Kenya Summer Program

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Kenya: Made in the Streets

Pepperdine at Made in the Streets is an international program which will allow students to effectively use their academic learning to meaningfully and positively affect lives. We will be able to participate in Made in the Streets' mission to rescue children from the bonds of poverty and hopelessness in the name of Christ. 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.

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.

Program Dates

July 3 - July 31, 2017


Please Note: $51 for single entry tourist visa (for U.S. Citizens). Non-U.S. passport holders will need to attain and pay for associated visa costs on their own.

Course Requirements:

5 units required. All students must take HUM 295. Students must also take either BIOL 492 or NUTR 492.

Course Offerings:

HUM 295 - Enriching the International Experience (1 unit)

  • 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).

BIOL 492 - Biology of Malnutrition (4 units)

Prerequisite: Please check with Natural Science Division

  • This course explores the biological and physiological effects of malnutrition on cells, tissues and the human body. It will also cover the socio-economic factors that affect human nutrition and health in the developing world, focusing on Kenya. Students will research a nutritional issue common in Kenya and explore the biological and physiological effects of that defect at the molecular, cellular, organ, and organismal level. Students will also research realistic and effective solutions to improving the nutritional well-being of individuals suffering from this nutritional deficit that could be implemented in Kenya.

NUTR 492 - Global Health: A Nutritional Perspective (4 units)

Prerequisite: Please check with Natural Science Division

  • This course presents major nutritional problems that influence the health, survival, and developmental capacity of populations in developing societies. Course material covers approaches implemented at the household, community, national, and international levels to improve nutritional status. Explores the degree to which malnutrition can be prevented or reduced prior to achieving full economic development through targeted public and private sector interventions that address the causes of malnutrition.

The Kenya Family


Hung Le

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



Loan Kim

Assistant Professor of Nutritional Science, Natural Science Division, Seaver College



Donna Nofziger-Plank

Associate Professor of Biology, Natural Science Division, Seaver College


Hung Le, Pepperdine University's associate vice president and university registrar, has spent the last 23 years in various fields of student services at Pepperdine University. He currently oversees the Office of Student Information and Services which includes the functions of OneStop, Student Financial Services, 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 at the Children's Minister and Hung serves as an elder. Hung and his family have served at Made in the Streets (MITS) during the past two summers with groups from the University church. He also travelled there last November with a group of students from Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology. As one who is well-versed in the mission and operation of MITS, who is committed to the life-transforming work of this ministry and organization and whose heart has been deeply touched by the children of MITS, Hung is pleased to serve as director for Pepperdine's inaugural International Program with MITS.

Dr. Loan Kim is currently an assistant professor of nutrition in Seaver. She has a B.S and M.S. in nutrition and a PhD in public health. The goal of her research is to identify and develop interventions which will reduce health disparities and improve the health and well-being of under-resourced communities in the US. She has been involved in research and interventions in low-income immigrant Asian and Latino communities for over ten years as a public health researcher, and hopes to apply her experience to working with under-resourced communities in Kenya. She is passionate about reducing health disparities and improving the health and well-being of communities through nutrition intervention and prevention programs. She looks forward to working with MITS and Pepperdine students on issue of nutrition and health next summer. She will be coming with her husband John.


Last Updated: 11-15-16