FALL 2012 | St. Lawrence University Magazine 27
Cahill was managing an HIV/
AIDS program in the post-conflict re-
gion of northern Uganda.
Valerie Foster Githinji ’98
spring ’97) is writing her Ph.D. dis-
sertation on gendered vulnerability to
poverty, HIV/AIDS and food insecu-
rity in northwestern Tanzania.
Justin Sullivan ’07
KSP spring ’06) is
based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, with
the organization Management and De-
velopment for Health.
Many KSP alumni have been involved
with unique business and nonprofit start-
ups in Africa. Their goal is to benefit Af-
ricans by opening avenues to economic
independence and self-sufficiency:
Hope Thornton ’01 (
KSP fall '99) is
co-founder and former executive direc-
tor of Nature’s Gift Permaculture, which
focuses on sustainable solutions for
food and nutrition security in Malawi,
where she was also a food and nutrition
security adviser with Temwa, a United
Kingdom-based NGO.
Matt Meyer (Brown University, KSP
fall ’92) co-founded Ecosandals, a san-
dal-making business based in the dis-
advantaged Nairobi neighborhood of
Korogocho. Ecosandals, which makes
sandals from scrap materials for sale
around the world, grew out of Matt's
KSP independent study project. U.S.
Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a KSP
alumnus and chairman of the Senate
Foreign Relations Subcommittee on
African Affairs, toured Ecosandals in
May with then-U.S. Ambassador to
Kenya Scott Gration. 

In 2009, Sara Holby (Bowdoin Col-
lege, KSP fall ’06) and her mother,
Funkhouser Holby ’79
KSP fall ’78),
founded Ajiri Tea, a producer of award-
winning teas based in western Kenya.
One hundred percent of Ajiri’s profits
support the education of local orphans
through the Ajiri Foundation.
The power of the KSP to cultivate long-
term relationships between its partici-
pants and communities in Kenya, and
indeed throughout Africa, is unequivocal.
St. Lawrence’s steady support of the KSP
has put Africa on the St. Lawrence map.
Looking ahead, opportunities abound for
future Laurentians interested in Africa to
develop their own connections and exert
their own impacts in a part of the world
where the need is extreme.
I'm convinced that at this
critical moment in our
planet's history, transforma-
tive initiatives (like the KSP)
may be instrumental in fos-
tering in us and our global
neighbors a sense that in
our diversity we share much
that is fundamental to us all.
As we recognize this, we
can together, in the words of
former Tanzanian President
Mwalimu Julius Nyerere,
develop the resources of
this planet for all the people
of this planet.’”
Former KSP Director Paul Robinson, current
director of the Human Needs and Global Re-
sources Program, Wheaton College, Ill.
John Linsley ’04
com) participated in the fall 2002
KSP. He has been hooked on East
Africa ever since and credits the
KSP for giving him the know-how
to return to Africa for work, study
and travel. Himself a leader of ed-
ucational trips in Africa for young
people, he writes the
Habari Gani
column in this magazine.
For more from our highlighted alumni on the impact of their Kenya experiences on their lives, and
additional material on St. Lawrence’s Africa connections, go to
In Usisya, Malawi,
Hope Thornton
poses with a colleague from her time as a food and nutrition
security adviser with Temwa, a UK-based NGO.