“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.”
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 believe a hungerfree world- where everyone has enough food to eat- is possible. Help us eradicate child hunger now.