Asta Kiema’s love for Mother Nature begun at a young age, when her family bought a summer house in the countryside. Later on, that love guided her to study forest and environmental economics in the University of Helsinki. Having received her MSc degree, she decided it was time for a change of scenery. As a consequence, she will spend the next six months in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania working as an intern and project coordinator for Shalin’s SkillsFAST project. During her stay, Asta is determined to learn Swahili and get hands-on experience on making biogas from cow dung.
My name is Saara Koskinen. I am doing my Bachelor’s studies on culture and arts, in a degree programme of crafts and recreation at HAMK University of Applied sciences in Hämeenlinna, Finland. My main subject is therapeutic recreation which means that in future i will be working on fields of recreation and rehabilitation, using culture and arts as a tool in my work. On Shalin Finland I am doing my internship period, which gives me the opportunity to increase my knowledge about rehabilitation system and everything involved with building one. To the project I can bring my knowledge of rehabilitation work with the cultural aspect. About the renewable energies, I am very interested about seeing the system and how it works. In my work here I would like to exploit recycling as my way of saving the nature resources.
I am Elsa Guéneau, from France. After having studied history and political sciences, I am concluding my Professional Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action & NGOs with this internship at Shalin. I am actually interested in capacity building projects, in particular about natural resources management and sustainable agriculture. I am currently in Tanzania to support the SkillsFAST project within Vikuruti Farm, especially through the development of a business plan exploring various possibilities and the coordination between the various partners. This is a great opportunity to understand and take part in a real project implementation process and thus increasing my professional skills on managing it in the reality of the field, improving my technical knowledge about environmental, economic and social sustainability in agriculture, as well as it is a significant inspiring and humane adventure.
ERIC SARFO is from Ghana. He has studied sociology and social work. He is currently pursuing a masters degree in International Development Studies at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble – France. My internship at SHALIN-Finland is a partial fulfillment of his master’s degree.. “For my internship, I wanted an opportunity to familiarize myself with biomass value chain from production to use (barriers to efficient utilization of biomass in relation to deforestation and climate change), Knowledge in the coordination of activities in a network of organizations. I have been involved in the coordination of volunteers’ activities for the Helsinki African Film Festival (HAFF), and reviewing existing materials and report writing. I have also been writing my thesis on the effects of optimizing the use of biomass through improved stoves in Kenya: an alternative to conventional energy and some other administrative work. SHALIN has afforded me the opportunity to realize my interest-based objectives in a friendly working environment full of hardworking and inspiring people”
My name is Fiona Mwacharo and I am from Nairobi, Kenya. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Supply Chain Management and Logistics. Currently I am pursuing a Master’s degree on Corporate Environmental Management from which I have developed an interest in sustainable development. My passion in sustainable development led me to pursue an internship at Shalin Finland. My current tasks have been in the development of the marketing tools for Cherengany Ecolodge which was developed under the umbrella of Shalin. I am also able to gain practical experience about the administration activities within the organization.
My name is Henry Koech, Kenyan by nationality and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. I have always been enthusiastic about environmental issues, particularly concerning sustainable energy and access to clean water. Shalin Finland has provided me with an opportunity to implement the ideas I have gathered throughout my studies in the real world and by doing so helped in fulfilling my interests. The tasks I am currently involved in include gathering environmental data concerning Cherangany Ecolodge in Kenya and Biogas training material for a vocational education center in Uganda. Through Shalin, I have met so many people who share the same interest and above all, wonderful colleagues and conducive work environment!
My name is Lilian Kabelle, a Kenyan from Kisumu City. I am a rising junior at the University of California, Berkeley. I am a civil engineering major whose goal is to majorly contribute towards the environmental, transportation and structural developments in Kenya after gaining the necessary experience and skills. At Shalin Finland, I have been involved with monitoring and writing reports on the ongoing projects (the stove, generator and solar water heater). I have majorly been involved in the stove project in terms of exchanging ideas with the facilitators and students on how improvements can be made on the design. It has been amazing to learn the concept of gasification and how it can be used for energy and especially how little fuel (biomass) is needed in such stoves. This in turn saves our trees since majority of Kenyans use charcoal as fuel. Besides saving the environment, the projects run by Shalin(via skillsFAST) will soon create jobs for tens(and soon hundreds and later thousands) of youths. Most youths involved in the projects will soon be self-employed and ready to run their own businesses. Through skillsFAST, I have witnessed how much our youths are capable of given the right opportunity. I have been inspired to share the knowledge and experience I will have gained upon graduation from UC Berkeley. Interestingly, during my time here I have also developed ideas (which are still in the offing) on projects totally unrelated to stoves that could improve lives. I believe I will learn more during the one month that I still have here. Also, I am developing a syllabus for the gasifier project as a course and teaching Mathematics at CITC. Teaching has been a great experience since I have had the chance to interact with the students and know them individually. All I can say for now is that the interaction has sparked the desire to counsel and empower our youths-which I hope to do at some point in time upon graduation (I am still doing my own research for now). I am thankful that I am interning here.