|Activist for a greener Africa|
Environmentalist Stephen Njoroge
He is the environmental activist who started ‘We Care Club’ at nine years of age. Today, the club has over 5,000 members. In September 2012, he was named the ‘Top Under 20’ entrepreneur by Business Mind Magazine. On October 18 2012 , he was feted on the UN day at the United Nations Headquarters in Nairobi. In November 2012, he was appointed the Green Africa Foundation Goodwill Ambassador and on November 15 2012, he established a ‘Kibaki Green Corner’ in honour of former President Kibaki’s birthday. On November 17 2012, he was the chief guest at the ‘Plant Your Age Initiative’ at Nairobi National Park. He is also the voice of children on the Board of Visionaries for Vision 2030. He is 13 years-old and goes to Makini School in Nairobi, Kenya. BINGWA Magazine correspondent Kabeeria M’mbogori talks to him.
We Care Club is about…
I CARE stands for ‘I Create Awareness and take Responsibility for the Environment’. I started the We Care Club when I was nine-years old, because I care a whole load about the environment. My interest in the environment begun when I was three-years old. The club, which has planted over 15,000 trees to date. began with two of my classmates from Makini School.
Some of the highlights of your work… Green birthdays; where instead of just blowing candles we plant our age like we did the former president Kibaki’s birthday. My passion for the environment is celebrated and because of this I have visited every continent except Australia and Antarctica.
Explain some pressing issues affecting the environment… Kenya looses 5.6 million trees a day! It is a miracle that there are still forests standing. Its no wonder that access to clean water and other effects of pollution are affecting us all. Water is life and sanitation is dignity.
What can BINGWA readers do? We must fight ignorance, by being trained and educated. For example, let us take it upon ourselves to remove pools of water where mosquitoes breed around us; this is a step to preventing disease in our homes and schools. We can even make Africa cooler and greener by learning how to think, not just what to think.
Let’s create wealth by planting seedlings to generate income and use this experience in doing business. When I started We Care Club, I used to spend my pocket money on seedlings, this was a sacrifice, but when you do something you love, nothing is ever too much.
What are you dreams or ambitions?
As an environmentalist, I am what I wanted to be. My ambition is to see a better environment and a green Kenya. Wangari Maathai is my environmental role model and Nelson Mandela the leader I most admire.
Favorite tree: Mango because of the fruits
Favorite animal or bird: Humming bird
Favorite Movies: Comedy, Action and some animations.
Favorite Subject: Science
ENVIRONMENTAL TIPS FROM STEPHEN
Everyday activities can make a big difference;
First published in BINGWA Magazine Issue 12 2014.