“Since graduating from Wesleyan in May 2008, I have discovered my two passions: renewable energy and real estate,” writes Nyambura Gichohi (Kenya, KaMhlaba UWC of Southern Africa). “During my senior year, classmate Robert McCourt and I won a Davis Projects for Peace grant to construct a biogas digester for a community of 25 Maasai women in Kenya.
“After six months in San Francisco following graduation, I decided to return home and set up the Aziza Kenya Empowerment Trust, which provides women with microloans to start small businesses, and also builds biogas digesters for schools that use a lot of firewood, enabling them to turn organic materials such as dung and vegetable waste into a gas fuel. This year we constructed three biogas digesters, raising funds for these and an additional three. Our goal is to build over 10 digesters in eight months.
“Kenya is currently experiencing extreme environmental degradation at an alarming rate — loss of forest cover, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and much more, resulting in famine, drought, and poverty exacerbation. I hope Aziza Kenya will be able to join the fight against climate change through our grassroots efforts and make a large impact. I also work for Blueline Properties Ltd., managing rental properties and designing developments. We try and keep projects as eco-friendly as possible. I love the mix of my two passions, and hope to do an MBA in Spain next year.”