The CSC is pleased to share a new impact case study as part of our on-going evaluation work identifying and demonstrating the outcomes and impact of Commonwealth Scholarships.
Featured in this case study is Proscovia Amondi Alando, a 2018 alumnus who completed a Master’s degree in Sustainable Aquaculture at University of Stirling through a Commonwealth Scholarship. Proscovia is a strong advocate for sustainable aquaculture and food systems and the inclusion of women and youth in the fish farming industry. She has been instrumental in influencing government policies on aquaculture in Kenya to be inclusive of women and the youth. She founded Samaky Hub, a start-up that offers consultancy services to fish farmers, and also co-founded Ressect, a start-up specialising in farming black soldier flies as an alternative protein for fish feed. Proscovia was one of the panellists for the UN Food Systems Dialogue in 2021, ‘The Green Donut’, Post-pandemic food systems for tomorrow’s wealth. In 2022, Proscovia presented at the COP 27 Food System Pavilion as part of a panel that discussed emerging innovations in water and blue food systems. As a One Young World (OYW) Ambassador she has played a pivotal role in empowering other young leaders to promote sustainable development.
Proscovia’s development work supports four CSC Development Themes: Science and technology for development; Strengthening resilience and response to crises; Equity, access and inclusion; and Promoting global prosperity. Moreover, her work contributes to many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: Zero Hunger (SDG 2); Gender Equality (SDG 5); Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12); Climate Action (SDG 13); and Life Below Water (SDG 14).
She spoke proudly about how she has benefitted from both the knowledge and skills honed while on Scholarship, as well as the networks established during her Commonwealth Scholarship:
‘Through the Scholarship, I was able to sharpen my skills on sustainable fish farming and learnt how aquaculture does not only create a means of livelihood but also provide healthy affordable nutrition. The course itself [MSc in Sustainable Aquaculture] is a great contributor for where I am now, because during my studies I learnt about different ways of practising sustainable fish farming. It was a wholesome package, because what we studied was not only sustainability for the environment, but also for the people who practised fish farming. So, there are a lot of linkages from the Scholarship studies to the work that I’m doing now. The networks I gained during my studies mentored me to be a better strategist and on how to apply the knowledge gained from research in achieving my goals. I now specialise in sustainable aquaculture which I use to create the change I would like to see in my community.’
Reflecting on the impact of the Commonwealth Scholarship, Proscovia identified the most significant change to herself due to the Scholarship.
‘Firstly, were it not for the Scholarship, I would not have been able to complete a Master’s study in not only a high earning foreign country, but also in a very prestigious university, because I could not afford that. Secondly, the skills that I learnt from the studies, I now apply, not only in my work, but also in my day-to-day life. So, technical skills of farming and personal or people skills. In my class, we were students from about 26 nationalities, which was a lot of cultural interactions, we had to try and understand how different cultures work. So, cultural intelligence, and networking with people who had different views from mine. Lastly, something which is very important I learnt in the UK, that we miss out in Kenya is time management. That helps me organise myself, because when I set goals, I have timelines with that. I’m always on time, which is good, not only for me, but for my business.’
Proscovia also identified the most significant change her developmental work has brought to her local community.
‘The most significant change to my community has been providing healthy nutrition through fish farming and through insect farming which contributes to food security in Kenya.’