Project Strategy Is Twofold:
First, it will address school health initiatives which expose both the primary school pupils and the local secondary school students to healthy lifestyles.
Second, it will foster sustainable livelihoods at the community level through economically viable improved indigenous chicken farming approaches and health promotion strategies.
This three-year project will involve working with 3 selected schools and 25 groups comprising on average a total of 30 members each. The members of these groups are predominantly women and the youth, with a few men participating in some of the groups. The project will focus on training the community on how to rear the chicken cost effectively, including chicken housing construction, and will focus on compliance with water and sanitation standards, improved personal hygiene and environmental conservation.
One of the lessons our Kenyan International Mission Team learned throughout the initial three-year project was how important it is to have a project leader who can marshal community support, execute the planned program of work, and persevere through challenges that inevitably will arise during the course of a lengthy project.
The Katangi project will be led by Ms. Sylvia Mwia Musengele. Sylvia is a 2018 graduate of Daystar University with a degree in Community Development. She brings to the project experience in community mobilization, training, proposal writing and social work.
As this new project launches and begins to execute, our Kenyan International Mission Team is seeking additional volunteers from our congregation to join us in this exciting endeavor.
If you feel a call to service in this ministry, please contact one of us. We would love to have you join our team.
Russ Keller – Elizabeth Amory – Jim Custer – Paula Custer – Chris Sarkowski