As we celebrate the New Year, we remember several Kenyans from different backgrounds who proved last year that individual positive actions can be an extraordinary catalyst for change in the society. Their contributions to the community through kind deeds, ideas and resources have had ripple effect on the entire community
Evelyn Makena @evemake_g
As a dance instructor under Annos Africa, a UK-based charity, Mike has been teaching ballet to children living in the slums. Mike has used the dance, often considered to be for the affluent, to instil confidence in children in Kibera and help them develop skills to make them eligible for better opportunities.
His efforts have helped reduce the number of school dropouts and teenage pregnancies among those enrolled for his lessons. Some of his students have become professional dancers and others have received scholarships to advance their education. Owing to his efforts in positively impacting children in the slums through art, Mike Wamaya was nominated among the top 10 for the global teachers Prize 2017.
Patrick Kilonzo Mwalua – Man watering elephants in Tsavo
Nicknamed the ‘Elephant Guardian’, Patrick went to great lengths to provide drinking water to thirsty wild animals in Tsavo West National Park during the drought experienced in the country in early 2017.
A resident of the area, Mwalua felt a need to step in to avoid deaths of wildlife, especially the elephants due to water shortage. He resorted to buying water and ferrying it to the park in a rented truck to quench the thirsty animals.
Having been born and brought up in the area, Mwalua had witnessed the devastation climate change had caused in his community in the past, thus decided to do something about it.
A GofundMe page set up to keep his water deliveries going and save wildlife received a lot of support online.
Named among the top 100 BBC most inspirational and innovative women 2017, Adelle has been actively involved in young women empowerment and vocal against cyber bullying.
Adelle has been at the receiving end of cyber bullying a couple of times, but instead of wallowing in self-pity, the radio presenter has used her experiences to offer support to victims. She has also been running an online campaign against rape as a survivor.
Despite the digital violence meted against her, Adelle has risen up to become an inspiration to young people through social activism. Last year she had the rare privilege of meeting the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton during the Children Global media summit as one of the panelists.
Alice Wairimu Nderitu
A dedicated peacemaker and one of the few women who lead conflict mediators, Alice Nderitu won the global Pluralism Award 2017 for her work in promoting pluralism. Alice has been actively involved in the noble work of peace–building across Africa.
While serving as a commissioner of National Cohesion and Integration Commission in 2012, she played a pivotal role in resolving conflict in the Kenya’s Rift Valley following the 2007/2008 post-election violence and oversaw the signing of a peace declaration in Nakuru to the same effect.
A founding member of Uwiano platform and a senior adviser Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, Alice has also led mediation in Jos, Southern Plateau and Kaduna in Nigeria. She has also been instrumental in bringing more women in peace resolution and brokering peace in the country during the just-concluded elections.
Starehe Girls’ Centre students
Earlier last year, Starehe Girls’ Centre received a global recognition for a proposed renewable energy project aimed at supplementing electricity in the school.
The school bagged Zayed Future Energy Prize in Abu-dhabi, United Arab Emirates, for a proposed rooftop photovoltaic system that will help cut down on energy costs.
Starehe Girls admits bright under-privileged students whose fees is either paid through scholarships or by well-wishers. Owing to the innovative efforts of 10 Form
Three girls, the school received Sh11 million prize money for the implementation of the project.
Implementing the project will cut the energy costs by close to half, allow for enrolment of more bright students and also cut down on carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
Policeman and headteacher
A photo of two men wading through floods to deliver exam papers to Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education candidates doing rounds on social media won the hearts of Kenyans.
Along’o George Mutwiri, head teacher Lairuba Day Secondary School, Meru and police officer James Ngugi Chege walked through the flooded waters barefoot to deliver exam papers on the third day of the KCSE exam.
The two went an extra mile to ensure that the exam was delivered on time despite the heavy rains experienced at the time. Their dedication did not go unnoticed as the Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i applauded them and issued a directive for them to receive a recognition award.