KDI Blog Lastest happenings and insights from KDI

KDI Interns 2010

We’re pleased to welcome Aidan, Jean, Anna, and Chase as our 2010 Summer Interns! They will be working in Kibera over the next 2 months in the areas of 1) documentary film making 2) kiki women weavers marketing & business training c) organic compost crop research & marketing d) community organizing & design. We are lucky to have such a talented group and thanks to all who applied!

Anna Harkness
I’m originally from Chicago, IL, but after high school I headed across the country to Scripps College, in Claremont, CA. I graduated in May 2010 with a major in economics and minors in environmental studies and math. But what I’m really interested in is urban planning, and in particular, the way urban planning can help promote economic development in developing countries. Working with KDI this summer, I’m looking forward to getting hands-on experience in exactly this area before I head to graduate school in a year or two.

My other interests include travel, photography, and being outside. I spent a semester in London and last summer I had an internship in Prague. In high school I spent my summers volunteering at national parks across the US, including the North Cascades in Washington state and Haleakala in Hawaii. My preferred mode of transportation is my bicycle, with the train in second place. I’m also an avid rock climber!

I’m excited to be coming to Kenya for the first time this summer. I hope to have plenty of opportunities to see Kibera, Nairobi, and the rest of the country, while gaining valuable experience to guide my future work.

Jean Yang

While working in real estate development in Asia, I developed a passion for public spaces. In the shadow of skyscrapers, a simple pocket park can have infinite value. It becomes a community hub where neighbors meet and friendships form. During my work in real estate development, I became a strong public space advocate. I worked on the redevelopment of Covent Garden Square in London and Exchange Square in Hong Kong. A year ago, I decided to supplement my B.A. in Economics and Government from Cornell University with a M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA.

With KDI, I’m very excited to further explore the power of community and public spaces. In particular the role that social support networks can have in providing the community with tools and opportunities to boost their productivity, increase their incomes, and build better lives for themselves and their families.

Chase Gray

I am a rising junior at Claremont McKenna College (near Los Angeles) majoring in Economics and International Relations. Originally from West Linn, Oregon, my academic interests include microfinance, international political economy, game theory, and classical liberalism. In my spare time I enjoy budget travel, reading The Economist, listening to house music, learning Arabic, and obsessing over anything and everything related to soccer. I am just a little bit excited to be in Africa during the World Cup final. This summer I hope to successfully establish a market for Kibera residents to sell their organic compost and to assist in other KDI projects in Nairobi. Having suffered multiple existential crises during my first two years of college, I also hope that I will leave Kenya with at least some idea of what I want to do with my life. I wouldn’t mind participating in a few pick-up soccer games either.

Aidan Leighton-Shapiro

My name is Aidan Shapiro-Leighton. I am a rising junior at Harvard University concentrating in Film/Video Production and minoring in Biology. My career goal is to work for ESPN TV and write screenplays in my spare time. I play the saxophone and compete for Harvard’s club Ultimate Frisbee team. In traveling to Nairobi, I hope to apply and develop my documentary filmmaking skills as I work with KDI to improve the lives of those in Kibera and raise world awareness to their situation.

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