Monday, May 5, 2008

Consumer Behavior Class Completes Service-Learning Project

Students in Dr. Cheryl Buff's Consumer Behavior class put their business knowledge to good use by creating brochures and power point presentations on behalf of a trust that assists marginalized Kenyan tribes’ people. Their marketing materials will help the trust raise awareness and help sell the tribes' products. More information on the trust can be found at

The Trust consists of approximately 100 square miles in the Laikipiak Plateau Region of Kenya. It is not possible to accurately estimate the total number of area residents as they are largely nomadic but the best guess is somewhere between 10,000 and 19,000 individuals. The trust is trying to establish a viable life for these individuals in order to stem the exodus to Nairobi where they incorrectly believe there are jobs and a future. Sadly, when they arrive in Nairobi there are no jobs, slums of unimaginable filth and squalor and health issues which the government, ill-equipped to deal with the issues, estimates that 83 percent of the 3.5 million slum dwellers are either HIV B/AIDS or TB positive.

Students were thrilled to use their skills to help this cause. "I felt connected to these people. It was just a little bit of work from us - something small we know how to do - but it will mean so much for them," said Michael Lashomb '09.

Dr. Buff was especially pleased in the range of creativity of the students' work. "They were all very different. Some created a story. Others had a product focus. They all worked in their own way," she said.

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