Hulda Masese, Kenya
CAMPAIGNER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES. ADVOCACY CHAMPION FOR PLASTIC TIDE TURNERS. A WAGGGS YOUNG LEADER.
“The youth have the power to change the hunger narrative in the world.”
Huldah Masese, is a Young Leader at Kenya Girl Guides Association, She is an advocacy Champion of the Plastic Tide Turners Challenge Badge Programme at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. She holds a bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Nairobi.
In her journey as a girl guide, for the past 3 years, she has realized that most of children in her locality faced a lot of challenges, that deter them from achieving their fullest potential in education. This includes malnutrition, high number of school dropouts due to child labour. Most of the children especially girls are not in school so they can help their parents work as house helps and in tea plucking activities.
In February 2022, Huldah started to train girls in schools how to make simple kitchen gardens using sacks and Plastic containers. At Nyagachi Primary school, they have plenty of kales and spring onions. Of which, they have managed to sell the surplus and bought shoes for two needy girls in grade 6. This has also been extended to community level, whereby, 10, grade 6 pupils have started kitchen gardening at their homes as a measure to curb, food shortage and malnutrition.
Huldah was selected amongst two other WAGGGS advocacy champions to speak at a side event at the World Food Forum - a youth-led global network of partners facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It aims to spark a global movement that empowers young people everywhere to actively shape agrifood systems to help achieve a better food future for all. Below we interviewed her about her experience.
WAGGGS: How did you feel about being selected to represent WAGGGS at the World Food Forum side event?
Huldah: I was delighted to find out that I was being given a chance to share my work at an international platform which was an exciting experience.
WAGGGS: Can you tell us a bit more about your work and the training you have done to support girls
Huldah: I am a Plastic Tide Turner Advocacy Champion. I train girls on garden farming in schools. Most recently, I've managed to train 150 girls from 5 schools in my neighbourhood on the importance of garden farming. Out of the 150 trained,30 girls have already started home gardens in their homes. The main objective is to end plastic pollution on our environment. We can use the waste plastics for gardening, and increase food security in schools and homes, thus reducing high number of school dropouts due to lack of food.
WAGGGS: What were you hoping to achieve from attending the side event and representing WAGGGS?
Huldah: My main expectation was to learn more on the status of how the youth can participate and lead in transformation of Agri food systems as well as interact with members as I shared my own experiences.
WAGGGS: What are the main challenges you feel youth face from the ongoing global hunger crisis and how you think we can work to overcome these?
Huldah: I think the Youth have a lack of skills to implement in Agriculture. Most Youths are not well equipped with affordable farming skills. This discourages them from practicing agriculture. They can be trained on smart farming practices and recruit them into becoming advocacy champions themselves.
WAGGGS: What was discussed at the side event and what was the biggest takeaway for you?
Huldah: The youth have the power to change the hunger narrative in the world. They need to use the available resources to change the narrative, for example to avoid food wastage they should: cook what they can afford and cook food they can eat to finish.
WAGGGS: What is your next step as a Global Advocacy Champion?
Huldah: What I hope to achieve next as a Global Advocacy Champion is to do more training with young people in schools, community members, more youth-based organisations and CBOs on sustainable food production and nutritional value practices. I will use of social media, local and national radio and TV stations to sensitize communities on the importance of re-using plastic waste or garden farming, in rural and urban areas.