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A 9-year-old Kenyan boy by the name of Stephen Wamukota received a presidential award this week for assisting his community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. As COVID-19 has disproportionately affected disenfranchised populations, young Stephen has been focusing on solutions, creating a wooden hand washing machine to control the spread of the deadly virus.

“Stephen Wamukota, from Bungoma County in western Kenya, was the youngest of 68 people to receive the award from President Uhuru Kenyatta. Wamukota built a semi-automatic machine to help curb Covid-19 in Kenya, which has reported more than 2,000 confirmed cases,” CNN states.

Stephen reportedly came up with the idea after learning about coronavirus on television. “The first time the president announced Covid-19 infection in our country, it was said that everyone should wash their hands regularly to prevent the virus. My son told me that time that he had come up with a structure to help make hand washing easier,” Stephen’s dad, James, explained to CNN.

James said he came home one day and saw that his son had pretty much already built the machine and only needed help making it stable. Stephen used wood, nails, and a small water tank, according to the site.

“The hand washing machine is held together by wood and has two feet pedals, one to release soap and the other to release water,” CNN adds. “It allows users to hit the pedals without touching surfaces with their hands, thereby reducing the possibility of contracting the coronavirus. James says his son grasped the idea thanks to Kenya’s school curriculum, which teaches young children how to assemble and construct things.”
Stephen wants to be an engineer and has now reportedly secured a scholarship from Bungoma County governor Wycliffe Wangamati to complete his primary and secondary education. Check out the clip above and join us in congratulating and applauding this young king.

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