David Stairs

Design Altruism Project started ten years ago today with this post. From its humble beginnings it essayed to represent new notions of professional practice from a variety of viewpoints, both new and established. We wanted to celebrate our tenth anniversary with an uplifting story.

A few months ago we posted an article about Evelyn Nambooze’s struggle to extend her education at Kampala University. We first met Evelyn a decade ago when she was a pupil of teacher/philanthropist James Lutwama from whom she learned some of the precepts of plant husbandry, and now she wanted to put them to work by acquiring a degree in agriculture. This is not an uncommon goal in a country with three harvest seasons, but it’s less common among young women.

Evelyn pauses for lunch while sitting atop her rolled-up mattress waiting for a ride to campus

Designers Without Borders helped Evelyn to pay for one semester of her tuition. We felt it was the least we do. We recently received photos of Evelyn on her way to university and registering for classes that we wanted to share.

It really doesn’t matter what continent we’re talking about, female education is one of the Millennium Development Goals the U.N. is focusing on, considering how many places neglect it. And little wonder! We have no doubts that educated women will save the world. Congratulations Evelyn, and keep up the good work!