Ursuline Sisters leveraging the power of innovation in Nairobi, Kenya

What’s the best way to provide water and soap for hand-washing, while protecting users from transmission through contact with taps?

Ursuline Sisters in the Karen neighbourhood of Nairobi, Kenya.

This was a question that the Ursuline Congregation in Nairobi were tackling as COVID-19 precautions came in across Kenya.

The Sisters had embarked on soap-making for distribution to those in need. But they wanted to do more – to provide water for people in their neighbourhood to be able to wash their hands. The challenge was to do this without spreading infection through shared use of taps and soap dispensers.

“We sat down as a community – our goal was to ensure that there is no cross contamination or infection,” Sister Teresia told Misean Cara. The congregation came up with an ingenious solution, inspired by some discussions that Sister Teresia had seen online: a pedal device operated by foot to dispense the soap and water.

Sister Teresia called in a local welder and plumber. It took a few tries to get the angles of the pipes right and to adjust the tension for the pedals to dispense a small amount of soap and water.

The Sisters set up the tank on the road outside their compound – since then priests, policemen and many other people who work nearby have washed their hands thanks to the Ursuline Sisters.

“Bin collectors, motor bike drivers – I welcome them all. They see me and come to see what’s happening – I show them they can wash their hands. They believe that our water is clean, our soap is good.”

“The other day I added a picture of Jesus to the tank. A small one – I didn’t want it to be very big,” added Sister Teresia.

The water tank outside the Ursuline compound in Nairobi.

Related Posts

TK image - End Human Trafficking

Talitha Kum anti-trafficking App backed by Misean Cara responds to digital threat to human rights.

By Misean Cara Project Officer for Human Rights and Advocacy, Éamonn Casey Tuesday 30th January brought the launch by Talitha...
IFGE blog

Celebrating Potential: International Day of Women & Girls in Science

For the 2024 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Misean Cara Project Officer for Education, Tom Carroll, writes...

Human Rights Day 75 – Honouring the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Human Rights Day marks the annual challenge to build towards dignity, freedom and justice By Eamonn Casey, Misean Cara Human...
Scroll to Top