Growing up in a community just outside of Nairobi in Kenya, Wawira Njiru was fortunate enough to have educated parents who were able to provide for her family and ensure they never went hungry. Wawira’s childhood playmates however, were not so lucky.
“From a young age, I learnt to feed those in my community who had no food,” Wawira remembers.
Years later, most people in her community still live below the poverty line and struggle to make ends meet. For Wawira, it has not been easy justifying the privileged life she leads (particularly as she completes her university studies in Australia) while the majority of the families in her neighbourhood cannot afford two meals a day and children are forced to choose between begging for food and attending school.
But today, Wawira is doing something about it.
Just last month, she launched Food for Education Trust - an initiative designed to feed the hungry bellies of Kenya’s children, so they can continue feeding their minds. The programme has begun at Ruiru Primary School, a public school catering for children from neighbouring slums, and is currently feeding 26 children from the neediest families.
With plans to take the initiative right across the country and incorporate income generating projects for each school, Wawira and her team are dreaming big. And we can see why. With those beautiful, full-bellied, smiling faces staring back at you, what more motivation would you need?
“The reaction from the kids and the community has been overwhelming. Everyone is very excited and chipping in as much as they can. The kids we are working with come from such harsh backgrounds, some who have been orphaned or have to take care of their sick guardians (some who are affected by HIV) so providing lunch for them goes further than providing just food, it’s also providing hope.”
We’ll leave you with Jackson’s story…
“Jackson is a charming 12 year old boy who each evening has to make dinner for his 8 member family. His mother constantly struggles to put food on the table and provide for him and his siblings. Jackson says that it’s such a relief to have the Food for Education Trust make him one meal a day! Share his smile and our hope for a world where children like Jackson always have a reason to smile.”