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Kenya Summer Program

*This program has been canceled for summer 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.*

Newcomb Institute is offering students the opportunity to travel to Kenya for service learning credit in the summer of 2020. This is a culturally immersive program that provides students with first-hand international development experiences and leadership opportunities.


Please check back next year.

General Information

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  • A summer mentored experiential leadership, learning, and service opportunity in and around Nairobi, Kenya
  • Participate in the work of an international NGO, Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF)
  • Develop personal teaching and research projects
  • Learn from and network with Kenyan professionals and activists
  • Travel in the city and outskirts of Nairobi under the guidance of experienced Tulane faculty and staff

Program Structure:

  • Pre-Departure Orientation Series on Kenyan culture and politics, international NGOs, and training on engaging in international research and service work
  • Newcomb In Kenya: 
    • Experiential learning in Nairobi: meet NRCF administration and continue independent project development, meet with other local professionals, seminar discussions, visit markets, tour museums, galleries, national park
    • Design your own research and/or teaching projects to implement while supporting NRCF staff and participating in other camp activities.
  • There are three camps:
    • LEADERSHIP: selected high school and post-secondary students
    • SENIOR: all high school students
    • PRIMARY: middle school and late elementary students


  • Fulfills second-tier service-learning requirement and earns three credits of independent study in Political Science
  • Gain research and teaching experience in an international context
  • Experience the culture and sociopolitical landscape of Kenya while immersed in the rapidly growing city and outskirts of Nairobi
  • Learn about international NGO work
  • Build rich relationships with students and professionals abroad
  • Contribute to NRCF’s life-changing mission of providing education and support to empower Kenyan students


Interested students should have completed some coursework in Africana Studies, Education, Social Work, Public Health, International Development, and/or SISE. Independent projects will be expected to relate to students’ academic program.

Important Dates:

  • Application review begins February 21, 2020. Deadline rolling.
  • Pre-departure orientation sessions: In-person, weeks of 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26 and Skype, week of 7/19
  • Summer Program August 3-21, 2020

Cost* and Grants:

  • $3500 + flights ( * Students are responsible for flights, vaccinations, and medications.)
  • The following organizations may provide grants to defer costs. We encourage you to apply.
    • Newcomb Institute
    • Taylor Center
    • Center for Academic Equity Newcomb-Tulane College

Contact Kelsey Williams at kwilli28@tulane.edu for more information.

Newcomb In Kenya is a 3+ week summer mentored experiential learning and service opportunity in and around Nairobi, Kenya. Through Newcomb’s partnership with the organization Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF), students will have the opportunity to get experience participating in the work of an international NGO. Under the guidance of experienced Tulane faculty and staff, students will develop personal teaching and research goals to work towards in collaboration with the staff and students of NRCF. In doing so, students will contribute to NRCF’s mission of providing education and support to Nairobi children whose lives are affected by HIV. 

Through the pre-departure orientations, students will discuss topics including Kenyan culture and politics, the landscape and impact of NGOs, and the ethics of tourism and international service. During these orientations, students will also be asked to reflect on how their previous knowledge and experience can best be leveraged in service of NRCF’s programs, mission, and needs. Then, students will design 1-2 teaching sessions on a topic or skill of their choice for camp (leadership, seniors [high school], and primary [elementary school]). Additionally, students may choose a mini-independent project to collaborate on with NRCF students and staff during camp. 

During the first few days after arriving to the program, students will become acquainted with the work and staff of NRCF at the local office. They will visit important sites in Nairobi, including markets, museums, national monuments, and a nearby national park. Students will also meet with local professionals who will discuss their career or activist work—an excellent networking opportunity for students who may aspire to eventually work abroad. 

During camp, students will lead sessions with students and support NRCF’s staff with other camp activities. Students will stay in dorms with NRCF students, providing an important opportunity for cultural exchange through building lasting relationships. 

Ngong Road Children’s Foundation (NRCF) is a non-profit organization in Nairobi that provides funding for education, safety and well-being services, and a supportive community for children whose families are affected by HIV/AIDS. Most of the population they serve live in the Dagoretti area of Nairobi, which is home to very low-income families and is primarily informal housing. 

NRCF’s activities are enabled by the generous support of their U.S.- based sister organization, Friends of Ngong Road (FoNR), which pairs individual students with sponsors, as well as raises funds for specific programs, such as NRCF’s sexual and reproductive health education program. A major strength of NRCF is that the team in Nairobi is entirely composed of Kenyan nationals, including case workers and program managers with experience in education, information technology, and community development. 

NRCF has achieved major successes over the last two decades of operation serving over 400 students. By the numbers: 

  • 92% of students complete primary school, compared to the Kenyan national average of 63%
  • 83% of students who begin secondary school complete secondary school, compared to the Kenyan national average of 42% and a US national average of 83%
  • 87% of students who begin a post-secondary program (university, trade school, etc) complete the program
  • 92% of students who completed a post-secondary program are either employed or in an internship which we believe will lead to employment. The adult employment rate in Kenya is 60%, and employment among young people is only 15%.

Tulane has a close working relationship with NRCF’s work. NRCF’s work merits our support and provides excellent learning opportunities for student volunteers.

Interested students should have completed some coursework in Africana Studies, Social Work, Public Health, International Development, and/or SISE and Education. In the application, students will be asked to reflect on why they are a qualified applicant and what skills or knowledge they have to offer. Independent projects will be expected to relate to students’ academic program. Ideal candidates are critical thinkers and are willing to engage in intellectual discussions about all aspects of their activities and experience during the program. Interested in Peace Corps, Fulbright, or other long-term international research or service opportunity? This program is a great way to experience what those opportunities might be like and gain experience in an international setting before applying.