MGS is proud to be partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students from all over campus have helped work on projects that make lives just a little bit easier. Current success stories include solar-powered, battery-operated lamps for under $2.50 each, a vest for transporting water, and an empowerment journal for young girls who have experienced trauma.
In 2016 UW students where tasked with the design challenge of creating a light source for less than $2.50. The challenge also included the need to train women how to make the lamps in Kenya. The result was a simple, low-tech, and easy-to-produce LED lamp. Students received a grant for this project and were able to refine the lamps and even reduce the cost! In January 2018, they traveled to Kenya and trained eighty girls and several adult literacy groups on how to make their own lamps. These lamps serve to help children study at night and provide opportunities for women to work on making baskets after dark. It was a huge success and is a project that MGS will continue to support. Students received the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship award for this project.
In 2017 students were tasked with developing a simple and cheap way to transport water. Using retired sails from a boating club at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, students developed a simple water vest. This vest balances out the distribution of water equally on the front and back of the body. Carrying 20 liters of water is now effortless, takes the pressure off of the back, and allows the user to be hands-free! Other uses for the vest are carrying food, a baby, and seeds for planting. Students received the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship award and will be traveling to Kenya to perfect their projects!
In 2019 students were tasked with developing a simple and cheap way to transform farm crop waste into biomass Briquettes so that fewer trees would be cut down for firewood. Using standard PVC plumbing pipes and plywood, University of Wisconsin, Madison, students developed a simple stool with center support that also serves as a way to compress the waste fibers into dense briquettes for fires. This was tested with success in the village of Tumutumu. Students received the Wisconsin Idea Fellowship award and will be traveling to Kenya to perfect their projects!