The global pandemic has brought its own challenges to the TOTEMK project preventing travelling between Finland and Kenya completely. Seija Karppinen, the leader of the project, took a trip to Kenya for the first time during the project in August.

During her visit, Seija met representatives from the University of Nairobi and Strathmore University. The agenda of the visit was to discuss various aspects of the TOTEMK project including, among other things, budget, self-evaluation of the project and the assessment of the participants of the first training package that took place in April. "It is extremely important to meet the project members face-to-face to ensure smooth progress of the project and mutual understanding of its goals", Seija explains.

Seija also met a representative from the Nairobi's Embassy of Finland, Otto Stenius, who works as a Deputy Head of Mission at the embassy. Dialogue between the project and the embassy is important for the project dissemination in Kenya and for reaching potential partners for collaboration in the future. The embassy and its representatives will also participate in the TOTEMK’s training sessions during the project.

The visit to Kenya was possible despite the difficult COVID-19 situation that the countries are in at the moment. The pandemic has taken its toll on the education sector in Kenya with many pupils and students suffering from learning deficit. The economy has also taken a hit due to, for example, the decreasing tourist numbers. A visit by the Kenyan members to Finland was also planned to take place in September 2021 but due to the continuing situation with the pandemic, the plans were postponed for next year.