Charity founder honoured for helping people out of poverty
13 December 2022
An inspirational charity founder whose work has changed the lives of countless children, adults and young people in Kenya and the UK has received an honorary degree from the University of Reading.
Nancy Mudenyo Hunt, who was born in Kenya and founded a UK charity to help people from her home country get out of poverty, received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters in a ceremony on Friday 9 December.
The Nasio Trust was founded in 2001 and was set up to help people in western Kenya get out of poverty and improve their lives for the better. The charity focuses on empowerment through education and has helped to build day care centres, a school and establish various sustainable projects that encourage individual empowerment instead of reliance and dependency on aid.
In 2016, a medical centre was built and now provides treatment to almost 20,000 patients a year and supports the safe birth and vaccination of 500 children.
Today, the charity employs more than 100 staff members from rural Kenyan communities, supports more than 450 children and provides many education programmes. It also works with Youth Challenge Oxfordshire to provide volunteering experiences for young people in the UK who need a fresh start.
Dr Geoff Taggart, from the Institute of Education at the University of Reading, said: “I am proud to be presenting this honorary degree to Nancy. From her humble beginnings in Kenya, she has achieved great things through her work on tackling domestic violence in the region and training senior Thames Valley police officers in leadership, equality and diversity.
“Of course, her charity work is what really stands out and the number of people she has helped over the years is incredible. She truly is an inspirational person.”
In 2015, Nancy was named “The UK’s Most Inspirational Woman” at the National Venus Awards, and in 2017 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of the Open University for services to the educationally underprivileged.