Yolanda's award brings hope to Kenyan school
25 June 2007, News release from Atkins
An ICE QUEST scholarship has enabled Atkins' engineer, Yolanda Chakava to achieve her ambition to help bring clean water to a Kenyan school.
Yolanda, 26, will return to her home country thanks to the £1,500 Eloise Plunkett Scholarship, to spend ten days supervising construction of a well for Galilee Primary School. It is home to a thousand 4 to 18 year olds, many of whom have been left orphaned in one of Nairobi's poorest areas.
The area suffered three years of extreme drought followed by torrential rains and flooding which caused great damage to sanitation facilities. This led to outbreaks of malaria, cholera and diarrhoea.
As the school could not afford a water well, Yolanda decided to help raise the money and applied for the scholarship to enable her to make it a reality in person.
Whilst there Yolanda, who works in Atkins' Water and Environment business, will also show the people in Galilee how to conserve water and make use of rainwater.
She said: "The price of clean water has risen significantly, affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in the community for whom water has now become a luxury."
"I would also like to use this opportunity to raise the profile of the ICE in showing support towards improving the lives of children in need on an international level," Yolanda added. "I have been asked to talk to some of them about the profession and the Institution. The Kenya Kids in Need Charity and the school headmaster are so thankful towards the ICE."
The Eloise Plunkett award helps a recently qualified female civil engineer continue their professional development by enabling travel outside the UK with a civil engineering focus with an innovative or unusual approach. Eloise was a young civil engineer with a passion for travel, who died of cancer in 2002. Her family set up the trust in her memory. The Queen's Jubilee Scholarship Trust (QUEST) was established in 1977 to foster and develop education within civil engineering.
Award trustees said Yolanda's application promised a combination of immediate community benefit and a lasting improvement in terms of education and use of sustainable, innovative technology.
Graduate Engineer, Atkins
0121 483 5512