The Ryerson Kenya Village Project was born from the story of a young female Maasai student from the rural village of Loodariak, Kenya. Teriano Lesancha came to Canada in 2008 and entered the Social Work degree programme at Ryerson University in Toronto Canada. She graduated with a Social Work degree in 2012. Her Maasai parents travelled to Toronto from Loodariak to watch their daughter walk across the Ryerson Convocation stage and become the first university graduate of Loodariak.
Ryerson University and World Vision have worked collaboratively with Loodariak for many years. The Village and surrounding community are now benefitting from social enterprises empowering local women, a beekeeping startup, and a boarding school for girls to improve educational outcomes. The villagers are beginning to explore the benefits of solar technologies for cooking and water purification. As the modern world encroaches on a traditional pastoral culture, the pace of change is being led by the community itself.
The Ryerson Kenya Village Project worked collaboratively from 2011-2116 with Kithuia Village in Kenya and the Canadian NGO Tonembee Association. The Project created an educational and fundraising site and co-produced 6 mini-docs to support the educational sponsorships and solar cooker kit distribution to the villagers by Tonembee. In 2015, the Kithuia Villagers asked the Ryerson Kenya Village Project to assist them in the development of a solar cooker business feasibility plan. The plan was delivered in Kenya to the Kithuia solar cooker team in May 2016
The Loodariak community co-operative business model, developed with the assistance of Ryerson University, was used to develop the solar cooker business feasibility plan for Kithuia. The solar cooker environmental, economic and health successes in Kithuia guided the transfer of solar cooker knowledge to Loodariak in October 2016.
Website: J Golden
Research Asst: H Sadkowski
& P Haastrup
Site Design: W Cudlip
Photos: J Golden, Ryerson University
& N Cole
Professor Jean Golden Ryerson University
Site Designer: Walt Cudlip