Elijah Odundo, alumnus, MSc Education for Sustainability
How a Masters degree at LSBU is helping one student to keep the peace in his native Kenya
When Elijah Odundo was looking for the right place to study Education for Sustainability, LSBU struck him as the natural choice. "After finishing my Bachelor's degree in Kenya, I was working as a full-time Environmental Education and Training Manager," he recalls. "I wanted to undertake a Masters and LSBU's reputation meant that it was my first choice."
The course was relevant to my work, because I was becoming increasingly involved in education for sustainable development.
As well as being home to the right course, Elijah's research revealed that LSBU was the right choice for other reasons too. "I could study via distance learning, which suited my needs perfectly," says Elijah. "I also discovered I was eligible for a Commonwealth Scholarship which made everything a much more realistic goal. It gave me the opportunity and resources to study for my degree."
Change management skills
Upon starting his studies, Eijah discovered that the reality of studying at LSBU matched his expectations, and he has found that the skills and understanding he acquired during his time with us have helped his career. "The skills I developed in change management came in particularly handy during the run-up to the March 2013 general elections in Kenya," he says. "The ghost of the bloodshed that followed the general election in 2007-08 was hanging over the whole process. We badly needed a peace initiative in Kibera, which was the epicenter of the violence that had erupted in Nairobi."
Working as part of a team that developed a peace project for Kiberia, Elijah found himself co-ordinating the project for almost two years. "I worked on the project for eight months before the elections and a year after them with great success," he says. "The initiative helped people to move forward and look to the future with confidence in a peaceful way, avoiding a return to the violence and bloodshed that was the hallmark of the previous election."
Elijah himself has enjoyed success as a result of his Masters – he credits it with helping him achieve two promotions. "I took the step up from Project Manager to Programme Manager while I was still studying at LSBU," he recalls, "and since then I have become Programmes Director. There's no doubt in my mind that my ability to apply the skills I acquired on the course have helped me with both promotions, and I am sure that they will continue to help me develop my career for many years to come." Elijah has also recently been accepted to undertake a PhD in Development Studies at a leading Kenyan university.