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Mukuria Mwangi

Director, Rusinga School

Bold Question: How might we create school environments that prepare students to answer fundamental questions of our time such as water scarcity, food insecurity, social inequality and unemployment?

Path to Metis: While pursuing his Masters degree in family therapy, Mukuria drew from the interaction and work of Prof. Rockey Robbins, a Native American scholar and counselor. Prof. Robbins work and engagement with addressing and healing systemic and generational traumas within the Native American population broadened Mukuria’s perspective on healing. As he worked with the diverse populations at a San Diego clinic and later in a Nairobi rehab clinic, he realized that the healing of the earth, the community and the individual were inextricably linked.

While completing his PhD in Sustainability Science he found the words of Wangari Maathai to ring true, ‘Education, if it means anything should not take people away from the land’. As a bridge between the theory of his research and its application, Mukuria founded a Community Based Organisation based in the Mau Forest. He worked alongside the Ogiek community, the last forest dwelling indigenous community in Kenya to harness their indigenous forest management knowledge of beekeeping. By creating high end markets for Ogiek honey, an education fund was created as a means through which a greater number of Ogiek beekeepers could access an education.

Mukuria partnered with community schools within close proximity to the forest as they put a huge energy burden on the forest. He created a network of learning centers powered by solar energy and biogas, which were tree planting hubs, engaged in beekeeping and ecotourism. The health and performance of the students and teachers not only improved dramatically, the institutions saw increased revenue to focus on school development and expansion.

As a Director of Rusinga school, he has been driving the construction of the new campus based on sustainable design. This project has provided the opportunity to redesign an education space. This institution will inhabit the intersection between a resource-efficient building with a small ecological footprint and the human centered design.

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Mukuria Mwangi
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