It's great to finally get recognition for our efforts, after two years of work! It's been a long journey.
We are thrilled to announce that Grace Wanene, co-founder of the Youth Agro-Environment Initiative and a 2013 Akili Dada Fellow, has been selected as a winner of the 2013 Google Innovation in Agriculture Award. The Youth Agro-Environment Initiative, a Community Based Organization which Grace co-founded in 2011, provides opportunities for youth in the agricultural sector in an attempt to tackle food insecurity and increasing rates of unemployment amongst youth in Kenya. As part of the year-long Akili Dada Innovation in Leadership Fellowship, Grace receives mentoring, leadership training, and hands-on experience as she works to grow her initiative to scale and sustainability. According to Grace, the fellowship has helped her in defining her strategic plan for the initiative and has helped her connect to a wider network of potential partners and supporters, which is crucial as she prepares to take the project to the next level:
We've been running the initiative all online via blog and Facebook. Next we'd like to take it to mobile phones and allow even more youth to benefit, even those without access to computers.
The Innovation Award is a program that aims to establish a platform for collaboration, capacity building, and sharing between the government and the IT sector. According to Human IPO, Google Kenya sponsored the Innovation Awards at the recent 2013 Connected Kenya Summit as a move to foster more innovation by recognising "the exemplary work that creators and innovators are doing." The Connected Kenya summits celebrate exemplary Kenyans who demonstrate how their companies or organizations use ICT in an innovative way to improve the lives of Kenyans. Read more about the innovative initiatives of all of the 2013 winners.
Congratulations Grace, and we are honored to be walking the journey with you at this exciting phase of your social entrepreneurship career!