This Kenyan Lawyer Is Utilizing Learnings from a UN-Impressed edX Course to Assist Youth Offenders Get a Second Likelihood at Life


Alice Ndung’u resides her dream. Each morning, she wakes up able to struggle for justice and equality as a human rights lawyer in her hometown of Nairobi, Kenya. 

A self-described empath, Alice felt a calling to assist others from a younger age. “I used to be raised in a middle-class household the place I by no means lacked for something,” she explains. “Nonetheless, I knew that was not the case for lots of people round me. Many couldn’t afford primary requirements equivalent to meals or water. I needed to be ready the place I may create insurance policies to assist these people. Most legal guidelines are created with out contemplating the world’s most weak populations—however we should contemplate their voices when making choices that may have an effect on their lives.”

After graduating school (see photograph beneath, together with her household), Alice grew to become an affiliate at a regulation agency in Kenya’s capital metropolis, the place she works on pro-bono circumstances serving to space youth keep away from incarceration for petty crimes. The nation’s judicial system processes these younger offenders as adults; They’re usually taken to court docket after which detained in juvenile properties or prisons.

“Most of those juveniles come from poor households,” she says. “While you discuss to them, they are saying: ‘It’s not that I need to steal. I simply don’t have meals.’ In a single case I labored on, a baby had stolen a telephone as a result of he hadn’t eaten for per week. However judges or prosecutors shouldn’t be coping with these circumstances. We as a society have compelled these kids to interrupt the regulation by ignoring their actuality. We should discover a extra compassionate manner to assist them.”

In search of to develop her data of human rights points and discover simpler methods to assist her younger shoppers, Alice enrolled within the on-line course Human Rights, Human Wrongs: Difficult Poverty, Vulnerability, and Social Exclusion. Accessible on the edX platform, the course was developed by SDG Academy, a part of a United Nations (UN) initiative targeted on world sustainable growth. The curriculum gave Alice a brand new lens by means of which to take a look at Kenya’s challenges—and confirmed her how she may contribute to constructing a extra sustainable and inclusive future for her nation.


Making Strides with Self-Paced Studying and World-Class Instruction

SDG Academy’s course marked Alice’s first on-line studying expertise. Past the attractive subject material, the monetary help she acquired from edX—which coated 90% of the price for her verified certificates—was a driving consider her choice to enroll.

From the start, Alice appreciated having the chance to be taught at her personal tempo. “I internalized the content material higher since I may hearken to the lectures and full the required readings by myself schedule,” she says. “It was a giant change from my in-person undergraduate expertise, which typically required finishing 5 readings for only one class in sooner or later!” 

As a working skilled, Alice additionally valued with the ability to examine throughout nights and weekends. Most colleges in Kenya solely supply weekday lessons throughout enterprise hours, making it troublesome for folks with full-time jobs to additional their training. “Advancing in your profession whereas concurrently working in your profession is a big benefit,” she emphasizes. 

Moreover, Alice was desperate to be taught from the course’s two instructors, Joshua Castellino and Sarah Bradshaw. They’re each professors at London’s Middlesex College and leaders within the UN’s Sustainable Growth Options Community.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime alternative,” explains Alice. “The course gave me direct entry to world specialists in human rights regulation. I additionally had the chance to work together with friends from all around the world by means of the course’s group dialogue characteristic, which was woven into the tip of every lesson. I vividly keep in mind the insightful conversations I had with different human rights-focused folks from Mexico, Ghana, and the UK.”

Alice sees edX as a strategic path to profession development for herself and others. “The platform is a good device for exposing your self to new concepts and increasing your potential,” she says. “And SDG Academy’s course is a superb alternative for anybody seeking to broaden their understanding of the world and champion human rights.”


A Lifelong Ardour for Serving to Nairobi’s Most Susceptible

Since finishing SDG Academy’s course, Alice has elevated her engagement with native organizations that help communities in want. A kind of teams is the Judiciary of Kenya. 

“I’m making use of what I discovered within the course to focus our conversations round extra progressive ideas in juvenile justice,” she says. “My purpose is to assist much more of those younger folks have entry to free authorized companies—and search for methods to combine different justice programs, equivalent to household group conferencing.”

Alice can also be strategizing new methods to teach others on the significance of together with Kenya’s most weak populations in constructing the nation’s future. 

“My expertise with edX has positively cemented my want to be within the human rights area, now greater than ever,” she concludes.


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