Developing Character with Natasha Wainaina and Ingrid

» Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in developing character | 0 comments

Developing Character with Natasha Wainaina and Ingrid

Who is Natasha Wainaina?
What is the Face of Kenya UK Contest?
What impact does that have on Ingrid Education Centre?

Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Natasha Wainaina is an undergraduate student studying International Relations at the University of Lincoln, UK.

Since secondary school, she has been involved in the performing arts by joining the youth company at the local theater and being part of a dance team. Her main hobby is dancing; she also enjoys reading self-development books and taking part in projects that will enable her to gain new skills. She prefers to keep active; consequently, she is the Vice-President for the Lincoln Afro-Caribbean Society.

Face of Kenya UK Contest Poster, 2014.

Face of Kenya UK Contest Poster, 2014.

The Face of Kenya UK Contest seeks to promote cultural diplomacy, youth empowerment, community cohesion, charitable initiatives and progressive branding of Kenyan products in the UK.  “The Face of Kenya UK believes in investing in ‘Tomorrows Leaders’ and works as a voice for Kenyan Youths by fostering awareness among the UK Kenyan community of the importance of preserving Kenyan’s culture and heritage as well as its social, cultural, political, and economic values,” says Janet Wainaina, Founder and director, Face of Kenya UK. “Our goal is to build, connect, and enable the youths in the Diaspora and the community to prosper while creating Kenyan Ambassadors that positively portray Kenya in the UK.”

Natasha says that at first she hesitated to participate in the pageant, forgetting that it was more than just about beauty. But, as a Kenyan, she wanted to give back, and thought this was a great opportunity and venue to do just that. She states:

I would love to be the representative for the Face of Kenya UK because I believe that personal growth and development is important for everyone. I try and challenge myself in ways that I feel that no matter the outcome, I will have learnt something from whatever I am doing.  Having grown up in the U.K. most of my life, I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had so far and take none of them for granted. However, with how Africa is developing, one of my long-term goals is to go back home and start something of my own due to slowly emerging markets, which makes the possibilities and opportunities endless.

What will the children of Ingrid Education Centre do with the energy bestowed on them? Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Faces of the children of Ingrid Education Centre. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Part of the Face of Kenya UK Contest is a fundraising project: each of the participants choose a Kenyan charity for which they raise money and promote. At first the contestants were free to choose any charity that they were interested in, but because Natasha has been in the UK for over a decade, Janet, the founder and director, sent Natasha some options. The first organization that caught Natasha’s attention was none other than Ingrid Education Centre because of its unique name.

After reading through the websites she had sent me because Ingrid Education Centre is focused on education, I knew it was the one I would be choosing. I had asked for my family’s and closest friends’ opinions and the general consensus was to choose a charity that I would feel passionate about; or, a charity that would be dear to my heart. I love seeing children smiling, learning, and developing character, especially when they are enjoying what they are learning. I’ve been lucky to have family that live here in the UK, so I’ve completed most of my schooling here. I’m very happy that I’ve had the opportunity to make it this far in education; so, if there is anyway I can help another child with their education I will.

The launch of the Face of Kenya UK Contest was a huge success. There are 15 contestants that were chosen from 60 applicants, who were introduced by the reigning Queen Trudie (Gertrude) Mukami, and immediately given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their chosen charity.

Recess with the children of Ingrid Education Centre (you can see me walking by in the background), January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Recess with the children of Ingrid Education Centre (you can see me walking by in the background), January 2013. Photo by Isaac V. Photography.

Because they had been told this would not happen, they were not prepared; however, when Natasha spoke, she received the only applause for her introduction. She states,

A businessman was so impressed with how I had presented myself and Ingrid, he made a decision to donate that very night. I also got a few business cards from people who are supporting me! I felt very blessed and happy that I had chosen Ingrid because even though I had panicked that I didn’t have a speech ready; I truly spoke from the heart.

Education has the greatest impact on girls, who are the most underserved and under resourced of the world's population. Photo by Isaac V. Photography at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

Education has the greatest impact on girls, who are the most underserved and under resourced of the world’s population. Photo by Isaac V. Photography at Ingrid Education Centre, January 2013.

On Saturday, June 21st, 2014, at the Colisium Suite in Ilford, UK, the new Face of Kenya UK Queen will be chosen. Never having participated in this type of event, I can only imagine how Natasha might feel.

Regardless of whether I win or not, my goal is to fund raise for Ingrid Education Centre. I strongly believe that education is a right, not a privilege, and what this charity does is focus on improving over 150 children’s lives by running a feeding program as well as giving them an education.

Good luck, Natasha, in your efforts at developing character through raising money for the children of Ingrid. We wish you good success for the evening of the contest. Whatever the outcome, it seems as if Ingrid has gained a spokesperson in the UK, and that can only serve to have a huge impact on the future of the children of Ingrid Education Centre.

Participate today in Natasha’s fundraising by visiting her page at Go Fund Me: http://www.gofundme.com/8tht2c or you can contact Douglas Monene, founder of Ingrid Education Centre via email: douglasmonene@gmail.com to learn how to sponsor one of the children who attend Ingrid Education Centre.

 

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