Mastercard Foundation Scholars take part in Scholar Day of Service project at Friends Anduru Educational Center

By Pride Nyando

USIU-Africa is renowned for its commitment to giving back to the community. Through its Scholar-Citizen initiative, USIU-Africa has been engaging in community service projects at Friends Anduru Educational Center since May 2023. This initiative aims to prepare students to be well-rounded individuals, encouraging them to identify problems within the community and develop solutions. This fosters a sense of responsibility among students, making them active and responsible citizens.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa provides Scholars with an opportunity to give back to the community through the annual Scholar Day of Service. Scholars are expected to conduct their Scholar Day of Service projects within their smaller groups, known as families. The family system framework is designed to enhance the experience and foster a sense of community among Mastercard Foundation Scholars at USIU-Africa by providing a structured and supportive peer mentorship system. This year, four families—Julius Nyerere, Wangari Maathai, Chimamanda Ngozi, and Martin Luther King—partnered to conduct their Scholar Day of Service project at Friends Anduru Educational Center as part of the Scholar-Citizen initiative.

The families identified several challenges at the school, focusing on one primary issue: the lack of adequate classrooms. The existing classrooms are in poor condition, with three classes often taking place simultaneously in a single room, which is not conducive for effective learning. The Scholars proposed the provision of additional classrooms and the improvement of the existing ones at Friends Anduru Educational Center.

The project, spearheaded by Mark Mahut, Pride Nyando, Ruth Salanga, Linet Chesinen, Chisomo Kulinji, Billy Okoth, Luat Dudi, Lovena Lutta, Rachel Kerubo, and Christabel Akua, saw Scholars from the four families pool their Scholar Day of Service funds to implement this project. Part of the funds were used to enhance the learning environment by providing two 20-foot convertible containers, which have been transformed into classrooms. Another portion of the money was allocated to renovate an existing classroom. This project aligns with SDG 4, which advocates for access to quality education for all learners.

The provision of two fabricated container classrooms has created a more conducive learning environment, improving student engagement and allowing teachers to manage smaller class sizes, thus boosting academic performance. Additionally, this project has increased access to education for many pupils in the slums who previously struggled to access education due to overcrowding. Furthermore, this initiative will help the school reduce expenses, such as paying monthly rents for classrooms.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Eannes Ongus, the Director, Advancement and Partnerships thanked the Scholars for the initiative, noting that the project exemplified the values that USIU-Africa stood for.

"The dedication and effort put forth by our Scholars in addressing the needs of Friends Anduru Educational Center exemplify USIU-Africa’s core values. Their commitment to creating a positive impact in the community is commendable and serves as an inspiration to us all. I am confident that these initiatives will pave the way for a brighter future for many students,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Mr. Sospeter Anduru, the Director of Friends Anduru Educational Centre, who noted that the project would go a long way in enhancing learning at the School.

"We are deeply grateful for the support and dedication of the Scholars from USIU-Africa. The improvements made to our school infrastructure will greatly enhance the learning environment for our students. This collaboration has not only provided us with much-needed resources but has also instilled hope and motivation in our pupils. We look forward to continued partnerships that will further our mission of providing quality education,” he said.

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