Kenyan Students Win International Award for Environmentally Friendly Project

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. disadvantaged / ˌdɪs ədˈvæn tɪdʒd / (adj) – lacking access to resources such as food, proper shelter, money, etc.

    The NGO’s mission is to help disadvantaged families in Asia.

  2. eco-friendly / ˈɛk oʊ ˈfrɛnd li / (adj) – does not harm the environment

    The soap company used an eco-friendly formula.

  3. dependence / dɪˈpɛn dəns / (n) – the state of relying on someone or something

    Her dependence on her parents ended when she got her own job.

  4. apart from / əˈpɑrt frʌm / (idiom) – in addition to

    Apart from math, she also got high grades in English and science.

  5. cause / kɔz / (n) – something that a person or a group of people is dedicated to

    The two organizations worked together because they shared the same environmental cause.


Read the text below.

Students from Kenya received an international award for their solar power project proposal.

A team of 10 students from the Starehe [star-EH-heh] Girls’ Centre and School, a boarding school for financially disadvantaged girls, won the 2017 Zayed [ZAH-yed] Future Energy Prize. The prize was awarded by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a tribute to its former ruler, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan [SHEEK ZAH-yehd bihn sool-THAN al nah-hah-YAHN].

The students received a prize money of $100,000, which they will use to make their school and community more eco-friendly. The students’ winning proposal involves using solar panels on the roof of carports, so that they can collect solar energy while shading vehicles from the sun. It will also involve solar-powered street lamps and water heaters.

According to the school director, the project will reduce the school’s dependence on power centers by 20%. In the long run, the solar power project will allow them to save money and accept 10 more scholars into the school.

Apart from the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the school also received support from Kenya’s Ministry of Education, which will give them $20,000 for the project. Solar Sisters, an organization dedicated to the same cause, has also partnered with the school.

In addition to the Starehe Girls’ Centre and School, five other schools from all over the world received the Zayed Future Energy Prize for the Global High Schools category.

Every year, the UAE government allocates four million dollars for the prize, which is divided among the winners. Aside from the Global High Schools category, winners from four other categories are also recognized. These categories include Lifetime Achievement, Large Corporation, Small and Medium Enterprise, and Non-Government Organizations.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• In addition to the students’ proposed project, what other projects do you think can benefit the school?
• Do you think other schools should allocate money for solar energy projects, too? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What is the importance of recognizing students’ achievements?
• What can other schools do to encourage their students to also join international competitions?