The University of Nairobi’s Office of the Dean of Students and Career Services hosted the launch of the Endelevu Design Challenge Awards in conjunction with Niko Green and the Faculty of the Built Environment at the University of Nairobi Towers on June 10th 2022. The event was meant to award the outstanding architectural designs developed by students from the University of Nairobi and other Universities for the construction of a Nyonyesha Hub at the University of Nairobi.
The Nyonyesha Hub construction is part of a joint venture of Niko Green and the World Student Community to establish 500 model daycare and lactation facilities named Nyonyesha Hubs in various learning institutions. The program is a thoughtful project that aims to create a center where mothers, both students and teachers in learning facilities where they can peacefully nurse their infants and even drop them off as they go about their day to day activities. The project emerges as a necessary need as statistics show that every year about 13 million girls aged between 15 and 19 give birth every year. Therefore placing the young girls in a conundrum on whether to continue their studies, delay or completely withhold their studies so that they can dedicate their time to the care of their young ones.
To completely debunk this notion, the Niko Green Team and the World Student Community for Sustainable development came up with the Endelevu Design Challenge that challenged students of Architecture to come up with sustainable designs for the model of a Nyonyesha Hub to be constructed at the University of Nairobi. The challenge attracted 81 Students from the University of Nairobi and other Universities. The students took up the challenge and came up with outstanding designs for the Nyonyesha Hub making it very difficult for the panel of judges to declare a winner.
Among those awarded were The Hub group taking third place, DMG designers taking second place and Eco group in taking first place. The students were awarded in cash prizes and certificates. The other participants did not leave empty handed and were also awarded certificates for their participation and are also to take part in in the final project which will involve fine tuning and combining all the participants ideas. The challenge saw students reap the fruits of their education and give back to their community through their project. Creating an invention where a need existed.
The keynote speaker Dr Olufunso, Regional Principal Officer, Climate Change and Green Growth Program, African Development bank, spoke on the importance of fostering partnerships with young people for sustainability. He addressed the young students reminding them of their importance in society as a resource and as an office of change, he encouraged the students to develop a personal consciousness that they have something to offer society and that in their individual fields to exercise their powers as leaders. He emphasized on the need for the young people and stakeholders to join efforts in endeavours such as the challenge to foster great partnerships that together lead to powerful and sustainable development. He left the audience with a lot to think about citing the relevance of partnership to combine the small efforts for one big innovation.
‘Small is beautiful big is relevant’
By Mary Oloo