Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back to Kenya

Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
This is all we've got and we've gotta start thinking that
Every second counts on the clock thats tickin'
Gotta live like we're dying

You only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
Gotta tell em that we love em while we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

My dream came true...again! :) After spending every second of every day for the past 9 months thinking about Kenya I am finally back. It was great to be home in Canada with my friends and family but I couldn't help to think about the incredible experience that I had last year, the Yogurt Mamas and the Western Heads East (WHE) project, and all the friends I had left behind. Kenya has a big place in my heart and I knew that I would be back as soon as possible...but I had no idea that it would be this soon.

My Objective...

This summer I am working as a Research Assistant for my professor Oana Branzei at The Richard Ivey School of Business (Ivey), The University of Western Ontario. I am excited to work with a team of three other students from Ivey: Emily Royer, Kinleigh Wiedeman, and Jackel Yip. The four of us are working in Oyugis for 3 months (Emily will only be here for 2) to research community-based enterprises while assisting the Yogurt Mamas in the development of the WHE probiotic yogurt business to ensure its sustainability. As well, we will be looking into opportunities for expansion of the project with different women's groups in Kenya.

Other specific goals include...
• Evaluate all aspects of the business operations and collaborate with the Yogurt Mamas to implement new innovative ideas to improve the business and guarantee its sustainability.
• Assist the Mamas in establishing good production and sales tracking systems, quality control, as well as clear financial management practices.
• Identify new sales channels and develop a marketing strategy that will raise awareness about the yogurt product while eliminating any misconceptions associated with its consumption.
• Identify women’s groups interested in starting up their own probiotic yogurt business and assist them in the start-up process and preparation.
• Assist PhD student Ellena Andoniou on the completion of the World Bank study.
• Research alternative packaging for the yogurt.
• Implement promotions and customer loyalty initiatives.
• Research possible opportunities for partnerships in the community with schools, orphanages, and other organizations.

An update on the WHE project in Kenya...
The objective is to establish a sustainable, grass-roots food based development project, to improve health, nutrition and alleviate suffering from malnutrition in vulnerable social groups in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Oyugis-Rachuonyo district in Kenya.

The Kenya project is funded by the World Bank for a research study on the effects of probiotics on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) and malnourished children. The first yogurt kitchen in Oyugis has been in operation for almost one year now and a second kitchen in Kadongo, about 30 mins away by matatu, has recently been renovated and production has begun. The research study for World Bank is in its final completion stages and it will be important for us to assist with the collection and accuracy of the data.

I am so excited to be back in Kenya and I hope that you will continue to read my blog to learn more about the WHE yogurt project and my other exciting adventures! :)



  1. Where can i get the best business colleges in Kenya?
    Which website in Kenya provides the best information on business colleges and courses?

  2. I wanna know about another country's point of view on global warming. Specifically Kenya because some people in my year are going on a trip there fairly soon.

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  3. How does Kenya compare with other holiday destinations? do they have locations for beach weddings too?

  4. What does Kenya think about global warming and climate change and that? Is Kenya a good destination for expats? Are there expat health insurance companies?