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Varsity, secondary students feted for social innovations

Monday, October 30th, 2023 08:00 | By
Varsity, secondary students feted for social innovations
Nerima Wako, executive director at Siasa Place (centre) receives an award for exemplary performance in governance issues from Joe Bonga, CEO Africa SDG’s (right) and Maurice Odondo, CEO Kenya Education Management Institute during the ESD Awards last week. PHOTO/John Ochieng

Students from more than 10 learning institutions were yesterday awarded by Africa for SDGS for their exemplary innovations that have positively impacted the society they live in.

The second annual national Awards for Education in Sustainable Development  (ESD) awarding ceremony was graced by former Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Director at State Department of Basic Education Elias Abdi.

The ESD awards aim at recognizing and celebrating the best innovative ideas from learners that meet urgent social, economic and environmental challenges facing Africa without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs.

With the awards being in its second year, the CEO of Africa for SDGs Joe Bonga said more institutions have been displaying tremendous efforts on the projects they have been submitting for the awards.

This then increased the number of entrants, resulting in the decision to increase the number of awarded participants from eight in 2022 to 20 this year.

Bonga said the awards are meant to motivate and assist learning institutions to be innovative in developing solutions to some of the challenges they face as institutions or communities.

“Our work is to ensure that successful projects not only impact the pupils and their communities, but also empower them economically. We want our learners to think entrepreneurial and ready for the world as they step out of school,” Bonga said.

The CEO said the project builds the capacity of learners, educators and schools management on how to capitalise on the available resources and be innovative in generating solutions.

“Through this project, we have realized learners are  very talented. To attract the investors, now we need to focus on learning on how to pitch and negotiate with the investors. These skills will move these projects from being mere school projects to being start-ups which will end up benefiting more people,” he noted.

Some of the schools that were awarded include Olympic High School in Nairobi for their innovative farming system where they use stones as their planting medium, to save space. They then use mineral water which enables the plants to grow the same way plants planted in soil grow.

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) was awarded under the social impact category for their project that powered Gachororo School using solar panels.

Kinyambu School for the special in Kibwezi won in the Special school category for the mat-making project while Machakos school won with their Tuseme project that spearheads women and girl’s leadership in school and their community.

Daraja girls from Laikipia were also awarded for their exceptional project that teaches girls on volunteer work. Girls under this project then give back to their community by giving 10 hours every week for community work.

Chuka University was also awarded for the “Toto Register” App that tracks students school attendance.

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