Monday, July 11, 2011

Discussion about SIFE program ongoing

Photo caption -- This was a barazza(sp) or community gathering called by the local government in Muhuru Bay, Kenya to help people being affected by a severe drought in Eastern Africa.

One of the many facets of the Students Involved in Free Enterprise is an international component. Neil Sickendick is the director of Coker's SIFE program and we had a discussion over lunch today about the potential for a SIFE-type program in a place I visited in Kenya during my sabbatical. We had an interesting discussion.

The SIFE students will be the ones implementing a program. The village of Muhuru Bay, Kenya, is a place that could use a variety of programs to help the residents. The question we are discussing is if there is a fit for SIFE into the needs of Muhuru Bay. One of the SIFE members stopped by my office right after I got back from Kenya and initiated the question of a SIFE program in this part of Kenya. He thought there was strong potential interest from SIFE members. Neil, who was very active in SIFE during his undergrad days at Drury University thinks there is a good possibility of interest. So, our next step is to check with some of the contacts I made during the trip to see if there is a way to bring interests together. I hope so because that would be a major benefit resulting from this part of the sabbatical.

Getting an idea of how to help a community that is poor to begin with and suffering from a natural disaster through the lens of the lens of the principles of free enterprise could be a major educational experience. Hope we will be able to find a way to make something work.

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