I have always understood ‘solidarity’ to mean standing together or uniting under a belief or purpose. However, I found that I lacked an understanding of what it means to practice solidarity through my actions on a daily basis.
To practice solidarity, it is important to recognize that we are a part of a global community, and that people in other nations are not strangers; they are our neighbors. In this community there is interdependence, and we cannot ignore problems that do not directly affect us. The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, stated that “(solidarity) is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as unique individuals.”
Three months until we leave, and I am already filled with excitement at the prospect of beginning this internship! I cannot wait to find out which partner program I will be working with in Kakamega. This internship presents the opportunity to experience the richness of a different culture, and to learn from the community in Kenya.
I am going to Africa to discover, and to gain a greater understanding of the challenges that this community deals with. I also want to contribute to the program I will be working for using what I have learned as an environmental engineering student and Entrepreneur-Scholar. This service-based learning experience is an opportunity to discover the ‘present challenges and future possibilities1’ of Kenya.
1 Fay, W. (2001). A Call to Solidarity with Africa. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,