Born and raised in a Western Kenyan slum, grantee David Omondi knows first-hand what it’s like growing malnourished, how it feels living in a single room with his whole family, and the difficulties of trying focus on completing school work in a crowded and often unsanitary environment. Despite these challenges, David graduated from school then went on to earn a scholarship to pursue a Medical Biochemistry Degree from the University of Nairobi. Upon completing his education, David chose to take his gifts and skills back home, to make a difference for those less fortunate-those barely surviving, but still hoping for a better life.
David started Akili Library and Information Technology center in fall of 2010, and Akili Preparatory School for Girls in Jan 2012 and has seen the growth of his planted seeds through the expansion of the library and the school over the years into a center of excellence supporting 85 underprivileged girls and adding 15 more every year as the school expands.
In 2014 David was awarded a seed grant from TPP for his Girls for Girls Digital Skills Project, where he is working to digitally connecting the girls of the Obunga Neighborhood with students at the Columbus School for Girls in Ohio, providing interactive lessons on health, sanitation, math and art. Columbus students make the lessons with youth-friendly programming software, which the students at Akili Library use to make their own simulations and games.
Recently, David shared that Akili School for Girls had won the 2016 Patricia Monaghan Grant of $5,000 from Sunflower Foundation Australia for providing a safe haven outside the slums for students, including support for food and uniforms for its student. With this grant, David will be able to build showers for students who have had to shower outside (which is dangerous for young girls), and be able to utilize the recycled grey water for operating the school’s eco-toilets, its biogas digester, which creates energy from the toilet waste and chicken manure to provide fuel for the school kitchen, and with irrigation of its vegetable garden. This environmental vision was inspired in part by David’s work on our application review team.
“When I was reviewing the Kenya docket Applications in April, I was so inspired by Pauline Murithi’s Fruit and Tree project that sought to plant fruit trees in schools to improve nutrition for pupils and generate income for the community through sale of surplus, while enhancing the capacity of school going children to initiate and promote environmental conservation initiatives in their schools and homes, that I decided to start an Environment Club at Akili School and do the same.”
I love seeing grantees inspiring other grantees, cross-pollinating through sharing their journeys, networking, and of course adding more value to our TPP Family by joining us in the grant making process as Advisors, Ambassadors and Flow Funders!