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Newly formed foundation to steer MKU charity work

Dr. Kirira -Director MKU FoundationDr. Kirira -Director MKU FoundationMove presents a more structured avenue through which philanthropists, corporations and alumni can channel support to varsity’s charitable initiatives.

“Enable, Empower, Inspire”. This is the slogan of Mount Kenya University’s latest institution, the MKU Foundation.

The university has deemed it fit to establish a foundation to help coordinate its growing list of charitable activities.

“The university has carried out many charitable initiatives in a non-coordinated manner. These activities will now be coordinated by the foundation,” says Dr. Peter Kirira, its director.

“I am in the process of constituting a strong passionate team that will steer the activities of the foundation,” he adds.

Already, the foundation is establishing itself as a more structured avenue through which individual philanthropists, corporations and MKU alumni and friends can deliver support to the university’s charitable initiatives in education, research and community service.

In this, the foundation has an elaborate mission: “To advocate and support the advancement of higher education in Mount Kenya University by obtaining, investing, and administering grants and prudently discharging its fiduciary obligations to the university, donors, and designated beneficiaries.”

Soon after its formation this year, the foundation took over the various activities that the university has been implementing for the benefit of society.

For instance, MKU has been awarding scholarships to needy students, and has in the last five years supported a total of 50 of them.

The foundation will now manage such scholarships, and the director has big plans. “My vision is to establish an endowment fund that can give scholarships to 100 undergraduate and postgraduate students annually in perpetuity,” he declares.

The foundation also takes over the role of raising support for MKU’s Graduate Enterprise Academy (GEA), which mentors learners who exhibit entrepreneurial spirit.

Other programmes that have also come square under the mandate of the MKU Foundation include the university’s annual community outreach activities, such as medical camps and anti-jigger campaigns, and conferences that share knowledge with society, including the water summit hosted in Turkana in 2015 and the Conference on Peace and Social Enterprise held in Nairobi this year.

The foundation also supports research. Recently, it donated Ksh10 million in support of a joint study by the colleges of health sciences at Makerere University and MKU. The study is titled: “Research for Better Health in the East African Region”.

Dr. Kirira wants to see these and more activities expand under the foundation to deliver greater

impact. “We are establishing other funds that will support the community outreach activities and research agenda of the university. I am therefore building close relationships with the MKU alumni, benefactors, NGOs, donors and the government,” he says.

“At the same time, I am developing proposals for income generating projects that the foundation can initiate in order to have an alternative source of revenue.” The foundation, the director says, targets to raise $1 million in the next two years.

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