Claire Nasike won this year’s Wangari Maathai Scholarship Fund Award, becoming the third winner of the annual environmental innovations award.
The award established three years ago is as a result of a partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation, the Green Belt Movement and Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF).
The fund which was established in memory of the late Prof Wangari Maathai and her work in environmental conservation seeks to develop and nurture development and action oriented young women with strong values and commitment to the conservation of the physical and social environment in Kenya.
Twenty-Four year-old Nasike is a Bachelor of Technology in Environmental Resource Management student at Technical University of Kenya. According to her, her passion for environmental conservation dates back to the time she was growing up, at the age of eight, when she learnt from her grandmother about caring for natural resources. Nasike grew up in flood prone village of Port Victoria in Budalangi.
Besides, Nasike leads the “Return to Sisterhood’ project that seeks to empower school children to regain control of their environment. To date, she has reached and impacted over 400 girls in various schools within her community.
According to the Kenya Community Development Foundation, the annual award of Sh500,000 is given to a competitively selected female recipients aged between 18 and 25 years, who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in environmental conservation.
Claire hopes to scale her conservation projects with the scholarship fund to empower young girls and women in her area to conserve the environment for future generations as well as to benefit from it through different livelihood projects that come from environmental conservation.
The event held on Tuesday in Nairobi was graced by, among others, the Green Belt Movement Chairperson Ms. Wanjira Maathai, KCDF CEO Ms. Janet Mawiyoo, Rockefeller Foundation, Africa Office Associate Director Mwihaki Muraguri, Director Wangari Maathai Institute Professor Gitahi Kiama, and Green Africa Foundation Chairperson Dr. Isaac Kalua.
Photo credit: conservationatheart.wordpress.com