This week, we have been moved by the widespread media coverage of the sentencing of the man who fatally attacked our colleague and friend Dr Jeroen Ensink in December 2015. In January, we launched the Jeroen Ensink Memorial Fund to support scholarships for students from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Today, this fund has received gifts from more than 350 people from all over the world, totalling over £86,000. We are very grateful for these donations, which are coming from members of the public who have been inspired to action by the coverage, as well as Jeroen’s colleagues, friends, students and alumni.
Professor Joanna Schellenberg, who worked closely with Jeroen, said:
“Jeroen was a highly respected public health engineer who was inspired by social justice. He had already achieved much in his field and had a hugely promising career ahead of him when he was killed. He worked tirelessly on research aiming to ensure that everyone around the world has access to safe water and sanitation, and his projects had the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. His research areas were not glamorous: latrines, taps, and domestic hygiene in urban slums and poor villages of low-income countries. At the time of his death he was leading work to improve the control of cholera in emergency situations. He worked closely with research institutes in Africa and Asia and devoted much effort to supporting them in developing research capacity.
“Hugely committed to teaching, Jeroen always made time for his students. He inspired a new generation of researchers, and we have established a memorial fund in his name to support scholarships to ensure his legacy will continue. As well as being a brilliant researcher, he was also great fun, and he was much loved and respected by all his colleagues. His death is a huge loss, not just to his colleagues and students, but to the global public health community and also to the millions of people around the world who could have benefited from his work. He is greatly missed by everyone at the School.
“We are grateful for the many generous donations to his memorial fund, from both the School community and members of the public. These kind gifts are a testament to his life and work and will ensure that his legacy continues. The fund will support scholarships for students from regions of the world where Jeroen worked tirelessly to improve access to clean water and sanitation for everyone. The support Jeroen’s fund has received is a great comfort to his family, friends and colleagues.”
Jeroen’s life and work were reported this week by media including the BBC, Evening Standard and The Guardian.