The Responsible Citizen - October 2023

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06 | Founder’s Welcome 07 | Editor’s Note

Key Takeaways from the Africa Climate Summit

18 | Anglo-American Sustainability


Strategy amidst South Africa’s Energy Crisis

22 | Octavia Carbon: 08 | Peace Onyanbo Owei and She4She’s Drive for Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment

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12 | Charting a Sustainable Future:

Revolutionizing Sustainability in the Global South through Direct Air Carbon Capture Technology





26 | Safari Serenity: How Governor’s

44 | Beauty with a Purpose: Habiba

Camp Balances Luxury and Sustainability

Abdulrahman Hemed’s Sustainable Legacy in fashion, Upcycling and Climate Action Advocacy

32 | WINspired: Helping Unleash Women’s Power and Potential

46 | The Thinking Cap Initiative’s Journey on Igniting Brighter Futures

36 | Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands

39 | Wairimu Muriithi’s Drive and Vision for a Brighter Future by Eradicating Poverty and Empowering Women


49 | Bhungane Mehlomakhulu: Dancing in Rhythmic Harmony with Sustainable Fashion

52 | Kenya’s Eco-Warrior Awards

2023: Celebrating Sustainability’s Brightest Stars

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Founder and Editor Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile

Managing Director of Wise Leadership (Pty) Ltd Editor Yvonne C Mtengwa Narratives PR FZ-LLC Dubai, UAE

CONTENT CONTRIBUTORS Lorraine Kinnear Bem Abubaker Zimkhita Kweza Peter Kinuthia Murimi


@trcbotswana @TRCMagazine @theresponsiblecitizen @theresponsiblecitizenmagazine

Published by Narratives PR LLC – FZ Registered at Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ) United Arab Emirates



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Founder’s Welcome


he African Continent hosted the first-ever Africa Climate Summit (ACS) in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 4-6, 2023. Present at the event were 20 African Heads of State and 30,000 participants from various sectors around the world. This was Africa taking the lead and affirming its key and participative role in climate and nature-based solutions. The underlying message is that the world is collectively making effort in collaborating and working together to make the earth a habitable place. An outcome of the Summit agreed to the “Nairobi Declaration”, which serves as a call to action for African leaders and the world to urgently address climate change. African nations also committed to reduce emissions, enhance resilience, and initiate partnerships and initiatives for climate action. To cement the agreement, several commitments were made. Developed countries pledged significant financial commitments totalling billions of dollars over five years to support climate action in Africa, thereby addressing climate-related challenges and promote sustainable development. Additional financial commitments included the Green Climate Fund with a pledge of $100 million for Kenya’s carbon market development and the African Development Bank pledging $200 million for Nigeria’s carbon market development. The World Bank committed $500 million to the African Carbon Market Initiative. One key aspect was the youth inclusive approach of the summit where the Africa Youth Assembly (AYA) gathered over 500 young people from across Africa alongside the Africa Climate Summit. This resulted in a “Nairobi Youth Climate Declaration”, advocating for youth engagement in climate frameworks, ambitious climate action, climate education, and support for youth-led initiatives. It is commendable that the youth, which is the future generation is being involved, equipped and capacitated in such critical national and global matters. This shows a clear intention towards achieving sustainability for the greater good of the world we live in. Sincerely,

Mpho Moletlo Kgosietsile 6|


Editor’s Note


he recently concluded Africa Climate Summit, marked a significant milestone in the global fight against climate change. While it brought together leaders, policymakers, and experts from across the continent to discuss pressing climate-related challenges and chart a path toward a sustainable future, it also heralded the need to urgently address the challenges raised, as climate change is not a distant threat but an immediate crisis affecting African nations disproportionately. The entire continent is being affected by rising temperatures, droughts, and extreme weather events are already wreaking havoc on communities, ecosystems, and economies. What this spells out is the need for governments, corporates and civil society groups and the continent’s citizens at large to actively engage and collaborate on a subject that impacts us all. This issue is rich in features that speak to several of the topics covered by the Africa Climate Summit, including adaption and resilience, renewable energy transition, the role of tourism in fostering sustainability, water management, particularly in mining, reducing carbon footprints and naturally, how all these align with the role corporates can play in ensuring responsible practices. We thank you for staying the course with us and do hope the stories shared not only inform you with valuable insights, but also become your personal call to action to get involved in making a difference where you are! Yours truly,

wa g n e t .M



Peace Onyanbo Owei and She4She’s Drive for Inclusion and Women’s Empowerment By Bem Abubaker




The She4She Initiative, with its unwavering commitment to the empowerment of women and girls, emerges as a force for positive change in a world where gender equality remains a paramount goal. Inspired by the United Nations Declaration on Women’s Rights and Equality, this organization has embarked on a noble mission that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address the multifaceted challenges facing women, especially in Nigeria.


n Nigeria, the path to gender equality is fraught with challenges. Shockingly, nearly half of Nigerian women live below the poverty line, emphasizing the crucial need for economic empowerment programs. Access to quality healthcare remains elusive for many women, as maternal mortality rates continue to be unacceptably high. Gender disparities still plague the educational landscape, particularly in rural areas, while gender-based violence casts a long shadow over the lives of countless Nigerian women. But the She4She Initiative, founded by Peace Onyanbo Owei, stands resolute to confront these challenges, with the aim of lifting women out of poverty, improving healthcare access, promoting education, and dismantling restrictive gender norms (aligned with SDGs 1, 3, 4, and 5). The inception of this transformative initiative was inspired by the disparities and obstacles faced by women and girls not only in the organization's local community but also across Nigeria, challenges of which include dis-


crimination and limited opportunities. The driving belief behind the She4She Initiative is that every woman should have the opportunity to not only survive but thrive, to lead, and to contribute to the development of her community. To achieve its mission, the She4She Initiative has crafted an array of programs. Annually, they unveil a comprehensive schedule of activities designed to empower women and girls. These activities include seminars and entrepreneurship training programs, with an agenda to provide women with the vital skills, knowledge, and opportunities needed to succeed.

Unpacking the flagship program – She4She Woman Up "She4She Woman up" entrepreneurship training equips women with skills required to start and manage their businesses. It covers aspects such as business planning, financial management, marketing, and leadership development. This program has yielded substantial success, as women who have completed these programs have not only launched successful businesses but have also created employment opportunities for others in their communities. Furthermore, these programs


vestments in data collection and evaluation. This commitment ensures that the progress of women who participate in their initiatives is tracked and documented, leading to continuous refinement and enhancement of their programs. Additionally, the organization has championed inclusivity by working closely with marginalized groups, tailoring their programs to cater to the specific needs of these communities.

Measuring sustained impact

have instilled a newfound sense of confidence and empowerment in women, leading to personal and professional transformation. Recognizing that demonstrating the effectiveness of their programs is pivotal for accountability and sustainability, She4She has made substantial in-

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The impact of the She4She Initiative's programs is both profound and far-reaching. By empowering women with essential skills and knowledge, they have witnessed remarkable transformations in the lives of countless women and their communities. Women who have participated in their entrepreneurship and capacity-building programs have successfully launched businesses, providing not only for themselves but also for their families, but also contributing significantly to local economic growth and stability. Furthermore, the She4She Initiative's programs have instilled a newfound sense of confidence and self-belief in the women they serve. Many of these women now approach life with greater responsibility and a broader perspective, inspiring others in their communities to pursue their dreams and aspirations. The power of mentorship within their programs has been undeniable, with women who have completed their training often becoming mentors themselves, passing on their knowledge and skills to the subsequent cohort of aspiring entrepreneurs.


