Share My World: Being a photographer for Global Resolve

I recently posted on The Birds of Kenya and thought I would tell you more about why I was in Kenya.

I work as an academic advisor at Arizona State University, a job which I thoroughly enjoy. At the beginning of last fall semester (August 2018) I was talking to one of the professors, Dr. Henderson. He was telling me about his summer trip to Kenya and showing me some pictures.

Dr. Henderson is an engineering professor and founder of a program called Global Resolve.

Right then I said, " I could go to Africa and take pictures for the program." He smiled and said to keep in touch.

Fast forward to the spring semester (probably about March 2019). I was meeting with one of the students I advise and she mentioned that she had applied to a program to go to Africa. I asked her about the program and realized that she was talking about Global Resolve. I then contacted Dr. Henderson and asked again about taking pictures for the program. Things fell into place and he helped me to spend three weeks in Kenya photographing for Global Resolve.

Now you are asking, "What is Global Resolve and what do they do?"
From their website- "

GlobalResolve was established at Arizona State University in 2006 as a social entrepreneurship program designed to enhance the educational experience for ASU students by involving them in real-world projects that directly improve the lives of underprivileged people locally and in underdeveloped nations throughout the world."

This year 10 students from ASU joined 6 students from Prescott College (also in Arizona) to work and study in the Mara of Kenya.

Here they are after they successfully got the jeeps out of the mud during our first game drive/ safari in the Maasai Mara.

Some of the projects they students engaged in during the summer of 2019.

The Automotive Education Center

Cameron and Olivia surveying the land where the center will be built.

This project is a multi year project in which students participate both in the classroom at ASU and in the summer in Kenya. It was started at the request of the local game drive guides. Prescott College has an amazing program that trains and certifies local Maasi people to be guides for game drives on the reserve. With the rough road conditions on the reserve the jeeps need a lot of care and upkeep.

The automotive education center is in the very beginning stages.

Three engineering students, Miles, Cameron and Olivia worked on the project. Miles conducted interviews with the local community and Olivia and Cameron measured and surveyed the land.

Miles interviewing local guide, Luck.

The Automotive team reporting to Meitamei about the progress of the project.


Another project that students work on during the school year and then go into the field in the summer is SolarSpell

From their website

The SolarSPELL digital library provides locally-relevant open-access educational resources, served up over an offline WiFi hotspot–to which any WiFi-enabled device can connect. It mimics an online experience to build information literacy and technology skills in a safe, offline environment.

Stanley and Alpha using SolarSpell on a laptop and phone.

The Esty bead project

Last summer Charlotte went to Kenya and noticed that the local women make beautiful bead jewelry and sell it at the market, at the entrance of the reserve, and at local lodges. She is now working to help them sell their beautiful art around the world through Esty.

Charlotte and Kelly brainstorming for the Etsy project

Examples of the beautiful beaded jewelry

Garden and Compost project

This project was the most inclusive of all the projects. Just about everyone at camp was involved in some way. The students met with the the local cooks to find out what to plant and where to locate the garden. They worked many long hours clearing the ground for the garden and compost. It was a team project!

Trash can project

This was a much needed project to put trash cans around the camp. Here are pictures from brainstorming designs to implementation.

Global Resolve is a great program in which students work on projects directly with community members and in accordance to the communities desires and needs. Students have the opportunities to live and work in communities getting to know the people and pushing their thoughts and ideas of their world and the world around them.

Miles looking out over the camp and in the distance the Mara.

More post to come on the camp, game drives, the people, places and events during my time on the Mara.

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