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Kenya Culture, History and Faith

Faculty-LedFaculty-Led | Social Science Kenya


This program is for students studying a social sciences qualification to experience the history, culture and faith of Kenya. This is done through interactive talks with veterans of the Mau Mau uprising, which ultimately led to Kenya’s independence; home visits, group sessions, counselling and a meal with members of a local organization working with HIV/AIDS patients; Maasai village visit and lecture on Maasai culture, history and modern challenges; wildlife viewing in the world-famous Maasai Mara ecosystem; interactive talk with Wanjira Maathai, daughter of the late Nobel Laureate, Wangari Maathai to discuss history, gender equity, environmental stewardship and more.

Why Kenya?

Kenya’s 42+ tribal groups (spanning three of the four African language groups) along with its breath-taking landscapes, iconic wildlife and rapidly modernizing cities, make this one of the most diverse countries in Africa. As a nation, Kenya is only 54 years old, meaning that its colonial history and subsequent independence is still fresh in our collective mind.  Its history, beliefs, diversity and resilience have brought its people where they are; and will continue to dictate where they head in the future as a nation.  A country built on Muslim-Arab trade along the coast, Christian missions in the interior and a primarily agricultural and tourism-driven economy, Kenya is now rapidly changing, providing a fascinating case study for globalization, religious influence on culture and modernization in a growing economy.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Discuss local culture, food, faith and history in Kenya
  • Demonstrate increased intercultural competence through engagement with people from a wide spectrum of Kenyan society – from Maasai cattle herders to urban humanitarian workers
  • Analyze “poverty” as a concept and how HIV/AIDS affects urban Kenyan society
  • Critique the roles that non-governmental organizations and responsible businesses play in the economic empowerment of an emerging country
  • Develop a broader understanding of community-based wildlife conservation.

Note: Specific learning outcomes and activities can be constructed in collaboration with EDU Africa’s dedicated curriculum development team.


Wanjira Maathai

Wanjira Maathai is the Director of Partnerships for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER) and Wangari Maathai Institute (WMI). She previously directed International Affairs at Green Belt Movement (GBM), which was founded by her mother, the late Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai.

There she managed international outreach and resource mobilization. For six years prior to joining GBM, Maathai worked as Senior Program Officer at the Carter Presidential Center (USA), monitoring and evaluating disease eradication programs. She Chairs the Green Belt Movement and is a Board member of WMI, Wangari Maathai Foundation and Resonate. She is also a World Future Councilor, Advisory Council Member (Global Cookstoves Alliance), Member of the Global Restoration Council and Member of the Earth Charter International Council. Maathai is Kenyan and a graduate of Hobart & William Smith College. She earned graduate degrees in Public Health and Business from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and Goizueta School of Business.

John McKelvey

John graduated from Kansas State University and completed an MBA from the University of London. He also holds a CPA certification from the United States. He worked for an investment firm in the USA before moving to Kenya in 1990. He has since worked in 23 countries on the African continent.

While a business man, John’s passion lies in humanitarian work and socially conscious business practice. From 2008 to 2010 John was the Kenya Country Director for Samaritan’s Purse working in relief and community development. He is now the managing director for Brackenhurst Kenya Limited and the financial director for an investment holding company with offices in Limuru, Arusha, Harare, Cape Town and Mauritius. John is the co-founder of Woodland Star International School and has been deeply involved in biodiversity preservation and reforestation projects with Plants for Life International, both based on the Brackenhurst campus.

Daniel Sopia

Daniel Sopia is a professional safari guide with over 12 years of experience. He has a Silver certification from the Kenya Professional Guides Association and has worked with Rekero Camps in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem. He is a member of the Motorogi conservancy, Board member at Olare Motorogi Conservancy Trust and the vice chair at Olpurkel Ltd.

He is also a co-founder and chairperson of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancy Association. Daniel represents conservancies in Narok County.

Customize Your Program

Our friendly and experienced program consultants will work closely with you to develop your custom faculty-led program from conceptualization to execution. We believe every journey to Africa gives students the opportunity to learn and transform and we pride ourselves in our ability to create unique, sustainable and truly African transformative learning journeys.

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