Johannesburg - Kenyan social entrepreneur Wawira Njiru was on Sunday awarded the first-ever Cisco Global Citizen Youth Leadership Prize for her work to end childhood hunger, while Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg won the first-ever Global Citizen Prize for World Leadership.
Njiru, the founder of Food4Education, provides nutritious lunches to over 1200 vulnerable school children every school day in a bid to end classroom hunger, improve school attendance, and performance.
Her organisation provided around 100,000 school meals in 2017 and has already made 2018 an incredible year by providing over 250,000 school meals through the assistance of farmers and other food donors.
A tearful Njiru thanked the chairman and chief executive of Cisco, Chuck Robbins, and American RnB superstar Usher Raymond IV who handed her the award, saying that she was "inspired to continue feeding the future with Food4Education".
Cisco is an American multinational technology conglomerate that develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products.
Thousands of music fans from across the country packed the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday for the "Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100", featuring local and international musicians, including Beyonce and Jay-Z, to celebrate the legacy and the centenary of South Africa's first democratic president Nelson Mandela.
Over the past six months, anticipation has been building up to the Global Citizen Festival as the international human rights advocacy organisation asked South Africans to participate in various actions in a bid to end poverty in their immediate surrounding communities.
The organisation said global citizens had taken more than 5.5 million actions, with over four million in South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland alone, calling on leaders to commit to tackling systemic issues affecting the world's most vulnerable, such as ending malnutrition, reducing HIV transmission, and improving sanitation across the continent, among others.
Global Citizen wants governments to spend an extra US10 per child on nutrition by 2020 and save 50 million children from stunted growth. Governments and corporate companies pledged billions in investments on initiatives aimed at ending poverty around the world.
Global Citizen worked in partnership with a number of organisations to bring the festival to South Africa, including the Motsepe Foundation, House of Mandela, and a number of partners, and 25 local NGOs and organisations.
African News Agency (ANA)