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Residence Life at Messiah College

Rafiki House Guidelines and Expectations  

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Mission Statement

Rafiki House provides a place where international, missionary kids, third culture kids, and American students can explore and experience the diversity of Messiah College.  The house gives students a feeling that they have a place they can call their own—a “home away from home”.  This house is to create an atmosphere where both international students and U.S. students can come together to share their life experiences and stories.  This is a place where it is safe to openly talk and reflect on what it means to cross borders in a loving and supportive environment. It is a place where despite differences in backgrounds, viewpoints, or their cultures, students can gather as friends and neighbors who have encountered each other at Messiah College with different experiences, but common goals.


Rafiki House is a special place to bond, to share differences and similarities and be able to find a common ground where students can hang out and enjoy just being friends. Rafiki, Swahili for “friend,” was established to meet the needs of international students, missionary kids and third cultural kids as well as other Messiah College students and friends. Rafiki House is a place where learning outside the classroom is just as meaningful, with openness and a sense of safety allowing sharing and laughing together.


Goals and Objectives of the students that live @ Rafiki House

  • To be good stewards of the space given

  • Make a strong effort to support and embrace a variety of cultures and people

  • To build friendship and be a welcoming place to the ISA/Mukappa student body, and domestic students, upholding the true meaning of the word “Rafiki” and serve as a Friend to those in need

  • To reach out beyond ISA/MuKappa and connect with the rest of the campus community

  • To partner with ISA/MuKappa and the Multicultural Council in hosting different events and programs promoting global engagement and understanding.


Activities/Service that will take place at Rafiki House


  • ISA/MuKappa Bible study and prayer group during the academic calendar year

  • Partnering with the International Students Programs for the first year students orientation, the end of the school year activities such as picnics, and a connection and an overall gathering place for not only first year students but all students.

  • ISA/MuKappa students activities that are open to the rest of the student body such as movies nights, game nights, Chai Chat & discussion, and prayer nights.

  • Gest 140 Class Adaptation to American Education (fall semester only) is held in the basement one afternoon a week.

  • Host discussion/dinner every first Tuesday of the month during the Gest 140 class Adaptation to American Education (fall semester only)  and for the spring semester

  • Additionally, other events such as Homecoming with Alumni attendance, a Fall Out Autumn Party, and a traditional Christmas American Holiday gathering are held at Rafiki to encourage a sense of continued fellowship with all students.

  • Other clubs affiliated with the Multicultural Council Clubs or even classes held on campus may also request to meet in the Rafiki House.

Return to Rafiki House application

Special Interest House Timeline

Thursday, March 1 - Rafiki House application due

Friday, March 9 - Applicants are notified by email if their application was accepted or declined

Monday, March 19 - Students indicate their agreement to live in the Rafiki House by responding with a signed Member agreement form