Hannah Mbugua is a determined IT student, who is passionate about creating awareness on mental health in the Country. Her passion was not only birthed by her desire to help people but her challenges in high school where she was pressured into performing well and when she did not meet society’s standards, she fell into depression.
“This was a tough time for me but when I was able to get an opportunity at Zetech, life changed and I started getting A’s in my exams. Through this, I realized I have great potential to be someone great.” says Hannah, who is eager to use all she has learnt to grow her initiative dubbed Mental Sanity Haven.
Speaking about the project, Hannah said, “Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to help people. After my experience, I read a lot about mental health as I wanted to know why I was experiencing challenges in high school and that’s why I started this project. I decided to take this to the next level by applying for the My Little Big Thing (MLBT) challenge, an initiative of MK-Africa in partnership with Safaricom, University of Cambridge South Africa and PKF, formed to create awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among the youth.”
In the competition that saw over 100 Kenyans apply, Hannah was shortlisted after submitting a convincing three-minute video and 200 page essay detailing her idea. She thereafter underwent a mentorship event and was pitted against other contestants to get Kenyans to vote for them, coming in second with over 2060 votes.
When asked about the experience, she said, “It was exhilarating. Once shortlisted, the next stage was a design workshop where we were taught to design our ideas and implement them for the future; thereafter, we attended the Community Mansion stage where we were taught to make our ideas real. I, therefore, held so we had an event at Zetech where we watched videos including Silent Screams, created by Grandeur, where we focused on substance abuse disorder”. Hannah adds that she got invaluable feedback from the judges who helped her restructure and strengthen her project.
The Final Show
Following this success, Hannah created a website and compelling presentation which was delivered to judges and a large audience at the Michael Joseph centre in Nairobi. “I was able to work on our website and presentations for the final battle and I must say students and lecturers were very supportive. Thereafter, we had the final show at Michael Joseph Centre where I got the chance to make my presentation.” said Hannah. She believes she was confident and passionately articulated her initiative. She was among the top ten and really appreciated that we got the chance to network with CEOs she only sees on TV.
She is also appreciated the support she received from the University fraternity, “Yes, the University supported me and encouraged me to do my best. I was also able to use the resources I required to undertake my activities and students and staff voted for me during the challenge. I am forever grateful.” says a delighted Hannah.
Commenting on her accomplishment, VC Prof. Njenga Munene noted that the Institution is keen on challenging students to participate in national and global engagements that help them to grow.” We are proud of Hannah and the great work she has achieved in a period of a few months, through MLBT, she has learnt the skills of an entrepreneur and how to better serve the world.” said Prof. Munene, adding. “As Zetech, we are focused on sharpening our students through such experiences as we works towards being a leading University in the world.”
Now that she is more exposed on how to run an initiative and expand it to the next level, she is ready to grow Mental Sanity Haven. Her and her team has created an App TalkTalk Mental, an application that detects moods and offers help.