Beneficiaries of the Bobaroa Trust Fund, a scheme founded 14 years ago by Japanese nationals associated with the establishment of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology to reward excelling students of JKUAT have formed their alumni association to cater for the Japanese Fund that comes to an end next year. The launching ceremony was held on Saturday December 10 2011 and attended by close to 100 Babaroa beneficiaries who conducted elections for the new chapter officials under the JKUAT Babaroa Alumni Association.
Speaking to the former Babaroa Trust Fund winners, Vice-chancellor, Prof Mabel Imbuga announced the University had already initiated Shs. 5 million seed money as part of its strategy to sustain the Fund after next year. Prof. Imbuga reminded past beneficiaries Babaroa Trust Fund was of immense historical significance to JKUAT that could not be allowed to fade away and reminding past beneficiaries they had immense obligation to ensure the Fund’s continuity ‘ as a way of acknowledging the essential role played by founding Japanese officials in the establishment of JKUAT’. The vice chancellor added, ‘it is our conviction that you will come up with practical solutions to enable us to motivate our students and cherish the patriotic gesture and participation of the Japanese people in the development of our welfare.
And one the founding Japanese official Dr. Jiro Nosaka told the meeting most of the founders of the scheme were now aging, a fact that had weakened their ability to actively participate in the affairs of the project. Dr. Nosaka, now the Chief JICA advisor African Institute for Capacity Development told the meeting he expected the former beneficiaries ‘to come out with sustainable way of supporting the award arguing that many students in his home country were active in supporting their alma mater’.
The occasion was also addressed by Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of academic Affairs and officials of JKUAT alumni association.
During the function, new officials were elected with Mr. Gathogo Githato, a lecturer at the School of Architecture and Building Sciences taking the position of Chairman while Anne Indenche of the Department of Food Science and Technology was voted in into the position of vice chair. The new team vowed to mobilize support in support of the Fund.