CESAAM Secures EU Grant to Create Innovative Living Lab for Circular Economy

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thumbThe Circular Economy for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production (CESAAM) has recently been awarded a grant to set up a living lab for the circular economy. This is a significant achievement for CESAAM and for the promotion of sustainable agriculture and food production.

The circular economy is a concept that aims to keep resources in use for as long as possible and to extract the maximum value from them before they are eventually recovered or recycled. This is in contrast to the traditional linear economy, where resources are extracted, used, and then discarded. The circular economy is an important concept for sustainable agriculture and food production because it can help to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and promote the use of renewable resources.

The living lab that CESAAM is setting up will be a space where the community can access information and resources about the circular economy. It will also be a place where capacity building can take place, with training and education programs for the youth and small business start-ups. This is important because it will give young people the skills and knowledge they need to start and grow sustainable businesses that contribute to the circular economy.

The living lab will also be a place where small business start-ups can test their ideas and products in a real-world setting. This is crucial for the development of sustainable agricultural and food production practices, as it will allow small businesses to identify and address any challenges or issues that arise before they are scaled up.


Directorate of International Linkages in partner with GULI and PDO-Kenya conduct a Mental Health Seminar for Egerton University students and staff

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Directorate of International Linkages in partner with GULI and PDO-Kenya conduct a Mental Health Seminar for Egerton University students and staff

The Directorate of International Linkages and Career Services' mandate is to facilitate and sustain linkages between the University and other universities or similar institutions outside Kenya, in addition to providing advisory services to international students and staff at the University. The Directorate also facilitates the processing of international students’ applications and enrollment as well as promoting and marketing academic programmes of the University globally. Other functions of the Directorate include facilitating access to welfare services to international students and staff and assisting students in exchange programmes and internships abroad with prospective employers among others. The Directorate in partnership with GULI (Growing Up and Liking it Initiative) and the Psychiatric Disability Organization of Kenya (PDO-Kenya) held a mental health seminar on the 21st of January 2023 for more than 300 students drawn from all 11 faculties and the office of the Dean of students at the Physical Science Complex Theater III (PST3).

The first presentation was on the role of GULI in supporting Egerton University students with lived mental health experiences. GULI is a student organization registered by the Dean of students whose patron is the Director of International Linkages & Career Services. The organization was created out of the need to address student mental health issues within Egerton University. It is run by a 7-member board under the leadership of the former EUSA leader, Mr. Calvin Omwega as the chairperson. GULI promotes mental health and well-being in society by raising awareness of mental health among young people through advocacy to stop stigmatization and ultimately reform people’s mentality. The organization also provides affordable access to professional mental health services through links with a wide array of partners. The organization utilizes social media in awareness campaigns through content creation. It also incorporates the deaf through Kenyan Sign Language and environmental protection through the planting of trees and riverine cleanup.

The second presentation was delivered by a representative from the Psychiatric Disability Organization (PDO-Kenya). During the training, the participants were taken through various topics such as the common mental health conditions like dealing with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, and substance use disorders among others. PDO Kenya is a user-led community-based mental health organization from Nakuru, Kenya. It was formed and is run by mental health lived experience experts and clinicians. They run a person-centered mental health care model that combines technological innovation and community-based psychosocial support. They train and deploy a network of peers who are the trusted sources of lay services and referrals. They can instantly refer patients to specialists through telepsychiatry, enabling underserved communities to access affordable, high-quality services. The goal is to ensure every person going through distress can access help and recover dignity to lead a productive and fulfilling life, their social status notwithstanding. They physically made available their well-being lounge, which is a mobile therapy clinic in the form of a van. It is also fitted with wi-fi and video-conferencing materials to aid in telepsychiatry. They illustrated how GULI uses this to ease their referrals to PDO. The Directorate takes this opportunity to thank the center leader CESAAM, professor George Owuor and his team for supporting this training financially.

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Mental health training participants at the lobby area of PST3 on 21st January 2023.


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