Margaret Ntuti AKWALU – Kenya

She is one of the Laureates awarded in 2006 with the Prize for Women’s Creativity in Rural Life.

She says: ”Educate a girl and you educate a nation”.

Margaret Ntuti AKWALU - Kenya.JPG

Margaret Ntuti AKWALU – Kenya

Chairlady of the Kieni Gia Nkoro Women’s Group in the rural district of Kianjai, Mama Ruth (65), as Margaret Ntuti Akwalu is fondly and popularly called, has made tremendous contributions towards community development in many areas. Her teaching in agriculture and development farming methods enabled her to sell the idea of cash crop growing to unwilling peasants in this rural community which resulted in a big increase of coffee plantation acreage. This became one of the greatest economic activities in the area that fed, educated and employed many people. She also uses her agricultural knowledge to improve her own farm that yields today the highest results. Margaret also preaches good hygiene practices and as a volunteer with the Kenya Family Planning Association, she strongly campaigns against retrogressive cultural practices like girl circumcision (FMG) and advocates for smaller families.

Among her achievements, we can share that Margaret organized circuit women’s fellowships to start a saving plan in the value of one full day’s work in the form of cereals, bananas, cassavas, etc. to be sold every month at circuit level arranged home visits to promote personal hygiene among women, church members and the entire community introduced kitchen gardening and started successful educational meetings where women learned how to read, knit, embroider, type and dye, repair and sew actively participated in the construction of the Kianjai circuit women’s Boarding primary school and raised funds presently guides the construction of a conference centre in Kianjai. Margaret is a source of inspiration to many in word and deed. Characteristically she never shies away from taking on daring and bold initiatives where many would not tread. Way back in 1960, when most people in Kenya (including men) were afraid of tampering with machines, she drove a Land Rover, which made her the first woman in her rural area to drive a car. Ever since she has become a role model for girls and women in Kianjai. (To read all, go to Rural-Life Prize, and click on Kenya, Margaret Ntuti AKWALU).

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