The Kenyan Wawira Njiru receives the Icon Award 2022
Source: The World's 50 Best Restaurants
Wawira Njiru, nutritionist, social entrepreneur, and founder and director of the organization Food for Education has been awarded the Icon Award 2022. This recognition by The World's 50 Best Restaurants, is given to people who make an outstanding contribution to the world of gastronomy worthy of international recognition and who use their platform to raise awareness and drive positive change.
In a country where an estimated 80% of children do not receive adequate nutrition, Njiru believes that no one should study on an empty stomach. That is why in 2016, after graduating in food science from a university in Australia, she founded Food for Education. At first, she prepared 25 meals per day, today she feeds 40,000 children on a daily basis from 41 schools located in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kiambu counties.
The children's families pay as little as 15 cents per meal, making these school meals among the cheapest in Kenya. To avoid the risk of children losing money and going hungry, Njiru and her team have developed Tap2Eat technology, a virtual wallet in the form of a bracelet that allows children to pay for their meals with a simple tap.
Over the past six years, the organization has delivered an impressive 7 million meals, helping to increase school attendance, improve academic performance and fight hunger. Food for Education has also helped stimulate the local economy by sourcing fresh food directly from farmers. Meals are prepared in a central kitchen that adheres to internationally recognized food safety standards and are delivered using state-of-the-art technology that enables high-quality and healthy food to be delivered sustainably.
The African activist received the UN Person of the Year title in 2021 and since then she has not stopped working. Before the end of the yeat, Njiru hopes to feed 100,000 students and expand to other countries on the African continent. Among her goals is to obtain a national school meals subsidy that allows all students access to nutritious food, and to provide meals to one million children in less than five years.