COVER STORY • PEACE ONYANBO OWEI Scaling through Partnerships, collaborations, and networking

The She4She Initiative envisions a future where its impact is significantly expanded and reaches a more extensive and diverse array of women. Their primary goal is to scale up their programs to empower at least twice the number of women they currently serve within the next five years. This expansion will encompass areas such as STEM education, digital literacy, and green entrepreneurship to adapt to evolving economic and societal landscapes. Their aspirations extend globally, with the aim of reaching women in underserved regions worldwide, fostering gender equality on a global scale. Furthermore, the She4She Initiative is committed to becoming a formidable advocate for gender equality and women's rights, both at local and international levels. Their goal is to influence policies, challenge gender stereotypes, and drive systemic change. To ensure that gender equality takes root from a young age, they are committed to youth empowerment, fostering leadership skills and self-confidence among young girls and adolescents. The She4She Initiative recognizes the importance of partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders in advancing its mission. These collaborations have been instrumental in reaching more women and creating sustainable change. They work closely with local and national government bodies to align their programs with policies and priorities. This not only ensures a supportive regulatory environment but also provides access to resources and infrastructure. Corporate partnerships have been pivotal for economic empowerment programs, with many companies offering funding, mentorship, and employment opportunities. Collaboration with community-based organizations ensures that their programs are culturally sensitive and tailored to the specific needs of the communities they serve. Additionally, they have engaged with local businesses, creating a cycle of economic


growth through market access, mentorship, and employment opportunities. As individuals, corporate bodies, and organizations consider how to support the She4She Initiative, a multitude of avenues beckon. Donations, mentorship, education, advocacy, material donations, raising awareness, training and workshops, scholarships, internships, technology support and volunteering at events are all of these avenues that offer an opportunity to contribute to the empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality. By engaging in these acts of support, individuals and organizations can play an integral role in shaping a brighter and more inclusive future for women and girls around the world.

Fostering a brighter future

As the She4She Initiative envisions a future where women have equal opportunities to lead in every sector, they are actively planning to implement strategies that will facilitate this vision. Leadership training programs tailored for women will equip them with the skills and confidence required to excel in leadership roles. Mentorship and networking events will connect women with established leaders, fostering mentorship relationships that can guide aspiring women. Public awareness campaigns will raise awareness about the importance of women's leadership, highlighting the achievements of women leaders and challenging gender stereotypes. Today, the She4She Initiative stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment for women and girls in Nigeria and beyond. With its unwavering commitment to empowering women, addressing gender inequality, and advocating for change, it is driving significant positive change in the lives of countless women. Their programs are not only transforming the economic prospects of women but also nurturing confidence, resilience, and leadership skills. The She4She Initiative is not merely an organization; it is a catalyst for change, inspiring women, and girls to believe in their potential and pursue their dreams.

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Key Takeaways from the Africa Climate Summit


By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

In the vibrant heart of Nairobi, Kenya, where the rhythms of Africa’s aspirations reverberate, one of Responsible Citizen Magazine’s very own sustainability reporters stood on the precipice of history, affirming our unwavering commitment to covering the critical events shaping the sustainability landscape, uncovering the Summit’s key takeaways, while exploring the Nairobi Declaration’s resounding call to action. It is here that we witnessed how Africa is poised to lead the way in the global climate arena.




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rom September 4th to 6th, 2023, a historic gathering unfolded in the Kenyan Capital of Nairobi—the inaugural Africa Climate Summit, jointly hosted by the African Union and the Government of Kenya. This landmark event convened under the overarching theme of "Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World." At the heart of this inaugural climate Summit, lay a mission of paramount importance: to chart a course towards sustainable solutions for the world's most pressing climate challenges. The summit was where the hopes of a continent met the challenges of our era, underscoring the enduring influence of local voices in the relentless pursuit of planetary wellbeing. The Africa Climate Summit was a resounding success, a clarion call that resonated across borders and ideologies. It raised awareness, forged commitments, and illuminated a path forward. Amidst the grandeur of the Summit, where the African Union and the Government of Kenya took the helm, approximately 30,000 delegates, including 18 Heads of African States, convened to address the defining challenge of our era. Notable figures such as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, and the President of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen, lent their gravitas to the proceedings. At the core of this monumental gathering lay discussions of paramount significance—climate action financing, the green growth agenda for Africa, and the intricate interplay between climate action and economic development. This summit was more than a mere assembly; it was a collective pledge, a profound declaration of intent by African States to address climate change head-on. The summit's culmination,

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the Nairobi Declaration, stands as a testament to African unity and resolve. Comprising eleven pivotal points, this declaration resonates with a clear and unified African stance on climate action—an anthem of shared commitment and responsibility. CHARTING A SUSTAINABLE COURSE: AFRICA'S UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO A GREENER FUTURE The voices in the room echoed with determination, as leaders, diplomats, experts, and advocates charted a course towards a more sustainable and resilient future for Africa and the world. But make no mistake; this is just the beginning. There is much more to be done to ensure that Africa receives the resources it needs to confront the defining challenge of our time. The journey is arduous, but Africa's determination is unwavering, and the path to a sustainable future begins here, under the African sun. Amidst discussions, deliberations, and the forging of alliances, the summit illuminated the path to a greener, more resilient Africa. It shone a spotlight on the urgent need for climate finance and green growth strategies that would not only benefit the African continent but also reverberate worldwide. The Africa Climate Summit was a convergence of visionaries and change-makers who recognized that the time for action is now. From heads of state to grassroots advocates, all in attendance understood that Africa, as a continent profoundly impacted by climate change, must lead by example. EMPOWERING AFRICA'S CLIMATE REVOLUTION: UNLEASHING SUSTAINABLE FINANCE FOR A GREENER TOMORROW The Africa Climate Summit resonated with a resounding call to action—a clarion plea for increased climate action financing in


Africa. This vast and diverse continent, acutely susceptible to the unforgiving impacts of climate change, paradoxically finds itself with the fewest resources to combat this existential threat. It is a stark reality that compelled the summit's participants to unite in their insistence that developed nations must do more. They must extend a helping hand, underpinned by a moral imperative and a shared sense of responsibility. The summit underscored the staggering scale of Africa's climate financing needs, estimated at a formidable $2.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030—a figure that, while daunting, is essential to shield Africa from the most devastating repercussions of a changing climate. GLOBAL PLEDGES, LOCAL IMPACT: DEVELOPED NATIONS STEP UP WITH FINANCIAL COMMITMENTS At the heart of the Africa Climate Summit there was a compelling truth: the Global North, comprising the developed nations of our world, bears a profound responsibility. The commitments they made in climate action financing during this summit resonate with both urgency and obligation. These commitments, spanning a decade, reflect not only promises of financial support but, more importantly, a recognition of their pivotal role in the fight against climate change. The pledge to mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance for developing countries, first articulated in 2009, echoes as a moral imperative. While progress has been made, the commitment remains partially unfulfilled—a testament to the ongoing efforts required to meet the promise of support. Moreover, the commitment to channel climate finance to the most vulnerable countries and communities exemplifies a dedication to addressing the stark inequalities exacerbated by THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

climate change. In Africa, where vulnerabilities loom large, this focus carries profound significance. In addition to these general commitments, developed countries also made a number of specific and substantial pledges for climate action financing during the summit, with a strong focus on supporting Africa's sustainability goals. The United States boldly pledged a total of $10 billion over the course of 5 years, underlining their commitment to fostering climate resilience and progress on the African continent. The United Kingdom, mirroring this dedication, unveiled a significant commitment of £5 billion over a 5-year period, reaffirming their resolve to empower African nations in their climate endeavors. Germany, too, stepped into the forefront of climate action financing with a substantial pledge of €1 billion over the same 5-year span. Meanwhile, France and Japan reinforced their commitment to Africa's climate agenda with commitments of €500 million and ¥100 billion, respectively, over the next 5 years. These commitments are not merely financial figures; they are powerful symbols of support, illuminating a path towards a more sustainable and resilient Africa. KENYA'S GREEN HYDROGEN DEAL: PAVING THE WAY FOR A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION On September 6, 2023, amidst the grandeur of the Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, a transformative pact unfolded—one that heralds a profound shift towards a clean energy future. Kenyan President William Ruto and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen inked a historic agreement, committing €12 million ($12.9 million) to Kenya's burgeoning green hydrogen industry. This landmark deal, a cornerstone of the EU's visionary Global Gateway investment strategy, aims to catalyze €300 billion

