Three Masters students from Mount Kenya University have won a grant to distribute solar-powered lanterns to families living in informal settlements in Thika.
The students will receive the $2,500 grant from the COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-Grants by Talloires Network of Engaged Universities and the Open University Network to supply the solar lanterns in Kiandutu slums in Thika.
Rose Macharia who is studying Information Technology, Nelly Kayanda, counseling psychology, and Daniel Kiriti, Governance and Ethics won in the grants program that is designed to recognize outstanding commitment to civic engagement by students during the Covid-19 pandemic.
They will distribute the solar lanterns to kiosks, informal roadside stalls, security officers and community service points including bathrooms, toilets and water points.
“Our initial target is 200 homesteads. But we aim to scale it up in due course.” Macharia said. Kiandutu is the largest informal settlement in Thika with a population of about 30,000 people.
The MKU community is also keen on offering mentorship to youth in the slum.
“We will focus on political and social radicalization, drugs and substance abuse, as well as career growth and opportunities,” Kayanda said.
The COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-grants attracted over 100 applications from Universities across the globe. The three MKU students, together with six other clusters emerged victorious in what Talloires Network termed as an extremely competitive process.