A Leader’s Path: UNC Chancellor Carol Folt visits Kibera August 9, 2017  by      

This past June, we had the great pleasure of hosting UNC Chancellor Carol Folt while she explored global opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa. Traveling to both Zambia and Malawi, Chancellor Folt made her last stop on the continent in Nairobi, Kenya, including a visit to our offices and programs.

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Kenya Board of Trustees David M’shila and Hillary Omala welcomed Chancellor Folt over breakfast, followed with a tour down Kibera Drive to witness the day to day activity across several of Kibera’s villages. A short walk into Gatwakera took the chancellor to Tabitha Medical Clinic where she toured the facilities, met with staff and clinicians, and learned more about our long-term partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Next was a meeting with the newly-formed girls’ parliament in Kibera, in which representatives from each of Kibera’s thirteen villages convene to discuss issues they wish to bring forth to Kiberan authority figures. Chancellor Folt spent time talking with the girls, asking them questions as well and talking about her role at the university.  Encouraged by the chancellor’s story, one inspired girl from Kibera asked, “How do I become president of a university?”

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A trip to Kibera would not be complete without attending a soccer match! Fortunately, the chancellor’s visit overlapped the girl’s league tournament finals held this year. Chancellor Folt interacted with several of the team organizers, players and referees. Following a championship win for U11 girls team, the chancellor toured the Binti Pamoja Girls Center construction site whose third story offers a panoramic view of Kibera.

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Rounding out the day was a dinner with Dr. Chowa, staff and researchers with Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI), which is housed with the UNC School of Social Work, to learn about the center’s work with youth workforce development in Kenya. Many distinguished guests were in attendance including representatives from MasterCard Foundation and the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Robert Godec.

The next morning, representatives from Johnson & Johnson’s corporate social responsibility unit and Mkopa founder and UNC graduate, Jesse Moore, gathered to discuss health and energy services in Kenya. Last, but certainly not least, shopping at the Maasai Market. Everyone walked away with something, including new bartering skills!

It was a true honor to host UNC Chancellor Folt and introduce her to our work in Kibera. She is a true champion for CFK!

To learn more about GSDI’s work and partnership with CFK, click here.

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