MKU and UoN partners with UNESCO to rollout student welfare plan
Mount Kenya University and University of Nairobi launched O3plus project yesterday 30th September 2021, at Taifa Hall, Nairobi. The project is funded by UNESCO and it addresses health and well being to ensure that young people in higher and tertiary education institutions in Eastern and Southern Africa realise positive health , education and gender equality outcomes.
It aims at enabling young people to reach their full educational potential and contribute more effectively to the development of their countries and region as graduates, professionals and young leaders.
Below is the speech that was delivered by Prof. Deogratius JAGANYI, Vice-Chancellor, Mount Kenya University.
- Chief Guest, Prof. George Magoha, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Education.
- Prof. Hubert Gijzen, Director, UNESCO Regional Office for East Africa,
- Prof. Stephen Kiama, Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi,
- Dr. Jane Nyutu, Co-founder of Mount Kenya University,
- Dr. Vincent Gaitho, MKU Pro-Chancellor,
- Staff and Students from MKU & UON,
- Distinguished and Invited Guests,
- Ladies and Gentlemen.
It gives me pleasure to be here this morning at this auspicious occasion of the launch of Our Rights, Our Lives, and Our Future or O3 Plus project.
I wish to thank UNESCO Regional Office for East Africa for this initiative and sponsorship of an intervention, which is bound to make a major contribution to the well being of our students in general, and for the benefit of their education at the university in specific. This is indeed a very well thought-out project, which with time, ought to be escalated to become a co-curriculum programme for all universities in Africa and beyond.
The MKU Thika campus where the O3 Project is to be implemented is home to over 15,000 students. The students live both within the campus while many of them reside outside the campus. Thus, the students as the beneficiaries do not live in isolation.
Therefore, we are likely to have a positive multiplier effect with time and especially given the digital connectivity on which the implementation will be carried out. This means that, the aspired gains from the project, as time goes may be reaped beyond the campus. We appreciate.
4.0 Education as a Weapon of Change
Our Chief Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen, allows me to quote the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela who said:
“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” It is, therefore, unfortunate that there are challenges which have been pulling our students out of education thus denying them the possible empowerment and personal edification. In this regard, the O3 Plus or Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future Project, is a very significant intervention. We are all aware of the many distractions facing our students both at the campuses as well as youth in all realms of their lives.
The contents of this project upon implementation at the universities could also be rolled out, with a few amendments, to benefit other youth who are out there in our communities and who also require this kind of intervention.
5.0 Appreciation to the University of Nairobi, the Host
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to mention that it is also a great pleasure to me to be back to my Alma Mater, the University of Nairobi who I do thank for hosting us this morning. I am happy that we are signing a partnership Agreement with the UNESCO Regional Office today. MKU appreciates partnering with UoN in this project. However, I also challenge the Linkages and Partnership teams at our two participating universities, to identify other areas that the two institutions can jointly participate with a view to widening the relationship.
In conclusion, allow me to express commitment of MKU in ensuring the successful implementation of this project. The University Management will provide all support that will be required for the successful execution.
I have been informed that, one of the project activities will include UoN and MKU participating in a short walk at Thika town which will be organized by MKU Thika Campus. Our doors are wide open to receive the UoN team for the joint activity.
Once more, we thank all the stakeholders who are involved in this project and especially the UNESCO Regional Office for this initiative and timely support to the students.
Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi,