Fairfield University’s Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter organized a service initiative on Feb. 10 that involved packing books for the Il Ngwesi Resource Center, a conservancy located in the Central Highlands of Kenya.

BAP, the National Accounting Honors Society, was founded in 1919. Fairfield’s chapter is led by accounting professors Milo W. Peck, Jr., CPA and Jo Ann Drusbosky, CPA who help promote BAP’s mission of “ … providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility.”

Members of BAP tend to be active volunteers in the Fairfield community as all members are required to meet a minimum of seven service hours and seven professional hours each semester. This month, BAP’s service coordinators Matthew Adamski ’24 and Meghan Morrissey ’24 organized the service initiative for the Il Ngwesi Resource Center in an effort to help its expansion of central library satellites that support schools and communities.

On Feb. 10, six members of BAP alongside other volunteers packed around 30 boxes of books from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for the Kenyan community served by the Il Ngwesi Resource Center. Mary Ann and Ralph Stroup, founders and leaders of the nonprofit Kenyan Health Care Initiatives, have worked closely with this community for years and have identified the need to improve literacy in Kenya. 

In a July 22 Facebook post on the INRC’s page, Mary Ann Stroup commented “ICRC is working to lift literacy. They are most excited that satellite libraries will be established in each of the seven conservancy villages.” By the time all donations are collected this year, the Il Ngwesi Resource Center is hoping to ship out about four times the amount of boxes packed on Feb. 10.  

When reflecting on her day packing books for the center, BAP member Madison Gioffreda ’24 stated, “Volunteering for individuals as selfless as Mary Ann and Ralph really puts things into perspective” 

She continued, “As soon as we walked into their home, they made an effort to learn each of our names, shake our hands and personally thank us. They gave us coffee and pastries while they talked about their initiatives and the difference they want to make. They also showed us their incredible collection of Kenyan art displayed around their home–gifts and purchases from those who they’ve helped.”

The Stroups’ Organization – Kenyan Health Care Initiatives – was founded in 2008 after Ralph Stroup traveled to Kenya to facilitate an HIV/AIDS training workshop for healthcare workers in the area. The nonprofit not only works to combat challenges Kenyans face in health care, but also works to make clean water more accessible, promote female advocacy and continue to achieve its goal of literacy education. To get involved or for more information, individuals are directed to contact info@khci.org

In addition to this service initiative, members of BAP have also left an impact on the greater community through volunteer work at soup kitchens, local schools and by making cards to send to various groups and organizations. They are especially active during this time as the induction for new members takes place April 21. 

BAP members have reflected on the importance of giving back and the invaluable feeling that comes with it, especially during their time packing books for Kenyans in need: “ … when everything was done, you felt a sense of pride. You feel like you have spent the morning participating in something meaningful, and there’s a strong desire to continue helping in any way you can,” remarked Gioffreda.

About The Author

Junior | Assistant News Editor | Finance/Economics Major | Digital Journalism Minor

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