Health and Community Development: Kenya

Program overview

Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is the community partner for  Health and Community Development in Kenya. CFK is an organization founded in Kibera (a large informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya). Tabitha Clinic is a community-based healthcare facility that is a part of services offered by CFK. CFK is undertaking a number of health initiatives in the area, including a community-based nutrition program based out of the Tabitha Clinic which is intended to lessen levels of malnutrition in targeted communities. The Tabitha Clinic is undertaking this initiative to scale up the nutrition program to an increased number of communities in Kibera, which will include gathering information to understand current levels of malnutrition, WASH practices, and general views on accessing healthcare. This is part of ensuring effective practices are taken into account, understanding opportunities for education and outreach and lessening the levels of malnutrition in communities that are a part of this initiative. You will work alongside CFK staff based out of the Tabitha Clinic on a particular phase of this initiative will be determined depending on the progress of the initiative upon your start date with CFK.

Students interested in this placement should be ready to work in a community that faces extreme poverty. As change in health and social behaviors take time, students should also be prepared to work alongside the organization with the recognition of this process and the long-term goals, rather than expecting to see immediate change.

This organization works on three major areas of development in the community: Heath, Social, and Economic development. Within these areas CFK runs a number of programs, such as a sports association and economic ventures. Depending on the workload of the project, students may also be able to get involved with some of the other programs.

This placement will require a high degree of initiative and problem-solving – you will be given the vision but will need to work closely with CFK staff to figure out how to work toward that vision, with very few resources. Ideally, you will have some experience in assessment methods coupled with self-initiative and problem-solving skills, and a willingness to learn.

This program is open to all UBC Vancouver students. This project requires specialized knowledge and invites applications from candidates in Food Science, Food, Nutrition and Health, Dietetics, Nutritional Sciences, Food Market Analysis and the School of Population and Public Health.

Program dates

Date Activity
September 2014 – December 2014 Application intake rounds
1 week after receiving an offer letter Acceptance and deposits are due
January – April 2015 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (multiple sessions – approximately 35 hours in total)
June – August 2015 International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBC)
September – October 2015 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions, International Development Symposium and public engagement event

Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed before you receive an offer of a placement.

Schedule of intake rounds

Date Application Deadline Interview Date Decision Notification Date
1st intake round September 21, 2014 September 25, 2014 October 3, 2014
2nd intake round October 26, 2014 November 7 or 8, 2014 November 14, 2014
3rd intake round November 16, 2014 November 28 or 29, 2014 December 5, 2014
Rolling Deadline

This program will close when full. Please apply ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Leading up to your placement (Pre-departure)

Pre-departure learning sessions take place in the term before you leave for your placement; it prepares you for an intensive International Service Learning experience. During pre-departure you will:

  1. Create a learning & development plan and review with your ISL Advisor
  2. Explore learning topics at regular meetings with your placement team


You will be staying with host families in modest accommodations. In many cases you will need to take public transportation to reach your work site.

After you’ve returned (Post-placement)

After you’ve returned, you’ll regroup, reflect and work at unpacking the intensive experience you’ve had. The schedule of post-placement activities includes:

  1. A full day to debrief with advisors and peers (September 2015)
  2. Presenting at an International Development Symposium (October 2015)

Program cost

We expect the program fee to be approximately $3,900. Fees may be adjusted prior to offer and include:

  • Room and board
  • Pre-departure learning sessions
  • Transportation from the airport to your placement
  • Orientation in Kenya
  • Debrief and workshop part way through your placement
  • Community partner management fee
  • ISL project management fee

Airfare, visas and vaccinations are not included in the program fee. A return ticket to Kenya costs approximately $2,000–$2,500. You will be required to bring your own laptop.

You will need to arrange your own transportation from the project site back to the airport at the end of the placement


To apply for a 2015 placement, please submit an online application. Contact an advisor if you have any questions about the program eligibility before applying. The application consists of basic demographic information and essay questions. Set aside at least two hours to complete the application.

Eligibility & Awards

ISL Award – $1,500
If accepted into the ISL program, your eligibility will be automatically assessed for the $1,500 International Service Learning Award. Please follow the link for more information. No separate application is required.