Quad Cities Campus

WIU Alumni Practices Mental Health Counseling in Kenya

November 13, 2015

Francis Ndolo

Moline, IL - Rev. Francis Ndolo, a WIU Alumnus and native Kenyan, had a purpose when he arrived in the U.S. His goal was to raise money for The Catholic Diocese of Kitui and orphans in Kenya. Yet he didn't come here with an outstretched hand expecting money to flow easily; he assisted in different parishes and campus ministries delivering masses and performing other pastoral work. When Rev. Ndolo learned of the counselor education graduate program at Western, he was eager to enroll in the program to gain the skills and knowledge that would benefit his parishioners. In exchange for taking these courses, Rev. Ndolo worked with the Newman Center’s campus ministry.

"I'm so grateful for my experience here at Western and all the people I've met who have taught me so many things. I hope I have taught them many things about my experiences and the country in which I live. I'll take back many friendships with me when I go home," he said before returning to Kenya.

Since he has been back in Kenya he has helped many children deal with the loss of parents and cope with the devastating effects of HIV. He has developed a weekly radio program in his native language, where he answers questions about mental health, and addresses tragedies that occur locally. Fr. Ndolo is pursuing a doctorate at Mount Kenya University and is trying to establish a rehabilitation program for the local population. His work that he does and the knowledge that he gained at Western Illinois University is crucial in helping those in Kenya to understand and accept what mental health is and how it impacts them daily.

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