Elijah Macharia Ndung'u, Kenya
- Employment: St. Paul’s University Nairobi, Kenya
- Scholarship: APPEAR - Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development
- Duration: 04/12–09/15
Elijah Macharia NDUNG’U is a lecturer in Counseling Psychology, Social Work and Research Methods at St. Paul’s University-Nairobi in the Faculty of Social Sciences. He holds a BA in Social Work from University of Nairobi, a MA in Counseling Psychology from United States International University-Africa and a PhD in Psychology from Alpen Adria University, Klagenfurt. Elijah was nominated for his PhD studies within the APPEAR academic partnership PROSOWO, financed by the Austrian Development Cooperation. The aim of PROSOWO is to promote professional social work in East Africa. One participating institution is the University of Nairobi - Department of Sociology and Social Work, where Elijah was involved in PROSOWO as Research Assistant and now works as Project Assistant. Elijah has over 10 years’ research experience, having worked in various research projects and organizations including, He has also worked for Kenya National Bureau of Statistics as a research assistant in the Census for Industrial Production 2010, and as a National Population Census Trainer for the Census for Establishments in 2009, with further experience as a research assistant and data editor at the East African Community Federation Kenya Household Survey of 2007. Elijah has strong humanitarian, training and project management skills having worked with the UNV/UNDP - Emergency Volunteer Scheme (EVS), Child Focus Africa and the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) among others in various social development sectors. His professional goal is to contribute to sustainable social development and socio-economic and psychological progress.
When I got the APPEAR scholarship, I had mixed reactions. I did not know how I would manage in a foreign country for three years since it was my first time I was living away from my country. I gained a lot of exposure and interacted with different people from a wide cultural diversity. This helped me better understand people from different parts of Europe and the world over. The learning experience at Alpen Adria University, Klagenfurt was tremendous and did not have major problems. The lecturers and staff were very supportive throughout my course journey. This offered me an opportunity to learn comfortably without much struggle with the units offered. The scientific knowledge acquired during my studies in Austria was a big boost towards my career achievements and aspirations. I thank the APPEAR team for their great concern on the grant holders’ well-being. The workshops and excursions organized always gave me an opportunity to interact with other scholars and exchange ideas both educational and socio-cultural. This opened my mind to how different cultures have unique and extensive cultural diversity which made me appreciate its importance in different societies. In the PROSOWO project I got involved in 2011. The project has really brought immense change among the social work practitioners and generally in the profession in East Africa. I got a chance to participate in the data collection and data analysis process of both PROSOWO I and II. This has enriched my professional skills in research and enhanced my understanding of social work from a grass roots perspective. It has also highlighted the various indigenous and innovative social work models of practice used within the region. This was never documented before, but now it will be possible for them to be documented. I thank the whole PROSOWO family for giving me an opportunity to be part of changing the social work profession in East Africa and taking it to greater heights of professionalism. Finally I would like to thank the Austrian Development Corporation and APPEAR in particular for making this scholarship and the project a reality.