This Saturday, May 16, a 9-person team of students, staff, and teachers leave Beni on a 2-day road trip to Kenya. Team members include--
- the program director and agronomist of UCBC's agri-business program
- UCBC's Young Evangelicals for Climate Action Fellows
- a graduate of the UCBC's Theology Faculty and its coordinator
- the Coordinator of UCBC's work program and Creation Care Committee president
- a member of the chaplaincy and international staff
Financial support from The Issachar Fund and UCBC's own Integrative Research Institute make it possible for the team to attend the East Africa Creation Care and the Gospel, a conference sponsored by Lausanne. Following the 5-day conference, the team will travel to A Rocha Kenya for 5 days of environmental sciences training. The team's goals for the 2-week sojourn include--
- developing knowledge in basics of environmental science and climate change
- networking with regional practitioners and leaders in creation care
- developing action plans to strengthen UCBC's work and example as a regional and national leader in environmental stewardship
Creation Care: Campus Conversations last May initiated conversation about creation care. Those conversations have expanded to a year-long series of educational and practical activities on matters of environmental stewardship. An active Creation Care Committee has hosted two local conferences. A student-led organization has coordinated with UCBC's agronomist to test the viability of campus-wide composting. YECA Fellows coordinate community education and clean-up events. What a gift it was to be in Beni the past four weeks to see this work in action.
What a thrill it was to witness other examples of growth and leadership in action. For example, the service learning team, comprised of Coordinator Musafiri and four student interns, is launching a campaign to strengthen and revitalize service learning at UCBC. They have developed a plan for faculty and student workshops and joined forces with UCBC's new agri-business program to infuse service learning pedagogy in that program's courses.
Over the last four weeks I worked with various faculty members and staff on curriculum, alternative assessment, course outcomes, and proposing a final year capstone project for graduating students. I also enjoyed two weddings and a day-trip to the edge of the Rwenzori Mountains!
I had earlier planned to be in Beni from February through mid-May. A variety of circumstances intervened to limit the time, however. I left Beni this past Saturday and arrived stateside just three days ago. My hope and prayer are that I can return to Beni for 3-4 months beginning in September.
Between now and then several things will keep me busy. I return to Entebbe (Uganda) next week for three days of meetings with members of Beni-based and US-based CI leadership to examine the results of a recently-completed organizational audit. At the end of June I will represent UCBC and its primary school, Academie Bilingue du Congo (ABC), at the International Association of School Librarianship conference in Maastricht (Netherlands). I will also continue assisting faculty and staff members with curriculum design and collaborate with US-based colleagues on grant proposals.
It remains a privilege to share in community life in Beni and to work with CI here and in Congo. Thank you for your partnership, for your continued support, interest, and prayers.