Wawira Njiru, Founder and Director of Food 4 Education, has been awarded the 2018 Global Citizen Prize for Youth Leadership at the just concluded Global Citizen Festival in South Africa.

The award has been designed to recognize a young person who is making a meaningful contribution to ending global poverty

Founded in 2012 by Wawira Njiru while studying a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of South Australia, Food4Education provides lunch on every school day, mentorship and tuition support aimed at improving their health, school performance and increase their chances of getting into good high schools in a merit-based high school entrance system.

The organization provides 2,000 meals a day, allowing children to stay in school and focus on their education hence improvement of school attendance which has gone up by 24 percent.

Through Food4Education, 100% of the students under the program have scored 250/500 marks in their final primary school exams while 96% of have successfully transitioned from primary to secondary school.

Wawira Njiru becomes the first-ever recipient of Global Citizen Prize for Youth Leadership, an award that is supported by American multinational technology company, Cisco in partnership with Global Citizen an organization focused on mobilizing 100 million socially-minded advocates who want to end extreme global poverty by 2030

“I am feeding the future of Africa because I believe in a generation that is well-nourished and educated,” Njiru said. “Hungry children cannot learn and I believe a prosperous future for my continent begins with no child is learning on an empty stomach.”

The prize entails US$250,000 for Food for Education, an all-inclusive round-trip to Johannesburg to attend the Prize Ceremony at the Global Citizen Mandela 100 Festival, as well as networking and development opportunities to support the organization’s work.

Food 4 Education has a set a goal to serve 100,000 meals per day over the next 3 years.

This story first appeared on Founder360Mag