The Ford Motor Company Fund has selected two community projects in Kenya that will receive funding and support for the next three years as part of the Enactus Ford College Community Challenge (Ford C3).
The Ford C3 initiative has been introduced in four African countries in partnership with global non-profit organisation Enactus, offering selected universities/colleges an opportunity to present an innovative program which empowers students to improve their communities through various self-sustaining projects.
Within the program, student-led community projects are being chosen in Ghana, Kenya, Morocco and South Africa that will address the critical needs of the community and create a more sustainable place to live and work.
In Kenya, the Ford C3 has partnered with Moi University, located in Eldoret in the Rift Valley, and Maseno University in Maseno, in Western Kenya.
Moi University ‘EASE UP’ project focuses on alternative energy, environmental sustainability and sustainable agriculture. Maseno University WAKONYRE Poultry project focuses on sustainable agriculture and modernizing poultry farming among subsistence farmers.
“According to the World Health Organization in 2011, almost two thirds of the world population benefitted from improved sanitation facilities, but more than 2.5 billion people lacked access to proper facilities and a further 1 billion still practice open defecation,” says Moi University Enactus project leader, Catherine Karega. “That is why sanitation is one of the main focus areas for this particular project, as it’s one of the most unmet and urgent requirements.”
“With this in mind, our team came up with EASE UP in partnership with the Blessed Stage BodaBoda Group. The organization is a group of business personnel including motorcyclists, tailors, shopkeepers and vendors in Talai Centre, Moi University. Their main goal is to empower members to develop the community around them.
“We are focused on improving the lives of the people living and working around Talai Centre in Moi University, who include business operators, community members and students residing outside the school.
“Benefits of partnering with the locals include the opportunity to acquire building materials and land at a subsidized cost. It will also foster a sense of ownership of the project and hence acculturate its frequent use as well as promote overall personal hygiene,” adds Karega.
The EASE UP project is divided into three phases over three years. Phase 1 will address the problem of sanitation in the community around Talai Centre, Phase 2 will see the human waste being used to generate bio-gas which will be sold as cooking gas to nearby households, while Phase 3 focuses on the drilling of a borehole, and funds generated from the project will be reinvested in this process. Once there is a constant flow of water, water will be sold to business owners at a competitive price.
The WAKONYRE Poultry Project targets women in Homa Bay County to improve their income through modernized poultry farming. It will focus on training on business management skills, knowledge on government regulations and transformation of inefficient indigenous farming methods to more efficient modern ones.
“The women farmers are faced with problems such as inadequate technical and managerial skills, poor market information and low levels of education,” says Felix Kiptoo, Maseno Enactus Project leader. “Currently, ‘village’ poultry system dominates poultry production in Kenya. This system is characterized by low input and low output, often isolated from access to markets in urban areas” he says.
Maseno Enactus team will work in collaboration with the school of business to develop training manuals to give women skills and knowledge on business planning, managerial skills, budgeting, product promotion and marketing, identification of market price, selling and transaction skills, record keeping and auditing.