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in global infrastructure and development investments. At its core, the agreement is a resounding declaration of support for Kenya's green hydrogen ambitions—an endeavor poised to unlock economic opportunities while simultaneously reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Green hydrogen, a clean and versatile fuel generated by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using renewable energy, stands as the linchpin of this initiative. Kenya's abundant renewable resources, including solar and wind power, provide an ideal canvas for the development of a green hydrogen economy. The EU's investment represents more than just financial backing; it is a commitment to the nurturing of infrastructure and expertise essential for green hydrogen production and exportation. In this synergy, both Kenya and the EU emerge as victors. Kenya stands to gain not only from the financial injection but also from the creation of employment opportunities that will uplift its citizens. The EU, on the other hand, secures access to a clean, reliable, and sustainable source of energy—a pivotal asset in its pursuit of climate goals. At the close of the Africa Climate Summit, one resounding message echoed in the hearts and minds of delegates in atten-


dance: developed countries, having played a significant role in catalyzing climate change, bear a profound obligation to provide the necessary financial support. Their substantial resources position them as key contributors to this global cause. The summit's unequivocal message was clear: the commitments made by developed countries to offer climate finance to Africa must be honored without delay. Yet, this isn't merely a matter of financial aid; it is an investment in Africa's sustainable future. Climate action financing, when directed towards renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate-resilient infrastructure, has the power to effect transformative change. It can create employment opportunities, invigorate economic growth, and enhance the quality of life for countless Africans. Moreover, it can propel Africa towards a future less dependent on fossil fuels—a future that champions sustainability, resilience, and the promise of a better tomorrow. The journey toward a sustainable and resilient Africa has begun, and it is a journey we must all embark on together.

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In an era marked by the imperative to safeguard our planet’s future, the mining industry faces a critical juncture—one where profitability must harmonize with environmental preservation, and prosperity must coexist with social responsibility. Anglo American’s FutureSmart Mining Sustainability Strategy is built around three global sustainability pillars namely, Trusted Corporate Leader, Thriving Communities and Healthy Environment. The healthy environment pillar defines Anglo American’s journey towards a sustainable South African mining industry, focusing on climate change, biodiversity, and water stewardship. 18 |



DISSECTING THE CLIMATE CHANGE & ENERGY CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA Over the past 10 years, Anglo-American has been working to ensure that its operations have the best available models to understand, assess, mitigate, and adapt to the physical risks of climate change. Informed by robust analysis and constant engagement with stakeholders, the company continues to align its portfolio with the needs of a low carbon world; reorientating operations towards carbon neutrality; pushing for decarbonisation along its value chains; and carefully considering the social and wider environmental interrelationships associated with the decarbonisation journey – doing its best to support a Just Transition. An example of this is the company’s commitment to combatting energy shortages and reducing carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Anglo-American has established strong working relationships with the government, regulators, and the state power utility Eskom to help fast-track the energy transition for operations in energy crisis ridden South Africa. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

To deliver on this ambition, it has entered into an alliance with global renewables company EDF Renewables, and launched a new jointly owned company, Envusa Energy. The partnership with EDF Renewables provides a system which benefits from leading mining and renewables innovation to abate the largest sole source of Anglo American’s Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions, from the use of coal fired electricity on South Africa’s power grid. The aim is not just to provide operations with green energy but to also help alleviate the national electricity supply challenges, support public policy goals, and support the long-term decarbonisation of the South African economy in line with the government’s long-term commitment to a just transition to a post-carbon world. UNPACKING ENVUSA ENERGY’S LAUNCH STRATEGY Initially, Envusa Energy will launch a network of more than 600 MW of on-site and off-site solar photovoltaic and wind farm projects. This is intended to form the development of a broader regional renewable energy ecosystem for southern Africa, which

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is expected to have a renewable power generation capacity of between 3–5 GW by 2030. The first phase of development is expected to be funded and ready for construction to begin in 2023. This will include national conservation actions for highly threatened frog species and their freshwater habitats in South Africa; A nature-based economy for the benefit of habitat, species and people in the Greater Anysberg Conservation Initiative, South Africa, and Sand fynbos ecological restoration in the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa. In May 2022, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa attended the launch of Anglo American’s 2 MW hydrogen-battery hybrid truck. It can generate more power than its diesel predecessor and is capable of carrying a 290-tonne payload replacing the use of diesel in the Group’s global haul truck fleet, while creating a hydrogen fuel production and supply infrastructure that can serve the broader economy. WATER STEWARDSHIP: Mining remains a water-intensive industry and the global water supplies remains stressed amid the ongoing impact of climate change and variability, with increasing extreme weather events. To address these challenges, the company has made water stewardship an integral part of operations across all sites. With predicted global water shortfall of 40% by 2030, exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. Anglo – American is rethinking its future reliance on fresh water by reducing fresh water use in its direct operations. Therefore, the company is implementing initiatives to meet its 2030 freshwater reduction targets, which will include diversion of decent quality water back into the catchments where it operates, increase the use of non-fresh water and increase recycling and re-use of mine water. To combat the rising global water scarcity crisis the mining giant has placed a pathway for the achievement of its ambitious Sustainable Mining Plan goal of reducing Group-wide freshwater withdrawals in water scarce areas by 50% by 2030, relative to the 2015 baseline. Operations at Mogalakwena and Rustenburg in South Africa have an agreement with three local municipalities to use treated effluent pumped from the local wastewater treatment works. This reserves potable water for use by local municipalities and enhances the conglomerates water security position. Anglo American has been working with AB InBev and the Strategic Water Partners Network since 2019 to develop a business case and projects to reduce water leakages and unbilled water to improve the water security for the city of Polokwane, South Africa. One of the most densely populated and economically significant areas in South Africa’s Limpopo province, the city currently obtains its water from local sources that are reaching upper limits of supply and are vulnerable during periods of low rainfall. A water conservation and demand management strategy and business plan for Polokwane was developed to help reduce water losses, as well as unbilled and unaccounted-for water. Recommended priority interventions include visible leakage repair, bulk meter replacement and installation to improve the accuracy of data, pressure management, improved major consumer metering and monitoring, as well as flow, pressure, and level monitoring.

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Another form of water conservation the company is expanding into is the use of lower quality water which can be used in many processing operations (from dust suppression to ore processing) and reduces the need for potable water. Currently, approximately 60% of water required is met by recycled water. BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION: As a responsible corporate citizen, Anglo American has an ethical and moral obligation to protect and preserve biodiversity. Established in 2020, the conservation grant seeks to deliver positive impact, demonstrating and sharing positive outcomes in the wider landscape and seascape, countries, and regions in which Anglo American operates. The conservation grant was THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


first offered to the Group’s South America region in 2020 and then targeted southern Africa in 2021. Projects to date include a diverse range of species, such as sea turtles, frogs, large carnivores, and forest elephants. Landscape and habitats represented have ranged from high alpine to deserts and mountains to fynbos. Projects have also covered a variety of focus areas, from sustainable livelihoods to outdoor classrooms. In 2022, the company rolled out an ambitious programme to more sites across operations. This approach involves sequencing DNA extracted from water and soil samples collected at sites, which enables the identification of individual species using bioinformatics analysis. This is a critical tool for measuring biodiversity at sites to a far greater degree of accuracy than traditional manual observation or sampling and provides a THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

means to measure recovery and overall ecosystem health. At the end of 2022, a series of important goals and targets was agreed as part of COP15 in Montreal, Canada. The new Global Biodiversity Framework sets out some key goals to further halt nature loss and drive nature recovery. Anglo American was an active participant in COP15 alongside many long-term NGO and industry partners as key sessions were held on a range of important topics from disclosure to the importance of indigenous knowledge through to the application and key role of nature-based solutions. In an age where environmental challenges loom large and the call for responsible corporate stewardship grows ever louder, Anglo American's resolute commitment to a sustainable future shines as a beacon of hope.

