How 20-Year-Old Kenyan Student in UK Changed the Life of a Village [VIDEO]

  • Louisa Onguto during an interview on Daring Abroad that aired on February 15, 2020.
    Louisa Onguto during an interview on Daring Abroad that aired on February 15, 2020.
    YouTube
  • In the daily life of a university student, it hard for many to venture into philanthropy, however, for one Louisa Onguto, a second-year student at the University of Manchester pursuing a degree in BioMedical Sciences, it has been without a hitch.

    Through her interview with Alex Chamwada on Daring Abroad that aired on February 15, 2020, Kenyans.co.ke learnt that at the age of 20, Louisa has already impacted a village in Ugenya, Siaya county.

    Lifunga Primary School in Ugenya has been a major beneficiary, of Louisa's Project Dignity, an initiative she launched while still at the Brook House International School.

    "It happened after I had a health talk in school, after the talk it made me think about how a large number of girls don't have a continuous supply to sanitary pads, so I wanted to start small, I wanted to find a school or a children's home where I could start, and charity begins at home, so why not start off in Siaya?

    Consolata Onguto during an interview on Daring Abroad that aired on February 15, 2020.
    Consolata Onguto during an interview on Daring Abroad that aired on February 15, 2020.
    YouTube

    "We realised we can do more, we saw the school lacked proper washrooms, access to clean water, they weren't getting all the information in terms of hygiene education, and that's how project dignity started," Louisa recounted.

    The project had initially set out on an initial mission to avail sanitary towels, and soon enough, she was doing more than just the donations, she helped set up various utilities in the school.

    "My mother used to work at Lake Victoria Waterworks, I asked if there is a way they could help us with boreholes which they did, they also helped us donate a 10,000-litre tank and there was another company that helped us with water purifiers," Louisa narrated.

    "Then we saw the bathrooms and we said we can also do something about the pit latrines, and so we did that," she added.

    In a video interview seen by Kenyans.co.ke, pupils of Lifunga Primary School could not hide their joy when Louisa's Mother Consolata Onguto connects them with her via video chat.

    Students expressed their gratitude at her initiative to provide water for the school that has seen them have plenty. Community members also come into the school to fetch water which they use in their kitchens, and for drinking as well.

    "This project has helped us a lot, in the previous days, children would get water from various sources, some of them unknown. Sometimes they would come late during the dry seasons because they had gone looking for water," Angeline Owino, a teacher at the school stated.

    "We are very grateful for her initiative in helping the school to develop in terms of infrastructure. and it is our sincere hope that she will continue to mobilise resources to develop the school even better," George Oduor, the headteacher stated.

    While she is away for her studies in the UK, her mother plays a major role in ensuring oversight over the project.

    "Being that Louisa is a student, then the financial bit for her is a no go zone, she can only solicit so much, so the funding bit, then that is where I come in,

    "I talk to well-wishers to try and help her attain this dream," Consolata stated.

    A water Kiosk has been set up at the school's gate to facilitate distribution of water to villagers in the community.

    Louisa has expressed her desire in expanding to more than one school, reiterating on seeking partnerships with like-minded individuals and entities.

    "For Lifunga I want to start "operation Kila mwanafunzu avae viatu", because when I was there I saw many children don't have shoes," Louisa stated.

    At the age of 20, she has been able to impact the lives of hundreds of people while still focusing on her studies.