10:31 AM

UST Students to Participate in Cross-Cultural, Global Community of Practice in Kenya

Five University of St. Thomas-Houston students — one graduate nursing from the Peavy School of Nursing (PSON); three doctoral and one undergraduate from the  School of Education and Human Services students (SEHS) — will travel to Kenya this summer on a Catholic service mission trip with Bethel’s Global Reach (BGR)to care for students, teachers and patients in under-resourced communities.  The BGR mission aligns with UST, PSON and SEHS in teaching students to engage holistically with community in service and care.

Dr. Lucindra Campbell-Law, divisional dean of Graduate Programs/Professor from PSON and Dr. Anne Gichuri, associate professor/director of Research from the SOEHS, are the faculty leads traveling with the students on June 4-17.

Two-week Mission Trip in Nakuru and Nairobi, Kenya

The two-week trip will include hands-on philanthropic and clinical practicum work, health information sessions, education workshops, and other host community interactions and engagement activities while attending to the needs of the people in the areas of Nairobi and Nakuru, Kenya.

Students will be able to participate fully as members of a collaborative, cross-cultural global community of practice.

This mission trip is part of a course called Culturally Sustainable Education, Global Health, and Economic Development Initiatives. 

·         The course consists of pre-departure academic coursework and travel/mission orientation training.

·         In Kenya, the nursing student will complete a combined total of 90 hours of in-country, guided hands-on nursing clinical practicum. They will also complete an education service-learning field application with daily written reflections.

·         The course includes re-entry faculty-guided reflective-debriefing-data mining culminating at the end of the semester project.

Faculty and students will be traveling with a team of volunteer nurses, dentists, educators, and clergy members with BGR to Nairobi, Kenya, for the first leg of the trip. During this first arm, students will have an opportunity to visit and engage in customized philanthropic supplies and education workshops mission service within two Catholic educational academies, which serve children orphaned either by HIV Aids or by coronavirus, abandoned street children under rehabilitation and re-mainstreaming, or severely underprivileged children from families living without source of income in slum backgrounds. In addition, students will also visit and interact with education and nursing students at a local regional Catholic University.

On the second arm of the trip, faculty and students will continue to Nakuru to a multisite medical, dental, and education community. For the healthcare component, the healthcare providers will be seeing men, women and children ages three months to 65 and above.

Some of the more common chronic health illnesses the group can expect to encounter are varying degrees of parasitic infections, hypertension, glaucoma, diabetes, wound infections, dehydration, and malnutrition. Other services to be provided include general dental cleanings, extractions, and fillings. 

The education mission in Nakuru will consist of customized philanthropic supplies distribution and workshops at the Catholic Apostolate of the Poor Servants of Divine Providence run Girls Center and Boys Center, both of which house abandoned children rescued from the streets for rehabilitation and re-mainstreaming into the public school system, and optimally with extended family reunification.

Bethel’s Global Reach Aligns with UST’s Mission

Bethel’s Global Reach is a nonprofit organization that provides care through volunteers, including medical, dental, and humanitarian aid to communities all over the world. This organization aligns with the mission of UST and the Peavy School of Nursing, which teaches students to engage holistically with patients.