Here's some eclectic, and somewhat mundane, yet interesting thoughts and happenings from my time out here in Kenya. I am spending my summer supporting SIDAI Africa Limited, a for-profit social enterprise which seeks to set up a franchise network of agricultural input retail stores tied to veterinary service providers, to transform the way farmers take care of their livestock in Kenya.
I’m sitting under a creaky tin roof in Kuria, Kenya. Not too far away, I hear a donkey braying, a cow mooing, and local school children singing in Swahili. I see cornfields on the adjacent hillside, and by the river women are hand washing laundry. I’m not on your typical MBA summer internship, if there is such a thing.
I am spending my summer at Mass Insight Education (MIE), a Boston-based, nonprofit consultancy. MIE provides two primary educational supports to schools: (1) training and support to pre-AP and AP teachers in math, science, and English in Massachusetts, and (2) support for turnaround schools throughout the country.
Most teams at Teach For America rely on data to make decisions and to work more efficiently. Thus, the quality of data is central to each of these teams’ work. This summer I am working with the Enterprise Shared Services team on an initiative to ensure high quality data.
Prior to this internship, I often thought about education reform as the policies and programs that directly touch students and impact the way that they learn. I had never thought about developing the skills and expertise of the individuals that actually teach and manage the classroom.
This is the first of two blogposts about my experience working for the Agricultural Transformation Agency of Ethiopia.
Posted by Brian Latko from Nairobi, Kenya
Jacaranda Health is a social enterprise operating in the low-income suburbs northeast of Nairobi, Kenya, that is scaling up a new approach to maternity care that relies on tightly integrated services, finely tuned clinical protocols and leading-edge technologies to deliver high quality services at low cost. But the first step to making its model sustainable is to change mindsets, preconceived notions and cultural norms that may lead potential clients to forego necessary care. As Jacaranda prepares to begin construction on its second clinic, I'm developing the business plan for expansion including the potential addition of new services and capabilities.
This summer, I'm working for Living Goods, a social enterprise that trains and provides credit to micro-entrepreneurs that deliver life saving goods to the doorsteps of the poor. Since 2007, Living Goods has grown to support 400+ entrepreneurs in Uganda, and next week, we will launch our first branch in Kenya.
As an intern at Revolution Foods, I’m probably one of very few GSBers who has to wear a hairnet at work every day. There probably also aren’t that many of us roaming school cafeterias and offering food samples to students either. Sounds unconventional but it has been an absolute blast so far!
The U.K.'s non-profit landscape is very different from that in the U.S. With no culture of philanthropy, but a large government welfare system, our problems and the solutions are different. However, we still have significant disadvantage. Hull is a city in the north of England with its fair share of problems; high unemployment, drugs, crime and most of all, a poor education system. Hull Children's University is a charity that aims to counter this problem at the earliest stage possible. For 17 years it has supported children at risk and in doing so helped them to lead happy lives. I am spending the summer working with them.