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Octavia Carbon, the very first Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC) company in the Global South, has set its roots within the African continent in Kenya. This dynamic start-up company, under the visionary leadership of CEO Martin Freimüller from Australia, is poised to reshape the climate action landscape in the region and in the world at large. TRC had the exclusive privilege of engaging with Martin Freimüller and Speciocer Mutheu from Octavia Carbon, who shared invaluable insights into the mission and the meteoric path ahead for this ground-breaking venture.

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artin Freimüller made a life-altering decision that would set the course for Octavia Carbon's remarkable journey. Driven by the unshakeable belief that Kenya possesses the ideal backdrop for DAC deployment, he embarked on his quest. Prior to founding Octavia Carbon, Martin had honed his expertise at Dalberg Advisors, where he immersed himself in the intricate world of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), forging invaluable connections and insights within this vital space. There is a famous saying that goes, “Modern problems require modern solutions.” One of the most pressing global problem and challenge that has and is affecting every country in the world includes that of Climate change. There is no crisis in the world that has resulted in more, summits, symposiums, and gatherings like climate change. The inaugural Africa Climate Summit concluded in the beginning of September, and few weeks after it, the New York Climate week took place. A series of three regional climate weeks for the MENA, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific regions will be taking place in the coming month of October. All these climate weeks will culminate into the Conference of Parties (COP), which is turning 28 this year, and will be held in the United Arab Emirates. These events are a showcase of how much climate change has attracted the global attention, and the need to continue finding sustainable solutions to addressing it.


DIRECT AIR CARBON CAPTURE: A TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL TRANSFORMING CLIMATE ACTION In the urgent battle against climate change, one of the most promising strategies to mitigate its impacts is the removal of carbon from our atmosphere. Carbon, a potent greenhouse gas, is a major driver of the greenhouse effect, contributing to global warming and the resulting climate crisis. This surge in atmospheric carbon stems primarily from excessive industrial emissions by developed nations and the ongoing reliance on fossil fuels in transportation and energy generation. While the world is well-acquainted with the nature-based approach of using trees to sequester carbon, there exists an exhilarating technological counterpart that's reshaping the climate action narrative: Direct Air Carbon Capture (DACC). DACC isn't just about absorbing carbon; it's about permanently storing it, offering a ground-breaking solution to the carbon crisis. Carbon sinking, the act of trapping and storing carbon dioxide, is recognized as a vital step in combatting climate change, and DACC is emerging as a powerful and transformative tool to achieve this mission. This innovative technology is nothing short of a game-changer—a beacon of hope illuminating the 21st century. It promises not only a cleaner environment but also a future where innovation meets responsibility. In this future, every action contributes to a sustainable, vibrant planet. Across the globe, there's a seismic shift towards more effective and complementary carbon reduction strategies, and Octavia Carbon, inspired by the strides

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pany stands on the precipice of a monumental endeavour: Project Hummingbird. This ambitious pilot project aims to remove a staggering 1,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, with the support of strategic partner, Cella Mineral Storage. Together, they will shepherd captured CO2 into Kenya's basalt formations, where it will slowly transform into stable, eco-friendly carbonate minerals.

made in the Global North by countries like Germany and the United States, is steering DACC technology into an exciting new era of sustainability. This marks a pivotal moment where innovation, science, and environmental stewardship converge to carve a path towards a better, more sustainable world, with Octavia Carbon proudly leading the charge in the Global South. A PIONEERING VISION OF OCTAVIA CARBON IN LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY FOR CLIMATE ACTION At its core, Octavia Carbon is more than just a company; it's a beacon of hope for a sustainable future. With unwavering commitment, it takes the helm in addressing some of the most critical Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 13: Climate Action, embodies their resolute mission to combat climate change, while SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy heralds their dedication to a cleaner, more sustainable world. In the pursuit of SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth, they champion economic empowerment and progress for communities, transcending borders and boundaries. As they embrace SDG 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure, innovation becomes their compass,

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forging pathways to a brighter future. And finally, in alignment with SDG 1: No Poverty, Octavia Carbon stands as a beacon of hope, offering not just solutions but possibilities, where prosperity knows no boundaries. Their journey is not just about carbon capture; it's a transformative odyssey that underscores the immense potential of individuals and nations united in the pursuit of a sustainable, thriving world. Octavia Carbon stands as a trailblazing force in the fight against climate change. This visionary company has made history as the first-ever Direct Air Capture (DAC) enterprise in the Global South, sparking a revolution in sustainable technology. Octavia Carbon's approach is anything but conventional. It harnesses Kenya's abundant geothermal energy, harnessing nature's power to drive DAC machines. This clean, sustainable energy source not only fuels innovation but also champions the cause of environmental stewardship. Kenya's vast basalt formations play a pivotal role, serving as a natural haven for securely storing captured CO2 deep underground. Octavia Carbon's impressive journey includes the successful construction of five at-scale DAC machines, a testament to its commitment to advancing DAC technology. Today, the com-

OCTAVIANS: VANGUARD OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND SUSTAINABILITY – LEADING THE CHARGE FOR A VIBRANT PLANET Within the dynamic and vibrant team of Octavia Carbon, known affectionately as the Octavians, lies a profound sense of purpose that transcends their modest numbers. In a picture, they stand united before a mural dedicated to none other than the legendary marathoner, Eliud Kipchoge, the man who defied limits and shattered records with the mantra "No Human is limited." This mural isn't just a piece of art in Octavia Carbon premises; it's a symbol of inspiration, a reminder of what's possible when the human spirit meets audacious challenges headon. Like Kipchoge, the Octavians have embarked on their own marathon—a relentless pursuit of climate action that challenges conventional methods of carbon sequestration. They are charting a path toward a sustainable future where innovation is the compass, and limitations are mere illusions. With unwavering faith in the power of technology, they are poised to prove to the world that the climate crisis can indeed be tamed, that the seemingly insurmountable challenge of our era can be met with ingenuity, determination, and the belief that "No Human is limited." Octavia Carbon and the Octavians are writing a new chapter in the story of climate action, standing proudly as the vanguard of climate action, authoring a ground-breaking chapter where the finish line isn't merely a dream but a destiny well within our grasp.


UNVEILING THE DAC REVOLUTION AND INTRICACIES AND COMPLEX SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING Direct Air Capture (DAC) is the cornerstone of Octavia Carbon's journey. This ground-breaking technology swiftly extracts carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere. The process, akin to nature's own purification system, involves fans that draw air through specialized filters, capturing the elusive CO2 molecules. The result? A monumental leap towards curbing greenhouse gas emissions and securing our planet's future. In the intricate world of Direct Air Capture (DAC), Octavia Carbon emerges as a pioneering force, translating complex concepts into tangible solutions. At its core, DAC represents a convergence of multifaceted engineering disciplines, where innovation knows no bounds. Thermodynamics, the driving force behind DAC, demands energy efficiency as Octavia Carbon's machines harness the power of fans to draw in air and capture CO2. The intricate dance of fluid dynamics comes into play, as the company orchestrates the efficient movement of vast air volumes through precision-designed filters. In the realm of material science, the quest for selective and efficient CO2 capture becomes an art, driven by meticulous material selection and novel filter innovations. Octavia Carbon's expertise in chemical engineering adds the final flourish, and marks the triumphant crescendo of its journey, where the captured CO2 isn't just a by-product; it's a transformative force. As if wielding a magician's wand, Octavia Carbon wields this captured CO2, orchestrating its metamorphosis into invaluable assets. But the magic doesn't stop there. With an ingenious twist, this team of Octavians, like carbon alchemists, have learned the innovative ways of guiding the CO2 into Kenya's ancient basalt formations,

