Novozymes, the world leader in biological solutions, has donated food to the Starehe Boys Centre to cater for about 30 needy students sheltering in the school following the closure of educational institutions as part of COVID-19 control and mitigation measures.
The food will be used to support a three -month feeding program for the students, who are either orphans or come from very destitute families, and have had to be accommodated at the Centre even as all learning institutions in the country remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
General Manager, Novozymes Kenya, Regina Njeri Karani says the company has an ongoing collaboration with Starehe Boys’ Centre to enhance the learning environment at the institution. The company is also supporting the upgrading of the Centre’s biology laboratories.
“Under our new Inspire Program , Novozymes is keen on supporting efforts to improve the learning environment at the school. We recognize the invaluable role that Starehe plays in creating education opportunities for bright students from under-privileged families and communities,” says Ms. Karani.
According to the Centre’s Head of Student Welfare, Patrick Waithaka, the boys currently sheltering at the Centre come from very destitute circumstances, and were hence allowed to remain at Centre following the closure of schools in March. This he observed is in keeping with Starehe’s mission of providing care and education to boys in need.
“We greatly appreciate the support Novozymes has extended to the Starehe community, in ways that have a direct positive impact on both learning and the students’ wellbeing, and especially for coming through for us during this difficult time,” says Mr. Waithaka.
Ms. Karani added that Novozymes has a strong commitment to communities during COVID-19.
“During this challenging period, we are striving as a company to play an active role in supporting communities where we operate in addressing challenges due to the pandemic.”
Based in Denmark, Novozymes is a world-leader in biological solutions – specializing in the production of industrial enzymes and microorganisms for a broad range of industries. These solutions typically allow for the production of more from less – such as less energy, less water, and less chemicals. 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.
The move was part of Novozymes’ global strategy to access opportunities in emerging markets, including in Africa, where the company has been present for many years.
“Novozymes aims to improve lives and livelihoods, and benefit communities through sustainable biological solutions,” she explains.
Starehe Boys’ Centre, a charitable institution founded in 1959, caters for the educational needs of bright students from underprivileged families and communities – providing them with home-substitute care and a unique holistic education. Since the onset of COVID-19, the Centre has been hit by a severe funding slump and is facing financial constraints.
“Our budget deficit is growing and this significantly affects our ability to cater for the needs of our boys, some of whom have only rudimentary homes to go back to, while others are from families that are unable to feed them,” says Mr. Waithaka.
The Centre, he says, is rigorously adhering to all public health guidelines against COVID-19 in accommodating the needy students, with stringent personal hygiene, masking and social distancing requirements.