“Am a Strong Advocate of Social and Environmental Justice.” – Former Sanergy Fellow, Eunice Likoko
This week, we profile YALI 2014 Fellow and former Sanergy Fellow Eunice Likoko. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a flagship program of President Obama that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. Eunice is among Sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising young leaders ages 25 to 35 that were selected for their accomplishments in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.
In the course of undertaking her Master’s Degree in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University in Sweden, Eunice joined Sanergy in January 2013 to work on her thesis. Her study focused on the viability of Sanergy’s model in managing human waste in the informal settlements.
When asked what appeals to her about Sanergy, Eunice explains, “While undertaking my study at Sanergy I loved the commitment of the team and that they offer the community a very essential service that is affordable and one that restores their dignity. There is also a strong commitment to continuously improve processes which drives sustainability.” In her interactions with Sanergy and the community, Eunice realized that provision of sanitation services in the informal settlements was very much possible with the right framework in place. “People need to be treated justly regardless of where they live, they deserve the absolute best and not half-baked solutions that are the norm, Sanergy is doing just that with the Fresh Life Toilets.”
Eunice has always been interested in social issues. In 2006, moved by the plight of women involved in prostitution, Eunice founded the Full Circle Trust. The rehabilitation center ensures that women are given a new lease of life through an 18-month program that equips them with economic and social skill sets. This helps them to pull out of the practice and to start on a new path. The centre has also embarked on a prevention campaign targeting adolescent girls and providing mentorship to avert them from resorting to the practice in the first place. Eunice explains, “People in very strained environments do not have access to a lot of opportunities that is why I am a strong advocate of social and environmental justice. I’ve also always been present to our social context, how people are treated and an eye for things that are not right in society.”
Eunice is such an inspiration to young people. When asked how she has achieved so much success in such a short time. “Everyday, I make a simple decision not to wait until I can see the whole picture, I do what needs to be done.”
Eunice who loves to sing has a degree in Social Work from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning and Development at Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany. Devoted to educating others, she has worked as a guest lecturer at Uppsala University and actively participates in policy formulation by combining her academic background and work experience. Read more about Full Circle Trust here.