Kenyan Named UN Person of the Year

  • Wawira Njiru
    An undated image of Food for Education founder Wawira Njiru.
    Wawira Njiru
  • A Kenyan has been named as this year’s United Nations (UN) Person of the Year.

    Wawira Njiru, founder of Food 4 Education (F4E) received the coveted commendation for her efforts towards providing meals to needy pupils in public schools across the country.

    The announcement was made on October 24, by the World Food Program (WFP) representatives and Country Director to Kenya Lauren Landis during the UN day.

    Wawira Njiru
    An undated image of Food for Education founder Wawira Njiru(center) receiving an award alongside her mother and sister.
    Univeristy of South Australia

    The thirty-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist will be feted on October 25 at the UN offices in Gigiri, Nairobi.

    Njiru started her Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in 2011 when she was pursuing an undergraduate program in Nutrition Science at the University of South Australia in Adelaide, Australia.

    In 2011, Njiru invited her 80 friends to a Kenyan-themed meal where she charged 20 dollars per plate raising an equivalent amount of Ksh 126,000.

    She then used the funds to construct a makeshift kitchen and began her feeding program with 25 pupils.

    The Food 4 Education program has since absorbed more than 33,000 pupils from needy backgrounds who have benefited by receiving a healthy and balanced diet in school reducing the agony of parents.

    The thirty-year-old stated that it costs approximately Ksh50 or more to provide a meal to an elementary school child in Kenya and through her program; parents are asked to contribute only Ksh10 which relieves them from incurring expensive feeding costs.

    Njiru expressed her joy after receiving the coveted commendation stating that every Kenyan child should have access to a nutritious meal in school.   

    “Honored and grateful to be named this year’s UN Person of the Year. The time is NOW for every Kenyan child to have access to nutritious meals in school,” she stated in a tweet.

    Her efforts of keeping children in school through her feeding program made her become the first winner of the Global Citizen Prize for Youth Leadership in December 2008.

    Wawira Njiru
    An image of Food for Education founder Wawira Njiru posted on February 10.
    Wawira Njiru