Building on Local and Indigenous Knowledges for Community Resilience (Meru, Kenya) – FAQ

Application Details for Canadian Indigenous Women Only

A complete application, will have:

  • 1-2 page personal statement of your interest or a video statement of 6 minutes or less in place of a written document. The statement of interest must indicate the work you have done in the community since you have graduated, and how you think this course and experience in Kenya will be beneficial to your initiatives moving forward.
  • Current resume
  • The name of the organizational or community you are affiliated with
  • Contact details for one person (who is not related to you) who can provide a reference for you

Those that would like to strengthen their application can also include an endorsement from a community or organization leader familiar with your work.

Send applications to Karri-Lynn Paul ( and David Fletcher ( before 12:00 (midnight), Tuesday, July 31, 2018. An internal Coady committee will review only completed applications with a selection of successful applicants by Friday, August 10, 2018.

Coady Institute will cover cost of registration, health insurance, economy class airline ticket, ground transportation, meals, and accommodation. A passport is required for travel to Kenya.  If you are chosen, you will need to spend time in August and September preparing for your trip, including getting recommended vaccinations.

For information about the First African Learning Institute on Local and Indigenous Knowledges for Community Resilience upon which this one is modelled, please go to:


Frequently Asked Questions regarding the participation of two Canadian Indigenous Women in the Building on Local and Indigenous Knowledges for Community Resilience Course in Meru, Kenya (Oct 3-17, 2018).


  1. Is the program only for indigenous women?

No.  The program is designed for indigenous women and men from East Africa and other professionals from East Africa who work with indigenous communities and other local grassroots groups.  Fifty-per cent of the participants will be men and all of the participants (other than two Canadian indigenous women) will be African.

  1. What is the level of education needed to attend?

There is no required level of education other than secondary school for course participants.  Most participants will have B.A degrees, however, and a few of them may have masters.  All participants will have a minimum of 5 years of community development experience.

  1. Do I need to be fluent in any other language?

The course will be conducted in English.  All participants will come from countries where English has been the language of instruction throughout secondary school.  People will have different accents, however, and the participants will also speak many different African indigenous languages outside of class.

  1. Are there assignments for the course?

Yes.  There will be one small group assignment to complete with 4 or 5 other participants and one individual assignment (often a powerpoint presentation) of how participants intend to use their new learnings in their own community.  Details will be provided on the first day of the course.

  1. Will I earn a certificate?

Yes.  All participants who complete the course requirements will receive a certificate from the Coady Institute.

  1. What will the field visits be like?

The major field visit planned is an overnight stay with a family in a rural community.Participants will be organized in to small groups of 2 to 6 and will spend two days and one night in an indigenous / grassroots community, learning about and participating in family and community activities.Details will be provided during the course.

  1. Is there anything I need to know about clothing for the course?

The main course activities will be held in the training room of a local 2 to 3 star hotel, that will have ceiling fans and/or air conditioning.  Participants will dress casual, but professional.  Some of the participants in the group will be followers of Islam, so they will dress and appreciate conservative dress from all participants, particularly that shoulders and knees are usually covered.  For the opening dinner and the graduation ceremony participants may dress up a little to help create an atmosphere for celebration, and because there may be some community or government dignitaries visiting.  Some participants may wear traditional regalia on these occasions.


  1. What will the accommodations and meals be like?

Accommodations will be in a 2 or 3 star hotel in Meru, Kenya.  Participants will have self- contained rooms with bathroom facilities and air conditioning.  Breakfast (eg. eggs, toast, coffee) and lunch (often rice and beef or fish stew) will be provided for all participants.  Participants will receive a small stipend to go out in the evenings and purchase their own meals (eg. anything from burgers and spaghetti to local Kenyan food).  A fridge will be made available for participants to keep snacks.  Participants with special dietary needs will need to take responsibility for working this out with the kitchen at the hotel themselves.

  1. How will we get from the airport to the workshop venue?

You will be picked up by shuttle bus at the Nairobi airport and spend one or two nights in Nairobi at a hotel close to the ICE office.  All participants will then take a bus together to Meru.

  1. Are there health issues I should be concerned about?

No and yes.  Usually there are no health issues that people experience at courses such as these.  It is imperative, however, that you visit your local travel health clinic and get advice from a qualified health professional.

  1. What are the vaccinations I need to get?  Who will pay for them?

A qualified health professional at a local travel health clinic will be able to tell you what vaccinations you need for Kenya.These visits and the cost of vaccinations will be paid for by the Coady Institute.

  1. Have there been recent flu outbreaks in Kenya?

There have been no recent exotic tropical flu outbreaks in Kenya that you should be concerned about.However, it is important to discuss this issue with a qualified health professional if you have concerns.

  1. What about water quality and food contamination?

In travelling to another country water and food contamination can always be an issue. It is important to take precautions.Bottled water will be provided for drinking and should be used for teeth brushing, although the hotel water is fine for washing. A simple rule to avoid food contamination is to eat hot food hot and cold food cold. Food in the restaurant where we have the course should be fine.People should be cautious in where they go for food in the evenings.Other participants will be helpful.

  1. What if there is an emergency?

You will have emergency health coverage, and ICE (our local partner) has connections with the best medical facilities in Meru and Nairobi.If there is an accident your insurance will include air lift and emergency transportation back to Canada if recommended by a doctor.

  1. What will the temperature be like at that time?

Meru is on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya at an altitude of about 5,000 feet.Historically day time temperatures in October average 25 degrees and night time lows about 14.There is a 25% chance of rain, so bring an umbrella.

  1. How do I keep in touch with people at home when I am there?

Mobile telephone service is good in Kenya.  You can get roaming services from most Canadian mobile operators.  If your phone is unlocked it is also possible to purchase a local SIM card and 1 month of data for much cheaper than most roaming packages. This will give you a local number that people from home can call and the ability to access other services from your cell phone.  Internet will be available at the hotel, but service may be sporadic and at a very low band width.

 If you have any other burning questions please contact Karri-Lynn: or David: or keep looking at this site for updates.

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