where it embarks on a millennium-long sojourn, promising a future where our carbon footprint becomes a whisper in the annals of time. The CEO noted that in future, the company will embark on a further value-addition pathway where the captured CO2 will be transformed into valuable assets, from compressed liquids to sustainable synthetic fuels, to fabrics, or production of bricks that can be used for construction. In the pursuit of a sustainable future, Octavia Carbon navigates these complexities with unwavering determination, a visionary captain guiding us through the uncharted waters of DAC technology. FORGING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Octavia Carbon's visionary journey extends far beyond the boundaries of conventional carbon extraction. It paints a vivid portrait of a sustainable future where the captured carbon becomes a cornerstone, securely stored in the depths of rock formations or transformed into a valuable industrial resource. Their meteoric growth trajectory promises nothing short of a paradigm shift in the landscape of climate action, propelling not just Kenya but the entire African continent to the forefront of permanent CO2 removal by 2025. Octavia Carbon's pioneering spirit shines as a beacon of hope in the fight against climate change, harnessing the transformative power of DAC technology. With unwavering commitment, they are making this technology accessible, affordable, and pivotal in the global quest to combat climate change. In the hands of Octavia Carbon, science and technology have become not just tools but catalysts for a thriving, sustainable world. Their innovative approach stands as a testament to the limitless potential of human ingenuity in the face of one of the greatest challenges of our time.

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By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

In the heart of the Maasai Mara, where the untamed wilderness meets the lap of luxury, there exists a beacon of hope for the future of sustainable tourism. This remarkable tale of sustainability, the resounding success story of Governor’s Camp, enthralled the Responsible Citizen Magazine – and for undeniably good reasons.


overnor's Camp, a name synonymous with adventure and elegance, has taken a remarkable stride towards preserving the pristine beauty of the iconic Masai Mara. Their unwavering commitment to sustainability stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature. In a region where the symphony of the wild plays a vital role in the Maasai Mara's delicate ecosystem, Governor's Camp has emerged as a steward of change, setting an example that deserves the spotlight. Embarking on a journey to explore their extraordinary efforts is a celebration and commendation for Governor's Camp, acknowledging their dedication to safeguarding this natural wonderland. Their commitment serves as an inspiration to continue promoting sustainable best practices, not only within their own realm but as a beacon of hope for the larger Maasai Mara ecosystem.

Governor's Camp Achievements in Championing Sustainability: Alisa Bowen's Perspective

Heartfelt gratitude is extended to Alisa Bowen, the driving force behind conservation and community initiatives at Governor's Camp, whose unwavering support, working alongside a passionate team, has resulted in Governor's Camp being honored as the esteemed winners of the Ecotourism EcoWarrior Awards in the category of "Best Accommodation in responding to Covid-19 impacts." This recognition is a testament to the THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


establishment’s commitment to sustainability, even in the face of unprecedented challenges. Further, Alisa reveals that in this year’s Eco-Warrior Awards of 2023, The Governor's Camp has boldly entered the category entitled "Best Accommodation Facility Promoting Biodiversity Conservation." Their participation underscores their dedication to fostering biodiversity and preserving the rich natural tapestry of the Maasai Mara. In an era where the world's collective consciousness is steering towards responsible living and consumption, the demand for sustainable products and services across various business sectors has surged. The tourism industry, a vital player in the global economy, is no exception to this transformative shift. Here in the Maasai Mara, where the delicate balance of nature holds sway, Governor's Camp has risen as a game-changer and trailblazer. Their visionary approach ensures that guests can revel in the wonders of this breathtaking landscape while resting assured that every footprint they leave behind is one of sustainability and responsibility. It is a success story worth sharing, for it not only enriches the traveler's experience but also paves the way for a brighter, more sustainable future in the heart of the Maasai Mara.

ESG and the Triple Bottom Line: The Two Guiding Stars for Assessing Sustainability in the Tourism Businesses In the ever-evolving landscape of sustainability, two prominent frameworks have emerged as guiding stars for


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The Responsible Citizen Magazine in assessing the sustainability achievements of tourism enterprises: the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) framework and the Triple Bottom Line concept. These frameworks offer a holistic and comprehensive lens through which we evaluate the endeavors of businesses committed to responsible tourism. The ESG framework provides a structured approach, emphasizing Environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and effective Governance as the pillars of sustainable practices. On the other hand, the Triple Bottom Line concept, encompassing People, Planet, and Profit, encourages a well-rounded evaluation of an enterprise's impact on society, the environment, and its economic viability. Both approaches have their unique strengths, but together, they create a powerful synergy that allows us to delve deeply into the multifaceted world of sustainability. At Responsible Citizen Magazine, we firmly believe that by using these frameworks in tandem, we can offer our readers a richer understanding of how tourism enterprises contribute to a more sustainable world.

Governor's Camp: Pioneering Environmental Sustainability in Tourism

Governor's Camp is a shining example of how a tourism enterprise can excel in meeting sustainability criteria, as outlined in both the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG)

framework and the Triple Bottom Line concept. In terms of environmental stewardship, Governor's Camp's commitment is evident through their comprehensive conservation efforts. They maintain a Corporate Environmental Policy, employ an Environmental Management System, and conduct regular environmental self-audits, all aligning with the ESG's emphasis on effective Governance and compliance. Moreover, their dedication to conservation extends to tree planting, invasive species removal, and support for wildlife projects, highlighting a strong commitment to preserving the Planet. Under the Triple Bottom Line, the camp's initiatives correspond to the "Planet" aspect, demonstrating their unwavering dedication to protecting the environment within which they operate. Governor's Camp's integrated approach to environmental sustainability serves as an inspiration for others in the industry, highlighting the profound impact responsible tourism can have on our planet's well-being. The camp's commitment to conserving the planet is evident across various facets of its operations. Waste management is a top priority, with daily cleaning of the grease trap and meticulous segregation of solid waste into categories like food waste, paper, and plastic. Greywater from the kitchens and laundry sections is expertly managed through septic tanks and soak pits, ensuring minimal environmental impact. Effluent sampling and testing, in compliance with environmental regulations, consistently confirm that the camp's effluent


meets the required standards, further demonstrating its dedication to responsible wastewater management. In the realm of water management, Governor's Camp harnesses its resources efficiently, primarily relying on a well and borehole located within the camp. Reverse Osmosis water purification systems in each guest tent ensure clean water for visitors while promoting responsible consumption through strategically placed conservation notices. Additionally, the camp utilizes solar power as its main energy source, complemented by energy-saving bulbs and LED lights throughout the premises. Guests are actively encouraged to play their part in conserving energy, aligning with the camp's eco-conscious ethos. Governor's Camp's meticulous approach to waste, water, and energy management underlines its unwavering commitment to preserving the environment and minimizing its ecological footprint. Through these conscientious practices, the camp embodies the essence of sustainability, serving as a model for responsible tourism in the heart of the Maasai Mara.

Governor's Camp: Empowering Communities and Fostering Social Well-being in Tourism

Governor's Camp stands as a testament to the transformative power of sustainable tourism, where the benefits extend far beyond the picturesque landscapes of the Maasai Mara. At the heart of its mission is the uplifting of the local community. With 75% of its workforce hailing from Narok County, the camp not only provides jobs but also invests in local talent through internship opportunities and guiding school training. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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Beyond the camp's gates, their impact radiates to educational institutions, where teachers' salaries are generously supported, dormitories are constructed, and learning environments are enriched. Accessible healthcare takes center stage with the Mara Rianda Clinic, which annually serves thousands, illuminated by solar electricity, and fortified by essential medical equipment. Generosity flows in the form of food donations during crises, while village visits create a symbiotic relationship with the Entepesi cultural village, empowering local artisans and fostering cultural exchange. Local dances and staff entertainment contribute to community livelihoods, while the camp's commitment to local sourcing ensures that economic empowerment reaches every corner. Furthermore, Governor's Camp's commitment to community empowerment extends to every aspect of its operations, including local sourcing. The gift shop proudly displays beadworks crafted by local artisans, offering guests an authentic piece of Maasai culture to take home. The camp's dedication to sourcing staff meat, vegetables, and milk from local producers not only ensures the freshness and quality of its offerings but also bolsters the livelihoods of nearby communities. In embracing the ESG and Triple Bottom Line frameworks, Governor's Camp epitomizes the ideals of responsible tourism, cultivating not only unforgettable memories but also a brighter future for the Maasai Mara community.

