This past term, the Faculty of Education Students’ Association (FESA) welcomed the Honourable Phoebe Asiyo and her daughter Atieno from the Wikondiek School in Kenya to speak at their council meeting. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Asiyo’s to share information about the progress of the small school in Western Kenya that FESA has supported through fundraising activities over the past five years including conferences, workshops and an annual job fair for Education students.
During her remarks, the elder Ms. Asiyo spoke about the partnership that the Wikondiek school has developed with FESA and with the university through the York International Internship Program (YIIP).
“The partnership with FESA and with York University has benefited Wikondiek and its residents immensely,” said Asiyo. “Some of the impactful changes that have occurred as a result of the fundraising efforts of FESA include the construction of roads to make the village more accessible; the building of the school and other facilities so that students can continue their studies despite the weather conditions; and the creation of a First Aid Club started to help develop residents’ life-saving skills – this is particularly impactful due to Wikondiek’s rural setting and clinics/hospitals not being as accessible.”
Through YIIP the Wikondiek School has hosted a number of York students as interns during the summer months. “These experiences have been beneficial for not only the students, but have also provided some key learning opportunities for us here at the school,” said Atieno.
“Mobilizing knowledge and learning from each other, all while understanding the importance of education and its impact on people as global citizens – locally and abroad is key,” said FESA President Kim Tran. “As future educators (within the classroom or not), we believe that education should be accessible for everyone.”
In 2003, York University awarded an honorary doctorate to Phoebe Asiyo, a former Kenyan member of Parliament, in recognition of her impressive human rights work. That work continues today through her ongoing support and work with the Wikondiek School.
To learn more about internship opportunities at the Wikondiek School, please visit the YIIP website.