On Wednesday 18 March 2009, the Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Professor Helen Sambili presented the Equator Initiative Award to two community groups – Kijabe Environment Volunteers and the Kwetu Training Centre from Kilifi at a colourful event at the KENVO resource centre in Kimende. The prize – awarded globally to a total of 25 winners – was given to the two groups to recognize and celebrate outstanding community efforts to reduce poverty through the conservation of biodiversity. Kenvo provides local communities with the information, education, and resources they need to advance environmentally friendly businesses, while Kwetu trains local community members of the Kilifi District in conservation activities that also generate income, focusing on unemployed youth, women, and fishermen.
While lauding the efforts of the groups Prof. Sambili asked other youth to follow their example, adding that mankind has a short time to convert what has been destroyed within our environment. The Minister was accompanied to the festivities by Mr Aeneas Chuma UNDP Resident Representative and Dr. Chris Gakahu also of UNDP, and the MP for Lari, and was received by the local community, youth groups from the area and past winners of the Award. The Award carries a monetary value of USD 5000 each, which the Ministry of Youth Affairs boosted with Kshs 50,000 for each group. Mr Chuma said that the groups had made Kenya proud by being part of the twenty five winners drawn from 310 nominations globally.
David Kuria of Kenvo (right) shows Prof. Sambili (centre) round the exhibition. In the picture is Mr. Chuma UNDP Resident Rep. (to the left of the Minister) and the MP for Lari (extreme left).
Below, part of the exhibition.