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Meet a young Kenyan woman who is behind a program to feed 1,200 needy kids

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“I see myself as a young person who has the responsibility and the power to create the world I want to see in ten years. I do not take that responsibility lightly.” 
-Wawira Njiru, founder of Food 4 Education

Wawira’s story began with a single realization, “What did I do to deserve a better life than other kids around me?” While she grew up with comfort and three meals a day, there were those in her community of Ruiru, Kenya who didn’t have access to nutritious food or quality education. This realization sparked a sense of injustice and set Wawira’s feet on a path towards being an advocate for vulnerable children in her community.

After receiving a scholarship from the University of South Australia, Wawira connected with one of World Vision Australia’s advocacy groups while studying nutrition and food science at the university. There, she learned the different ways World Vision works to protect vulnerable children by looking out for their well-being and development, advocating for their rights, and providing for immediate needs, like food assistance. After graduating, she returned home and founded Food 4 Education.

26% of Kenya’s children are stunted and 40% are malnourished. “We want to bridge that gap by providing healthy and nutritious food for children so they can stay in school and learn,” shared Wawira. Hunger doesn’t just affect how we learn or pay attention in school – it also affects how well our brain works or develops. A healthy brain uses 20% of your body’s energy, and energy comes from nutritious food. Food 4 Education provides protein-based meals, which promote healthy development for 1,200 school children a day.

“Food 4 Education levels the playing field between children who have grown up in a privileged home and those who have to decide whether to go to school or beg for food that day.” -Wawira

Food 4 Education helps subsidize the costs of school meals through their local local restaurant and delivery service, Double Portion. “We started this business because we saw a niche,” shared Wawira. Double Portion provides affordable nutritious meals for the community. “People come in and will be eating like a normal restaurant but the profits will be going to subsidized meals for vulnerable children.”

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Kenya has seen very little rain in recent years, and as a result is in severe drought. This drought has made food more expensive and less accessible for everyone, but especially affects children in impoverished and rural communities. In many cases, the meal that Food 4 Education serves is the only meal children will get to eat that whole day. Wawira hopes that within the next ten years, Food 4 Education will be serving 1 million school lunches a day.

Extraordinary movements of change often begin with just a single reflection and a simple step forward. A hungerfree world is made possible through world changers like Wawira, and each individual decision to empathize and respond. 

To learn more about on Food 4 Education and how they are helping to make a HungerFree world, visit their website.

In Kenya and across Africa, 34 million people are experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in decades due to drought, famine and conflict. That’s nearly the entire population of Canada. 

We need your help to bring some much needed attention to the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. Help us create a #HungerFree world. Take action at worldvision.ca/hungerfree or by sharing on social media.

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Africa

Kenyans reject Uhuru’s avocado, baby carrots deal with Mauritius

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The news that Mauritius had lifted a ban on Kenyan avocados has not been well received by the Kenyan online community.

Kenyans online have lamented that they are already grappling with a decrease in production of their “dear avocados” and did not want a trade deal involving the produce.

The government of Mauritius lifted a ban on several Kenyan farm produce, including avocados, baby carrots, baby beans and broccoli.

The decision was is part of a trade deal made during bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his host Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

President Kenyatta said the lifting of the ban will help improve Kenya’s export and will greatly boost horticultural farmers in the country, especially women who are the majority in the sector.

At the same time, China on Sunday completed an inspection tour by two experts from the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation who were hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) for eight days as a prerequisite given by the country before it opens its market for Kenyan avocados.

ONLINE UPROAR

But online Kenyans were not happy about the recent deal with Mauritius citing shortages of the prized fruit.

“Why export when local demand and supply is still wanting?” Sarati A. Richard wondered.

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“Ile drought iko huku jamani badala zipelekwe huko Kwanza…. We don’t have an oversupply of the produce in discussion,” Migwi Sam lamented.

“DP told us guys to diversify tukasema maize maize… sasa ona,” Cherotich Carren Kiki wrote.

“This ovacado thing kumbe was true! Maize farmers kwisha,” Buluma Godwin commented.

“Ati avocado? Mkipeleka wapi? Msijaribu,” Kenneth Makau warned.

“We don’t even have enough avocadoes in Kenya to feed the demand in the country,” Wachira Jackson commented.

source:nairobinews

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PHOTOS: Uhuru arrives in Mauritius for four-day State Visit

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius for a four-day State Visit.

The plane carrying Mr Kenyatta and his entourage touched down at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shortly before 7pm local time.

On arrival, the President – who was received by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth – inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the special mobile force of the Mauritius Police Service followed by a 21-gun salute.

After the arrival ceremonies,  Kenyatta paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of Mauritius Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory at State House, Le Reduit.

His visit to Mauritius is largely aimed at boosting the economic, cultural and social ties between the two nations, according to PSCU.

The forum will be used to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius and Kenya.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) among other senior government officials.

PHOTO COURTESY: PSCU

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru to meet Trump, other leaders at G7 Summit in Italy
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PHOTOS: Narcotic miraa seized at JKIA

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Detectives at Jomo Kenyatta airport, Nairobi, have intercepted 500 kilogrammes of narcotic dry miraa concealed as tea packets for export to the US, Australia and Austria.

The drugs were hidden in 52 packets, packed as green stevia tea, according to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

DCI on Tuesday said the packets were sent by various exporters and were on their way out when detectives smoked out the drugs during a routine screening.

The heroin that was found hidden inside speakers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has issued a seizure notice on the narcotics.

While this was khat (also qat) laced with hard drugs, debate on whether miraa is a drug or a harmless stimulant has been raging on for years.

The leaf, whose active ingredient is cathinone, is grown mainly in Yemen and East Africa— Kenya, Ethiopia, some parts of Uganda and in Madagascar.

It has been associated with various health problems, such as impotence in men, dental complications as well as heart conditions.

The compounds cathinone and cathine, active ingredients of the mild stimulant, were listed in a schedule of harmful compounds in the 2000s, effecting the ban on the crop in the US, Norway, Canada and Sweden.

Khat is quasi-legal (its legality is ambiguous), as Lee Cassanelli, a scholar who wrote a seminal chapter on the drug, once said.

The heroin that was found concealed as make-up. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Kenya, it is not only legal but also a main cash crop in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Miraa gained popularity in the rest of the world after Somalis, who are very fond of it, trevelled with it around the globe.

But in 2013, the Netherlands, which acted as a transport hub for the drug to rest of the world, also banned it.

The then Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers is quoted by Radio Netherlands as saying that 10 percent of Somali men in the country were badly affected by the drug.

“They are lethargic and refuse to co-operate with the government or take responsibility for themselves or their families,” he said.

A government report released to back the ban also cited that noise, litter and perceived public threat posed by the men who used the drug were the reasons behind the move.

The UK soon after declared miraa a class C drug, banning further imports of the stimulant into the country.

Kenya’s biggest market for miraa today is Somalia, with 90 percent of the product going there.

Mogadishu once banned the stimulant after Nairobi banned direct flights between the two cities over terrorism fears.

source:nation.co.ke

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Veteran journalist Emmanuel Juma of Bulls Eye fame sacked by NMG
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