“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great Love.” one of the quotes from Mother Teresa which best reflects the humaniterian lifestyle of Jennifer Wangui a typical youth with a strong dedicated zeal to make the world a better place, she is a nature enthusiast, humanitarian, climate change activist and an environmental warrior. This is her conservation journey in championing the United Nations sustainable goals that is The 17 SDG’s.
Wangui was brought up in the ‘hilly’ Muranga county by her maternal grandparents (Kimani and Wangui) in a very small village called Gatha-ini. She attended several primary schools and her grandpa ensured she joined any club in any of the schools she was enrolled from scouts’ club, environment, sports club etc. In 2010 she enrolled Kirwara academy and she believes that’s where her love for environment was triggered. The school was few kilometres from home and due to the terrain, she had to walk to school since the school bus wouldn’t access the village. Passing through the forest, crossing the ever full, silent Kiama river, climbing the two hills, listening to the chirping birds as she went to school were some of the few things that made her love nature. At that time she never knew how unique her environment was, she just enjoyed it. Joined Ruchu Girls, still in Muranga, where she continued participating in the school clubs.
December 2017 she fully relocated to Nairobi, joining her mom and my siblings, though I used to stay with them during some school holidays . Transitioning from the green Muranga to now adapting the city with minimal trees made me want to know more about environment and conservation. “Having 17 years of my life being woken up by birds singing, monkeys jumping from one tree to another to now waking up to hoots from matatus was confusing.” Wangui recalls as she remembers asking her grandma “why Nairobi is the city yet our home (Muranga) is more greener and beautiful?” and she just responded, “that’s what Wangari Maathai was fighting for.” and that was her conservation call, she vowed to follow Wangari Maathai’s footsteps in her little ways and started joining environmental organisations; Spice Warriors Kenya, and later co-founded one , Conservation Warriors Kenya.
During such initiatives like tree planting and clean ups, she came across needy families, orphans, street families and felt the need to volunteer and engage in humanitarian activism. She joined charity organisations like The Soina Foundation where she is the project manager, Wakenya Watenda Wema, Smile Warriors Foundation, Boychild love where she champions SDG 2 (Zero hunger) SDG 3 (Good health and wellbeing) SDG 4 (Quality Education).
I would like to call every citizen to engage in conservation activities as climate crisis is real and everyone can feel the heavy impact eg drought cases being reported daily, global warming etc. That effort you call little will help combat the crises if we all do it together.
Her message to the world is that you can join any environmental club, movement, forum or start up one with your friends, if you are a student join or start one in your learning institution. “Engaging in these activities does not require any qualification at all only the willingness to make sacrifices . Actually most of the environmentalists I have came along, don’t even have any environmental degree or educational background , they have studied courses that are way far from environment issues. You do not have to be a career conservationist, conservation is for us all in our little ways.”
She believes that “There is no us without the environment, our future, our tomorrow depends on the environment of today and if we don’t protect it today then there is no tomorrow for us. Let us strive to make the environment our warfare and our responsibility”
I hope her story inspires you that you dont need much to be engaged in conservation or humanitarian initiatives if we all engage in such noble causes the we shall ripple our reach and have a significant impact in our communities. “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Teresa.
“For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive. In this century he has to realize that in order to survive he has to protect it.” Jacques-Yves Cousteau Here we celebrate the unsung wildlife heroes in the grassroots doing remarkable work to conserve our wildlife heritage, Get to learn about wildlife from a ranger/ ecologist in Kenya a freelance eco-traveler, experience the diverse cultures and African heritage from the natives and take an adventure to new destinations to learn about rare attractions that are hardly talked about and to top it all up some of the best wildlife photographs that will make you reconnect to your wild side appreciate everything around us and fall in love with the natural world, because “It is not enough to love the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.” Edward Abbey
Our wildlife, our responsibility. When it comes to standing up for our wildlife it’s better to be outspoken than unspoken.