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Kenya: Made in the Streets Summer Program

Kenya: Made in the Streets

Pepperdine at Made in the Streets is an international program that will allow students to effectively use their academic learning to meaningfully and positively affect lives. Students will be able to participate in Made in the Streets' mission "to love and serve children from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya – meeting their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs; loving them fully; equipping them to earn a living and sending them out to a new life." Please read the additional information section for a background on the Made in the Streets (MITS) organization. The students will engage in meaningful learning and service opportunities as they work side by side with people dedicated to bringing abundant life to a world filled with hopelessness and pain. Students will take an active leadership role in the application of their academic work to a mission-centered purpose that will have lifelong impact. In addition to conducting academic research related to their courses and life at MITS, students will teach science courses to MITS students, conduct science camps for street children, engage MITS' skills students in practical training to help prepare them for their post-graduation vocation, participate and lead daily chapel, and fully share in the life of the MITS community.

Program Dates

June 7, 2021: Arrival to Malibu Campus for training (Departure to Kenya 2 weeks later)

July 3, 2021: Return to the United States



Tuition: 5 unit minimum at $1,810 per unit (standard Malibu summer tuition rate)

Room & Board: $2,368

Program Specific Costs: 

  • Visa: $51
  • Global Health Fee: $39

*Charged to student's account

Course Requirements

Five unit minimum requirement. Students must take either BIOL 492 or NUTR 370. All students must take HUM 295.

Course Offerings

BIOL 492 Water Quality, Malnutrition, and Immunity (4)

Prerequisites: BIOL 211 or BIOL 230

This course examines major nutritional problems that influence human health and survival in the developing world and will focus on the interplay between water quality, malnutrition and the immune system. Malnutrition and inadequate water supply and sanitation are linked to poverty. The effect of malnutrition on susceptibility to waterborne illnesses and the impact of repeated infections on malnutrition are reinforcing elements of the same vicious cycle, especially amongst children in developing countries. The goal of the course is to give students an understanding of the cellular and molecular basis for the interconnectedness of poor water quality, malnutrition and weakened immunity. Through lectures, literature review, research projects, data analysis, and experiential learning students will acquire a comprehensive overview of the biology behind these connections. Students will also explore the complex socio-economic factors that affect the biology of malnutrition and the immune system as well as the policies used to address hunger and malnutrition around the world. Students will also research realistic and effective solutions to improving the nutritional well-being of individuals suffering from nutritional deficits and poor water quality that could be implemented in Kenya.

HUM 295 Enriching the International Experience (1)

This course is designed to enrich the student's international experience by providing opportunities to engage more fully with the culture and to reflect more deeply on the experience. It is the goal of this course to help students know how to look at and listen to their new culture and how to give meaning to their international experience. Taught only in International Programs. May be repeated in a different location. Cr/NC grading only.

NUTR 370 Nutrition Issues in Global Health (4)

This course introduces students to global health and nutritional issues that influence the health, survival, and developmental capacity of populations in resource-poor regions around the world. Course material covers population-based approaches to prevention and alleviation of diet-related diseases, and the societal, economic, environmental, and institutional barriers to improving the nutritional status and health of diverse population groups. Explores the degree to which malnutrition can be prevented and/or treated through targeted public and private sector interventions. Utilizing a service-learning format, this course is offered as part of the summer International Program to Kenya or another IP location.


Faculty Directors

Hung Le
Kenya Faculty Director

Associate Vice President and University Registrar, Office of Student Information and Services


Dr. Loan Kim
Assistant Professor of Nutritional Science, Natural Science Division, Seaver College


Dr. Donna Nofziger-Plank
Associate Professor of Biology, Natural Science Division, Seaver College


Additional Information

Made in the Streets (MITS) is an organization and a ministry which rescues street children from the slums of Nairobi, Kenya and provides these children with a new life filled with hope and a bright future. The street children are often abandoned, abused, and/or orphaned. Some of them come from families that do not have enough to feed them, so they resort to living on the streets, begging and scavenging for food to survive. Life on the streets is cruel and harsh. These children often live on garbage because it is a source of food as well as scraps that they can scavenge to sell. Rotting garbage produces methane, which can serve as a source of heat on cold nights. The street children often become addicted to streets drugs, the most common of which are kerosene, glue and bang (marijuana). They are often seen huffing glue from bottles practically stuck to their faces or sniffing kerosene-soaked rags. The glue or kerosene helps to stave of the terrible hunger pains that they feel from the lack of food and little hope of being able to get anything to eat. In addition to scavenging for their own food, the children must also find ways to make money to pay the adult members of their bases, or living communities, who are supposed to help keep them safe. They live in a society which despises the poor and have very little hope of escaping the life to which they have been sentenced merely by the geography of their birth.

MITS' inner-city programs operate in Eastleigh, the skid row of Nairobi. The staff at the Eastleigh Center scour the streets to minister to children and others in need. The staff members are trained to perform basic first aid, teach Bible studies, provide food, counsel, and recreation. They also assist the older kids to get national identity cards so they can get jobs, care for young mothers, and work with conflict resolution among the bases and their members. A major part of the Eastleigh ministry is the identification of children who seek to build a new life, free from drugs and filled with hope. After a thorough vetting and transition process that include getting off of drugs and meeting all governmental requirements for admission to the MITS program, the children are brought to Kamulu, a village about 45 minutes outside of Nairobi, where they would live, learn, develop and prepare for a productive life.

According to the MITS website, "The boys and girls who come to live with us in Kamulu are blessed with a loving, safe and healthy environment. We have separate boys and girls compounds with dorms and kitchens. Students are in charge of cooking their breakfasts and evening meals and work to keep their clothes cleaned and living quarters kept up. There are dorm supervisors who oversee the students and make sure their needs are met.
There are many aspects to life in Kamulu. Every day starts with a chapel time, full of singing, praying, words of encouragement and announcements for the day. Students have daily studies in Bible, Math, Computers and English. They learn to live together as a family through sports, chores and working alongside teachers and visitors. Students are also active in the church, giving them opportunities to grow in spirit and service.

Skills training is available to students once they turn 16. Students choose a skills path in the area of auto mechanics, sewing, woodworking, catering, hairdressing, computers or farming. Once students turn 17 years old, they can take on an internship in a local business to further their skills. Students also take part in business training, computer classes and Bible studies to better prepare them for going out into the world to build a new life once they exit our program."
Much of the staff are made up of former street children whose lives had been transformed by the work of MITS. Their funding is provided by the generosity of people from throughout the world. The Otter Creek Church in Brentwood, Tennessee serves as the sponsoring U.S. congregation. A board of directors serves as the governing body. The founders, Charles and Darlene Coulston, continue to direct the work of the ministry and heads up the fundraising efforts. The staff in Kenya, led by Francis Mbuvi, a former street kid, runs the organization there.



Updated: 8.16.2021