Governor's Camp: A Beacon of Responsible Governance and Profitable Sustainability

Governor's Camp has not only achieved remarkable environ-

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mental and social milestones but has also demonstrated impeccable governance and financial responsibility. With a robust corporate environmental policy, regular self-audits, and active participation in conservation efforts, the camp displays a commitment to environmental governance that sets a high standard for the industry. Moreover, its dedication to sustainable purchasing practices, adherence to health and safety protocols, and investments in staff welfare and development reflect sound business governance. This ethical foundation has not hindered profitability; instead, it has enhanced it. By embracing sustainability across the triple bottom line, Governor's Camp proves that responsible governance and profit generation can go hand in hand, setting an inspiring example for the tourism sector and beyond.

Governor's Camp as the Stage for 'Big Cat Tale

Did you know that the Governor's Camp serves as the captivating backdrop for the filming of the renowned 'Big Cat Tales' documentary program? This remarkable series intimately follows the lives of lions, leopards, and cheetahs in the awe-inspiring Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Narrated by the esteemed Jonathan Scott and Angela Scott, both acclaimed wildlife photographers and authors, 'Big Cat Tales' offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the world of these majestic big cats and their struggles and triumphs in the heart of the Maasai Mara. It is a testament to Governor's Camp's commitment to conservation and their dedication to sharing the wonders of this remarkable ecosystem with the world.




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The global pursuit of gender equality remains a persistent struggle, with women often facing limited opportunities in governance and business. This is a worldwide issue that demands unwavering advocacy, led by voices capable of drawing attention and crafting solutions to alleviate these crises.


ope Imasekha, is a formidable advocate for gender equality. She founded the Women Impacting Nigeria (WIN) organization, propelled by her commitment to promoting gender equality across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and her expertise in development economics. WIN's mission is dedicated to promoting women's rights, empowerment, and gender equality, striving to bridge existing gender gaps across education, living conditions, economic empowerment, technology, political participation, and the entire spectrum of SDGs. Over the years, WIN has impacted over 800,000 Nigerian women and girls through diverse initiatives encompassing education, healthcare, technology, poverty alleviation, women's empowerment, and combating gender-based violence. WIN firmly believes that achieving gender equality is at the heart of advancing the SDGs, accelerating progress towards the 2030 agenda. WIN's focus extends across all 17 SDGs, addressing poverty reduction, education, and healthcare, ensuring women and girls have equitable access to opportunities and resources necessary for their growth.


Addressing gender inequality across healthcare and education

To address gender inequality in Nigeria, particularly in healthcare, WIN takes proactive steps to enhance preventive measures and support systems. This includes providing legal assistance and psychological counseling to those in need. In this endeavor, WIN has introduced the Maternal and Neonatal Child Health Initiative (MNCH), a cornerstone of WIN's initiatives offering comprehensive support for maternal and infant health, child wellness, immunization, nutrition, and the promotion of healthy living habits. WIN emphasizes the importance of preventive measures to reduce maternal and infant mortality, starting before conception and continuing through the postnatal period. This proactive approach includes screening for pre-existing chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as counseling and access to family planning services, educating women about contraception. Additionally, women are informed about the significance of proper nutrition and physical exercise for their health. The MNCH program provides support to women throughout

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their pregnancy journey, ensuring that vulnerable women receive high-quality care from early pregnancy through labor and delivery. This tailored care addresses potential risks during pregnancy, ensures prompt treatment for complications, administers antenatal corticosteroids when necessary, and includes vaccinations and education on early warning signs related to pregnancy. The MNCH initiative extends postpartum care to women and newborns through age-appropriate vaccinations, educating women on protecting their infants from exposure to infectious diseases and harmful substances, thus reducing infant mortality. WIN has organized several cervical and breast cancer screening programs, raising awareness about preventive care and offering free screenings. The beneficiaries are often vulnerable women living in poverty, Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, and marginalized rural communities. Through these interventions, WIN has improved access to health information and services for 10,000 Nigerian women and girls, significantly reducing gender-based disparities in healthcare. In education, WIN aims to collaborate with organizations that share their vision to provide affordable education to women and girls in Nigeria, equipping them with necessary technological skills to thrive in a rapidly evolving digital world. They conduct awareness campaigns to challenge cultural norms restricting women's financial independence, working closely with community leaders, schools, and religious institutions to promote gender equality and women's rights.

Deploying a community focused approach for results

To make a lasting impact, WIN adopts a community-first approach, building strong relationships with the communities they serve. Before initiating any intervention, WIN collaborates with community leaders to understand their vision, ensuring the community benefits from training, screenings, community feeding programs, and business workshops.

WIN's tireless efforts have gained recognition from reputable organizations and media companies like BBC, Reuters, The New York Times, Global Citizens, CGTV, and PAGA. The organization received the Most Empowering SDG Organization for 2023 by Acquisition International and The Gender Mainstream award from Accenture for their remarkable efforts in empowering women in West Africa. WIN is committed to making a significant impact in Nigeria by empowering women and girls through gender-based solutions. They aim to reach a million more women and girls, especially the vulnerable and marginalized, equipping them with tools and resources to succeed. This includes expanding microfinance initiatives, providing small loans to women entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional banking services. By providing women access to capital, financial literacy, and business management training, WIN is creating opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses, improving not only their lives but also those of their families.

Addressing gender equality challenges

The road to gender equality is filled with challenges, including deeply entrenched cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes. WIN recognizes these challenges and addresses them through community engagement, training programs, and advocacy efforts. By engaging with community leaders and stakeholders, WIN seeks support for gender equality initiatives, including community sensitization campaigns. Additionally, addressing economic factors such as unequal pay and limited access to education and employment opportunities is crucial. Addressing these challenges is paramount in promoting gender equality and creating a more just and equitable society for all. Women's Integrated Network is dedicated to advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls across the globe. With a focus on building strong communities, empowering women


economically, and ensuring access to education and healthcare, WIN is making tangible strides toward achieving gender equality. The organization's commitment to partnerships, advocacy, and community engagement exemplifies its dedication to creating a world where every woman and girl can thrive.

Partnerships for progress

Recognizing the power of partnerships is a driving force behind its global impact. Collaborations with like-minded organizations and institutions have been instrumental in amplifying WIN's mission to empower women and girls worldwide. These partnerships not only broaden WIN's reach but also provide access to expertise, resources, and networks that enhance the quality and effectiveness of its programs.


One of the key areas where WIN has fostered crucial partnerships is in the financial sector. Recognizing the unique financial needs of women, WIN has worked closely with banks and other financial institutions to develop tailored financial products and services. These offerings include low-interest loans, savings plans, and insurance policies designed to empower women economically. By providing access to these financial resources and offering financial literacy and business management training, WIN is creating opportunities for women to start and grow their businesses. This not only improves the lives of individual women but also contributes to economic growth and stability within their communities.

