Kenya: Afya Kwanzaa 2009

Following the same classroom methodology applied to Water4India –and in collaboration with Africa Center for Engineering Solutions (ACESS) in the Spring of 2009, Issues in Design students worked on a wellness campaign for Kenya titled "Afya Kwanzaa" (Wellness first). The campaign uses "kangas" (a traditional cotton garment wore by women in Sub-Saharan Africa) to communicate four important topics:

  1. Amaranth Promotion: nutrition, planting, harvesting, cooking
  2. Safe Water: boiling water, washing hands, washing containers
  3. Women Safety: walking in groups, to prevent possible assault
  4. Disease Prevention: avoiding stagnant water to prevent malaria

Professor Natacha Poggio traveled to the Rift Valley in Kenya in July 2009 as part of a collaborative team of faculty from the University of Hartford, Brown University and University of Rhode Island. She met with farmers and villagers to discussed the different student designs and the feedback obtained is currently being applied to new kanga designs to be produced in the summer 2010.

In addition, we are working with Alour, a group of widows who all are HIV positive, to promote messages of understanding of AIDS/HIV and "living positively." Continuing our efforts to promote Amaranth, we are also working with the community to promote this remarkable crop's advantages with better packaging design.

Look at a presentation overview for "Afya Kwazaa" (Wellness first) campaign!