First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has urged Kenyans to champion causes that inspire and transform society to make Kenya a better place for all.
She urges every Kenyan to promote strong values and hope to the youth. The First Lady said this even as she called on Kenyans to advance the legacy of environmentalist Wangari Maathai.
“Wangari Maathai did her part and we honour her for it. It’s our turn to advance Wangari’s legacy,” the First Lady said.
She spoke Friday evening during the Wangari Maathai Foundation launch and tribute Gala Dinner at the Nairobi National Museum. The dinner also marks creation of an eco-friendly Wangari Maathai House to serve as a hub for global catalysts of change.
The First Lady said the world is not perfect with the many global, regional and national challenges that require concerted efforts of courageous individuals, corporates and a mass movement ready to sacrifice for a better tomorrow.
“We need to emulate the courage, resolve, tenacity, and vision of the change-agents to build a movement of young and old willing to fight with their head and with their heart; with intellect, and innovation, with consistency, care and compassion,” she added.
The First Lady, who is championing the Beyond Zero campaign to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable mothers and children, was thankful to Kenyans and other well-wishers for supporting her noble cause.
“I too have my ‘little thing’ that has succeeded because of the Kenyan spirit of giving. Last Sunday, I ran with thousands of Kenyans young and old to raise more money for a cause close to my heart- saving lives of mothers and children. I thank you Wanjira, Kennedy and those of you here today who ran with me and made it their ‘little thing’,” she said.
The First Lady appreciated the late laureate for being one of the few individuals whose lives epitomized courage in the pursuit of public good and service to social change.
She praised the late Wangari for her selfless conservation efforts that left an indelible mark on ‘our environment and on our lives’ and the country’s progress towards a better world.
“She was inspired by her vision for what the world could be: a world of harmonious relationships between human beings and nature, a world of fairness and justice and peace, a democratic world where leaders lived lives of integrity, a sustainable world and an equitable world, world to live for, a world to leave to our children,” said the First Lady.
The First Lady said the house being built by the Wangari Maathai foundation will inspire, educate and encourage people to take initiatives that will bring social transformation.
“It will be a place where all kinds of people – creatives, thinkers, organisers, students, politicians and professionals – to connect and collaborate towards social transformation,” Mrs. Kenyatta said.
The Foundation Chairperson Wanjira Maathai said the Foundation focuses on a five-year strategy modeled on the work and lessons of Prof Maathai to provide for a vibrant forum for mentoring and inspiring youth to grow into responsible citizens.