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ECOSYSTEM-BASED ADAPTATION And Mitigation In Botswana’s Communal Rangelands By Lorraine Kinnear


otswana is a territory well known for its beef and diamonds. Both contributors to the Nation’s economy require different players to participate in ensuring Botswana can continuously benefit from the two over the next few years. Even though growing cattle forms the cultural and economic foundation of many communities in Botswana, cattle ranching is being adversely impacted by climate change. Livestock are encroaching onto wildlife areas more frequently in search of water and forage because of rising temperatures and irregular rainfall patterns. As a result, domestic cattle and wild buffalo are exposed to more pathogenic foot-and-mouth diseases and this ecosystem challenge that requires ecosystem-based adaptation. The Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands is a project by Conservation International Botswana (CI) in partnership with the Government of Botswana through the Ministry of Agriculture. The project is funded by the Green Climate Fund and co-financed by the Government of Botswana. This project is aimed at increasing ecosystem and livelihood resilience, in communal grazing pastures that are most affected by climate change; to

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restore the vegetation through the Herding for health approach. The amount of moisture that the soil can hold will rise with the restoration and management of grazing vegetation. As a result, growing cattle will be more drought-resistant, and doing so will also increase soil carbon and lower greenhouse gas emissions. CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL AT WORK Conservation International was founded in 1987, operates in 30 countries and has created a global network aimed at protecting nature. The organisation uses science, policy, and partnerships to sustain economies, regulate the climate and conserve forests, oceans and wetlands that provide food and water to people and other living beings on the planet. In Botswana, the Conservation International office commenced its operations in Maun in 1993, with the aim to conserve biodiversity in the Okavango Delta area. Additionally, it has supported organisations such as Predator Wildlife Program, Cheetah Conservation Botswana, Shorobe Women’s Basketry Building and Cooperative and Letswee Centres for Environmental Education Programme and the office closed at



the end of the funding cycle. Conservation International Botswana hosted the Gaborone Declaration of Sustainable Africa (GDSA) from 2017 until 2021 providing technical and financial support. The most pressing climate change concern for the people of Botswana is the quickening degradation of rangeland ecosystems. Farming, which in Botswana generally refers to the traditional, community raising of cattle, provides more than 70% of household income in the nation's rural areas. Botswana's population has been raising cattle on the country's rangelands for more than a thousand years, but the effects of climate change pose an existential threat to this crucial cultural and economic activity. A cascade of negative economic effects and vulnerability for the nation, particularly in rural geographies, result from pressures on geographic regions allocated for wildlife and tourism, which account for nearly 12% of the country's economy. Rangelands in Botswana and the people who depend on these ecosystems for a living are very sensitive to current and anticipated climatic changes. Poor rangeland management and climate change are already resulting in significant losses in animal assets, and additional climate consequences might push rural populations into a state of chronic poverty. Drought and severe storm frequency have always varied


naturally, but since 1980, anthropogenic climate change has caused drought severity to rise by 85% and extreme precipitation events by 18%. With the worst drought in decades, 2019 was Botswana's hottest year ever. Thousands of people lost animals due to heat stress and malnutrition. Lake Ngami evaporated completely for the first time in almost 40 years. According to climate model predictions, future temperatures will be higher, dry seasons will last longer, and there will be more frequent droughts and fires. These factors will worsen population vulnerability, accelerate the degradation of rangelands, and increase exposure to extreme events. Through this, CI Botswana GCF Project, the Government of Botswana seeks to implement a transformational change in the way its rangelands are managed to sustainably support the socioeconomic well-being and climate resilience of its citizens, improve the health of its ecosystems, and lower national GHG emissions. This country's population is heavily dependent on rangelands. In order to restore Botswana's degraded lands and equip the rural population to implement ecosystem regeneration and climate-resilient livestock production for best response to climate change risks and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, new models of livestock husbandry and rangelands management systems that work at broad spatial scales are urgently needed.

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This project’s interventions are intended to considerably improve Botswana's population's capacity to adapt to the detrimental effects of climate change on the nation's communal rangelands. The Project will only work with "last-mile communities" that cultivate land in non-tenured Communal Grazing Areas. To accomplish its goals, it will engage in activities that are holistically created to: • Strengthen institutions and support systems for climate-responsive planning and management in communal rangelands; • Lessen emissions and adverse effects on livelihoods through new job deployment in rangeland rehabilitation and improved livestock management; and • Promote climate-sensitive enterprise development and value-chain investments for transformational change. The Project will be carried out in three Botswana target regions of Ngamiland, Kgalagadi and Bobirwa (covering North West, Okavango, Hukuntsi, Tsabong, Mabutsane and Bobirwa districts) due to the three areas' high climate vulnerability, as prioritised by the national validation workshop held during consultations.

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The regions collectively make up 41.3% (about 240,000 km2) of the nation and have a 2.6 persons per km2 average population density. As a result of the consequences of the drought on traditional agriculture, the lack of other economic options in rural areas, and lack of access to formal markets, poverty rates in the communal lands of the three areas surpass 50%6.7 Although the socioeconomic similarities among the three regions allow for similar approaches to institutional and policy development, the advantages of carbon sequestration will vary among the three ecosystems, with Ngamiland producing the highest returns per hectare and Bobirwa coming in second. In the implementation of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands, the Herding for Health (H4H) model of communal rangelands management, which CI and its partners pioneered in South Africa, will be replicated, and scaled up during project implementation over the project 8-year period. This will be in accordance with CI's Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF), all Project operations are to adhere to the recognized Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS).



WAIRIMU MURIITHI'S Drive and Vision for a Brighter Future by Eradicating Poverty and Empowering Women By Peter Kinuthia Murimi

In the vast landscape of sustainability initiatives, there are stories that stand out as beacons of hope, illuminating paths towards a brighter and more equitable future. Wairimu Muriithi’s journey with the Ayana Zaki Foundation is one such remarkable narrative that we have the privilege to unfold. Wairimu, a dedicated advocate of sustainability, has embarked on a mission that aligns harmoniously with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). Her understanding of sustainability extends beyond rhetoric, delving deep into the heart of transformative change.


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he Ayana Zaki Foundation, founded with resolute purpose, seeks to empower women and eradicate poverty. It is more than a philanthropic endeavor; it is a testament to Wairimu's unwavering commitment to making a tangible impact on our world while addressing critical global challenges outlined in the SDGs. From the very outset, her vision was clear—to create a sustainable, equitable future where women are not just beneficiaries but active agents of change. By aligning her work with SDG 1, Wairimu addresses the vital need to alleviate poverty, while SDG 4 underscores her commitment to quality education as a means to empower individuals and communities. SDG 5, which focuses on gender equality, is at the core of Wairimu's mission. She envisions a world where women are not only equal partners but leaders in driving sustainability. Through the Ayana Zaki Foundation, she promotes women's rights, education, and economic opportunities. Furthermore, by aligning her work with SDG 8, Wairimu champions decent work and economic growth. Her foundation's initiatives provide sustainable livelihoods, contributing to economic development and community resilience. AN EXCLUSIVE GLIMPSE INTO WAIRIMU'S SUSTAINABLE ODYSSEY The Responsible Citizen Magazine had the extraordinary opportunity to engage in a candid and enlightening conversation with Wairimu, a passionate advocate for sustainability and the visionary founder of the Ayana Zaki Foundation, gaining a comprehensive understanding of her tireless efforts, her commitment to the United

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Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, and her unwavering belief in the potential of individuals to drive real change. TRC: Please give a brief introduction of yourself. Wairimu: I'm Wairimu Muriithi, with a background in management consulting, specializing in financial inclusion for marginalized communities. Yet, I recognized a deeper need – fostering innovation and entrepreneurship through increased access to financing and business skills. This realization led me to venture capital, where I help founders secure funding. However, I aspired to do more, especially for the underprivileged who lack networks and opportunities. I firmly believe that circumstances, not just merit, shape destinies. Every girl deserves equal opportunities, and as a woman, I understand the profound impact of access. Through Ayana Zaki, I aim to inspire and empower young girls everywhere to overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. TRC: Please tell us about the mission and vision behind Ayana Zaki. What inspired you to start this organization? Wairimu: Mission: Ayana Zaki's mission is to empower young girls from underserved communities through comprehensive support in economic empowerment, education, and health. Our aim is to foster their personal growth, self-sufficiency, and the well-being of their families and communities. We envision a world where every young girl, regardless of her background, possesses the tools, resources, and knowledge to shape her own destiny. Our vision is of thriving, empowered THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT



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communities where economic stability, education, and health are accessible to all. We strive to unlock the potential of every young girl, creating a brighter future for generations to come. Ayana Zaki was born from a critical analysis of societal class structures. I firmly believe that to achieve lasting change, we must bring about a systemic shift in the economic policies of developing economies, allowing us to create value within our borders and engage in meaningful trade. Only then can we generate sufficient revenue as a nation to improve our public infrastructure and raise living standards for all citizens. However, until such changes occur, we will continue to witness stark contrasts in access to basic services like healthcare, education, and employment based on one's socio-economic background. It is this glaring inequality and injustice that compelled me to launch Ayana Zaki – to address and mitigate some of these disparities within our society TRC: Empowering vulnerable women is a crucial aspect of your work. Could you share some of the specific programs or initiatives that Ayana Zaki has in place to uplift these women and create positive change in their lives?

