By Mourice Seretta
Starehe Boys Center, a leading education institution in Kenya catering for bright but needy students, has benefited from support from bios firm Novozymes aimed at enhancing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning in the country.
Novozymes Kenya has sponsored the renovation of the school’s two biology laboratories and invested in new equipment at a cost of over Ksh2 million, including new ceilings and flooring, cabinet upgrades, window blinds, repainting, door and faucet replacements, and repairs to the electrical system.
The renovated science facilities were handed over to the school administration today at a ceremony attended by part of the Novozymes Kenya Team and Starehe boys fraternity.
Novozymes Kenya Country Manager Regina Njeri Karani says the revamped laboratory facilities will provide a conducive environment for students to develop key skills like creativity and problem solving and an avenue to engage in practical learning.
“We realized in that in Kenya, the penetration of biotechnology in lower learning institutions was low hence the need to start instilling interest right from the time they are young. As Novozymes, we have opted for the Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering (STEM) approach, specifically biology, and this is the reason we decided to help renovate the biology labs,” said Ms. Karani.
She adds that through the Inspire Program, Novozymes is committed to the realization of sustainable education opportunities for all and is therefore keen on partnerships geared to advancing science learning.
Starehe School Boys Center Managing Committee Director, Josphat Mwaura, hailed the ongoing partnership with Novozymes saying it will transform learning at the institution, and give the students access to modern, well-equipped school laboratory facilities.
“The renovation of the biology laboratory by Novozymes will benefit present and future generations of students at Starehe. We are grateful for this gesture as it will go a long way in nurturing and sustaining excellence in science-related subjects,” said Mr. Mwaura.
He added the school has a capacity of 1000 students at any given time, who will now have model facilities to expand their knowledge in biology.
Starehe is a charitable institution focused on providing education to disadvantaged youth but is heavily dependent on donor funding. Novozymes has supported Starehe since 2019 through various initiatives.
The biology labs project at Starehe won Novozymes an award by the Marketing Society of Kenya in 2020 for Sustainability Marketing, in particular, driving science among the disadvantaged and future generations.
Novozymes also plans to collaborate with Starehe to launch a biology club where the company’s scientists and experts can impart knowledge and skills to the boys.
The company has also partnered with Starehe on a Covid-19 crisis response initiative. Last year, Novozymes donated Ksh500,000 in support of a two-month feeding program for needy students left under the care of the institution during the lockdown.
Novozymes is a world leading firm in biological solutions specializing in production of industrial enzymes and microorganisms for a broad range of industries. The company opened its regional office in Kenya in June 2019 to expand its presence in East Africa, with clients mainly in the brewing, detergents and baking industries.