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Pepperdine | Community

Kenya: Made in the Streets Summer Program

Made in the Streets program integrates rigorous scientific research with service learning and Christian faith exploration and development in Malibu and in Kenya. The mission of Pepperdine’s local partner program, Made in the Streets (MITS), is to provide education, vocational training, and sustainable living to street children through relationships, academic learning, and hands-on training. Students will engage in scientific research that will help enhance and enrich the MITS community. Essential to the experience are meaningful service opportunities that require our students and faculty to work side-by-side with people who are committed to both learning from and investing in underserved people in Kenya.

More information about Made in the Streets can be found at . 

This program is for:

  • Students who are committed to learning and growing through service and are humble, open-minded, and respectful of other cultures. 
  • Students who are interested in learning more about how non-governmental organizations function in other parts of the world. 
  • While this program is not limited to any specific academic major, the program fits particularly well with Biology and Nutritional Science Majors and those with an aim toward pre-med, public health, or similar fields.


Program Dates

June 5, 2023:

The dates listed above are planned group arrival dates to the Malibu campus for the first part of the program. The group will depart from LAX on June 16 and return on July 2. 

July 2, 2023: Return to the United States



Tuition: 5 unit minimum at $1,955 per unit (standard Malibu summer tuition rate)

Room & Board: $2,472

Program Specific Costs: 

  • Visa: $51
  • Global Health Fee: $54


Required Vital Documents and Deadlines

  • Completed IP Document Submission Form including all documents

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.


This course will be taught in two phases: The first phase will be taught at Pepperdine University in Malibu. The second phase will take place in Kenya in collaboration with Made in the Streets, an organization serving abandoned, abused and orphaned children in Nairobi, Kenya. This course will not only teach Pepperdine students academic content suitable for an upper division biology elective, but it will also provide an opportunity for students to use that academic content to positively affect the lives of street children in Nairobi.

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 Director and Staff

Hung Le

Hung Le | Faculty Director
Kenya Faculty Director

Associate Vice President and University Registrar, Office of the Registrar

Hung Le, Pepperdine University’s associate vice president and university registrar, has spent the last 32 years in various fields of student services at Pepperdine University. He currently oversees the Office of the Registrar, which includes the functions of OneStop, Student Accounts, Academic Advising, Academic Records and Registrar.

An alumnus of Pepperdine University, Hung is married to Corinne, who is also a Pepperdine alumna. They have four children, Zach, Ben, Jaime and Garrett. They live on campus and worship with the University Church where Corinne serves as the Children’s Minister.

Hung and his family have served at Made in the Streets (MITS) since 2012. He has directed Pepperdine’s Kenya-Made in the Streets Program since 2014. Hung is well-versed in the mission and operation of MITS and is committed to the life-transforming work of this ministry and organization. As someone whose heart has been deeply touched and profoundly transformed by the children of MITS, Hung looks forward to sharing this experience with students who will embark on this transformative journey.

Loan Kim

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

Office: RAC 121

Loan Kim is an associate professor of nutritional science and public health at Seaver College. She holds a B.S. from UC Berkeley in Clinical Dietetics, an M.S. from San Jose State University in Nutritional Science. She is also a registered dietitian nutritionist (R.D.N.) and she received her dietetic training from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center. Dr. Kim received her Ph.D. in public health from UCLA, with a concentration in community health sciences. As a public health nutritionist, Dr. Kim’s research focuses on understanding how sociocultural factors impact the health of communities in the U.S. and around the world.  In this Kenya IP program, Dr. Kim will brings her passion for public health to the classroom to engage students in experiential learning about global health issues that specifically impact Kenyan communities.  The Kenya program combines academic rigor with service-learning that is heavily focused on caring for youth who have lived through the challenges of living on the streets. The overall goals for the Kenya summer IP are: 1) To increase students’ understanding of and appreciation for the problems of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition globally, 2) To allow students the opportunity for “hands-on” application of nutritional science, and 3) To encourage students to make a positive difference by serving others.   

Donna Plank

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

Office: RAC 126

Donna Nofziger is professor of biology at Seaver College and teaches classes in cellular, molecular, and developmental biology. She is a Los Angeles native who earned her undergraduate degree in biology at Baylor University and her PhD from UCLA as part of the Molecular Biology Institute. She has loved every moment of her 24 years teaching at Pepperdine and in particular enjoys sharing her enthusiasm for learning about the natural world with her students. She has served International Programs on multiple occasions in Buenos Aires, Kenya, and Fiji. In returning to Kenya and Made in the Streets (MITS), she is excited to share this experience with Pepperdine students and allow them to live the mission of Pepperdine by connecting the scientific knowledge they have learned in the classroom with service. She is grateful for the opportunity to work with MITS as they work to provide love, education, and job training to children from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. 

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