Samuel Wakang’u Kiarie:
Photo: Samuel Wakang’u planting a tree at a community environmental education event he is helping to lead.
Hi, my name is Samuel Wakang’u Kiarie. I am from Kimende, Kenya which is about 50km Northwest of Nairobi.
I would like to bring to your attention that I am still in my academic journey, where currently I am trying to gain enough support to complete my Masters in Environmental Studies (community development) at Kenyatta University. The journey is long, demanding and challenging, but I am glad because Education is Power and friends have tirelessly worked hard to support and shape my journey in terms of finance and moral support. Your support always gives me hope and encourages me to courageously continue working hard toward achieving my goals. For sure I get overwhelmed by your love and generosity to an extent that I lack the best word to express my appreciation, but anyways please receive my deep hearted gratitude and may God bless you abundantly.
Photo: Edith Mwangi (left), Samuel Wakang’u (Centre) and Dave Cuddy promote Eduaction is Power.
I believe Education is Power (EIP) has the KEY to success for most young people in Africa because education is power and a key to a bright destiny. Therefore I kindly request each and every one of us to join hands together to support EIP, thus empowering one who can empower others. My future vision for EIP is to see it grow to a very big charity with the capacity to give educational opportunities to determined young people across Africa.
Our major challenge has been the ability to fundraise enough money to fully support the current and upcoming students. The other challenge is high expectations from the community where they think EIP has the capacity to fully support all young people to simultaneously enroll in various academic institutions.
On the other hand the community fully supports and embraces the EIP and they are looking forward to see it grow big, far and wide and to incorporate many young people at all academic levels.
My position within EIP is that I am one of the founding students and one who helped conceive the idea of EIP. I also help in coordination of EIP activities here in Kenya.
I will finish up by quoting Mahatma Gandhi, who said that “I love a challenge, every time someone tells me it can’t be done, I want to do it. Opportunities, time and chance happen to everyone, the only time one fails is when one stops trying”. Therefore let’s continue being focused toward the success of Education is Power despite the challenges we encounter along the way.
Once again thanks very much and I wish you all the best in all your endeavors.
For information on Samuel’s school program click here
Family History and Background
Photo: Samuel Wakang’u (right) with his grandmother and brother
I am the oldest sibling among my three sisters and five brothers. I also have my Mom and Dad and several cousins. Three of my sisters and brothers are in primary school and two are in secondary school. Two of my siblings have finished their final year of high school and are now at home with hope that one day they will get money and continue with their studies. It is my plan to help them. When I finish studying and get a job, I will be in a position to help pay for their college fees. As small scale farmers, it is not possible for my parents to support all of us.
I live about 50km northwest of Nairobi in a small village called Kimende, located in Lari Division, Kiambu District in south central Kenya. I finished secondary school and attained good marks to join university but I did not because of a lack of money which my parents could not afford.
So, instead of idling, I decided to volunteer with KENVO (The Kijabe Environment Volunteers) in environmental conservation and community development of which I like very much. How I became involved with KENVO was back in 1998 when I was a member of the school environment/ wildlife club and it so happened that KENVO invited us for the celebration of world environment day. Since environmental/wildlife conservation has been my interest and dream, I got interested with the activities that KENVO was undertaking, and with no time I joined KENVO as a volunteer. I continue to volunteer to date.
Through KENVO I came to learn about The Canada World Youth (CWY) international education program which sounded like an amazing program. I became interested in the kind of the work they were doing so I applied, and luckily enough I was given a chance to participate in a six month program in 2006-2007. I really benefited a lot from this program. It increased my capacity on how to become a more responsible global citizen and to follow CWY’s mission to participate actively in the development of just, harmonious and sustainable societies. It has also helped me to learn more about environmental conservation in the global perspective, different cultures and community development. I also gained good communication, leadership and facilitation skills, self-confidence among others. The CWY program has made me become more focused in life and to be a good leader.
Since I finished High school it has been my wish to go back to higher level studies and attain more skills so that I can serve the environment/wildlife and the society in the best way possible. Unfortunately, I have been limited by school fees. So it’s my hope that I could receive some assistance toward my school fees and then I will go back to school and my dream will come true. Without assistance I do not see going to College or University as a possibility. It’s also my dream that once finished a degree in environmental education; I will be in a position to work towards opening an environmental education centre for local children combined with an international research centre and sustainable eco-tourism operation.
Photo: Samuel Wakang’u (centre) with Asra(left) and Lightness – some of his teammates in his Canada World Youth program
Samuel has won the Canada World Youth Outstanding Overseas Leadership Award for 2013 for his project Community Volunteers Service Kenya (CVSK). Read more on CVSK here.
Photo: Samuel Wakang’u graduates from his Bachelor of Science and Environmental Education in December 2012 at Kenyatta University, Nairobi