Fanusi was established in 1987 as a centre for university women and is located directly opposite the University of Nairobi Main Campus on a one-acre plot donated by the Government of Kenya. Fanusi is the Swahili name for the lantern hanging at the back of a dhow that guides ships safely to harbour.
The centre serves as a forum for the professional and social development of the students who frequent the Centre and participate in activities such as leadership programs, courses, workshops, and solidarity programs among others. They also benefit from the library and study facilities offered there.
Students are encouraged to put their knowledge at the service of less privileged women through community projects in the rural areas and Nairobi slums. These projects have enabled many women to set up a means of livelihood for themselves and for their families, as well as awakening the social consciousness of the students, who are greatly encouraged by the results of their efforts.