What I Felt at the Seminar Camp in Kenya
Kakeru Kikuchi (B4)
From March 4th to 8th, 2023, Fujii’s seminar members, including myself, visited Kenya as a seminar camp. In high school, I visited several countries in Southeast Asia and South America, but I had never been to an African country. Therefore, I was very excited to set foot on African soil for the first time during my trip to Kenya. When I visited Kenya, I felt it was a country full of energy and charm that exceeded my expectations.
Our first day in Kenya we have consisted mainly of sightseeing. We visited a giraffe and elephant sanctuary, and seeing up close and touching the animals was a very valuable experience. Above all, it was an excellent opportunity to see how much the local people care for the wild animals.
The second and subsequent days were great learning experiences for me as a student. On the second day, we first visited the JSPS Nairobi Research Station. We learned about fieldwork and gained knowledge I can apply to future research. We also visited the Save the Children Kenya office and its project field. As an intern at Save the Children Japan, I was particularly interested in this trip. After the instruction in the office, we moved to the project field and participated in a workshop with local people. The workshop was on positive parenting, an initiative to improve parent-child relationships in their home. Through the workshop, I learned about the current situation of children in impoverished areas in Kenya and people's awareness of child rights, as well as the difficulty for foreigners to visit the project field and communicate with locals. I want to keep this experience in mind because I want to be involved in humanitarian assistance in the future.
We met with Dr. Faith Kabata of Kenyatta University Law School on the third day. Then we had an online conversation with Ms. Lucy Ndungu, Regional Manager of UNDP at the UN office. In our conversations with them, we heard about the internalization of international norms such as human rights and law and peace-building in Africa. In addition, they have been at the forefront of research and practice in their respective fields. What I learned from their stories was useful for what I wanted to do, and I became even more motivated for future research as I felt my inadequacies.
This trip to Kenya was my first visit to Africa, but I could learn a lot. I am currently in my fourth year of undergraduate studies and will enter my first year of a master's degree next April. Now that all the dates have been completed, I look forward to the studies I will conduct. In these studies, I hope to improve on my lack of study and English language skills during this trip and grow as a better scholar. Furthermore, someday, I hope to be able to revisit Africa to do my research and projects!