MKU students win grant to light up Kiandutu slums


Three Masters students from Mount Kenya University (MKU) have won an international grant to distribute solar-powered lanterns to families in Kiandutu slums in Thika.

The COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-Grants by the Talloires Network of Engaged Universities and the Open Society University Network will also enable these students distribute the lamps to kiosks, informal roadside stalls, community service points (such as bathrooms, toilets, and water points)  and to security officers.

Rose Macharia, an Information Technology student, Nelly Kayanda, a counselling psychology student  and Daniel Kiriti, a Governance and Ethics student will receive a grant of  USD$ 2,500 (KES. 275,000).

Through this grant, the MKU community will also offer mentorship to the youth in the slum, focusing on political and social radicalisation, drugs and substance abuse, as well as career growth and opportunities

Kiandutu, is largest informal settlement in Thika and has a population of about 30,000 people. 

“Our initial target is 200 homesteads. But we aim to scale it up in due course,” Macharia said.

The call for applications for the COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-Grants attracted over 100 applications from universities worldwide.  The three MKU students are among six other proposals that emerged victorious in what Talloires Network said was an extremely competitive process.

The Talloires Network grants programme is designed to recognize outstanding commitment to civic engagement by university students during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

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