Wairimu: •

ETEP - Entrepreneurial Training and Empowerment Program: Our flagship initiative provides comprehensive support to young women. Through self-help groups like "Girls of Knowledge," "Zayuni Young Mothers," "Sisters of Hope," and "Shining Stars Self-Help Group," we unite 47 girls into a close-knit community. So far, we have helped

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twenty-two young mothers launch small businesses by providing capital. We also connect beneficiaries with crucial resources, including mentors, financial literacy, life skills classes, and business opportunities. To break the cycle of poverty, we encourage NHIF enrollment for comprehensive healthcare coverage for themselves and their children. Vocational Skills Program (Starting October 2023): Our upcoming program uplifts young mothers by equipping them with vital vocational skills like baking, tailoring, beauty, and hairdressing. Through a well-designed curriculum, we aim to enhance their skills, improving their prospects in entrepreneurship or securing quality job opportunities. Ayana Zaki addresses the persistent challenges of poverty and unemployment through holistic support, empowering women with skills, resources, and community.

TRC: Collaboration is often key to achieving sustainable impact. Can you tell us about any partnerships or collaborations Ayana Zaki has formed with other organizations or stakeholders to further its mission? Wairimu: Ayana Zaki's collaborative approach is deeply rooted in grassroots understanding. We initially planned a back-to-school program for young girls but, after meaningful conversations with them, we discovered their more pressing need – daily sustenance. Many are self-reliant with children to support, making income essential. By listening to their voices, we tailored our programs to meet



immediate needs, emphasizing responsiveness and community-centered initiatives. We work closely with local chiefs and Nyumba Kumi elders who help identify and monitor the girls we support. Additionally, our partnership with Crown Paints Kenya Ltd.'s CSR arm enhances our community initiatives, strengthening our impact.

job opportunities in fields such as tailoring, baking, and hair and beauty for the girls in our program. Your support, whether financial or in-kind, can help transform the lives of young mothers and their communities, empowering them to build a brighter future for themselves and future generations.

TRC: What are your long-term goals and aspirations for Ayana Zaki? How do you envision the organization's growth and impact in the coming years? Wairimu: Ayana Zaki's long-term vision is focused on creating a lasting and transformative impact. Our goals include expanding our geographical reach, improving program effectiveness, and providing holistic support. We aim to collaborate with like-minded organizations and contribute to the global dialogue on empowering women and eradicating poverty. Through these aspirations, Ayana Zaki is dedicated to making a substantial and enduring difference in the lives of the communities we serve.


TRC: For individuals or organizations interested in supporting or getting involved with Ayana Zaki, what opportunities or avenues are available for them to contribute to your mission? Wairimu: For those interested in supporting or engaging with Ayana Zaki's mission of empowering young mothers in underserved communities, there are several avenues to contribute. You can make one-time or recurring financial contributions to support our programs or directly sponsor a particular girl by contacting us at Additionally, we greatly appreciate donations of menstrual pads and baby diapers, which are crucial for our beneficiaries. As we expand our professional skills training, we value introductions to potential THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

Wairimu extends a heartfelt call to action, urging all to join Ayana Zaki's mission in empowering vulnerable women. She emphasizes that every contribution, regardless of its size, plays a vital role in providing these women with the tools and knowledge to shape their destinies. Wairimu encourages everyone to become advocates for change, voicing support for gender equality, education, healthcare, and economic empowerment, and to actively engage their communities in discussions that lead to meaningful action. Furthermore, she highlights the power of storytelling in amplifying the voices of empowered women, recognizing that every story serves as a beacon of hope to inspire others. Responsible Citizen Magazine commends Wairimu for her exceptional work in sustainability, poverty eradication, and women's empowerment, wishing her continued success in her noble endeavors. Together, we can make a profound impact in the fight against poverty and unemployment while empowering vulnerable women to build brighter futures.

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BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE: Habiba Abdulrahman Hemed’s Sustainable Legacy In The Fashion, Upcycling And Climate Action Advocacy By Peter Kinuthia Murimi


Mrs. Earth and Water, CSR Luminary, Sustainability Maven – these titles merely scratch the surface of Habiba Abdulrahman Hemed’s multifaceted persona. Hers is a story of a young woman who, armed with compassion and a fierce commitment to our planet, is rewriting the narrative of sustainability in fashion, climate action, and social change in Africa, the UAE, and beyond.


n a world often dazzled by glamour, titles, and fleeting fame, there are those rare individuals who transcend the spotlight to ignite lasting social change for the greater benefit of our planet. Habiba is one such extraordinary force, and her journey is nothing short of remarkable. With a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom and a National Diploma in Business Administration from Nilai University in Malaysia, Habiba's educational foundation in business management has fortified her quest for sustainability in fashion. Hailing from the vibrant landscapes of Kenya to conquering runways in the UAE, Habiba's story defies boundaries and expectations. From the dusty streets of Nairobi's communities to the glitzy runways in the UAE, Habiba's influence transcends the boundaries of the catwalk. She's not just a beauty queen; she's a trailblazing advocate for sustainability in the fashion industry, a visionary in the world of fashion, and a relentless climate activist. Her impact knows no bounds. As the crowned Mrs. Earth and Water (2nd Runners Up) and a distinguished CSR luminary in the



United Arab Emirates, Habiba's achievements could easily rest on accolades alone. However, hers is a sustainability champion and advocate that extends far beyond titles and applause and reflect not just her beauty and grace but her profound dedication to our planet. In the world of sustainability and eco-conscious advocacy, there are few stories as inspiring and impactful as that of Habiba. But what truly sets Habiba apart is the story behind her accolades, the driving force that led her to found "Trashion Kenya." Habiba's journey is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and a resolute commitment to driving change in the most innovative ways. Habiba's story is a testament to the boundless possibilities that arise when passion meets purpose. AN EXCLUSIVE GLIMPSE INTO HABIBA'S SUSTAINABLE TRIUMPH TRC: Your journey from winning the title of Mrs. Earth UAE Water and CSR Advocate to becoming a sustainability advocate is inspiring. Could you share what inspired your passion for sustainability and climate activism? Habiba: My passion for sustainability and climate activism was ignited by witnessing the environmental devastation in Kenya. Inspired by the beauty of nature and repurposed fashion, I became a youth advocate and climate activist. Joining Mrs. Earth UAE as the Water title and CSR Ambassador was an opportunity to raise awareness about fashion's environmental impact. Winning offers a platform to inspire sustainable practices. As Mrs. Earth UAE Delegates, we champion Women of The Earth foundation's philanthropic CSR and environmental initiatives, striving to create a greener world. TRC: Trashion Kenya is an intriguing initiative. Can you tell us more about it and how it contributes to sustainability and circularity in the fashion industry? How does it promote sustainable fashion practices and encourage a circular economy within this sector? Habiba: Trashion Kenya: Revolutionizing fashion with sustainability and circularity. This initiative educates on fashion's environmental impact and fosters sustainable practices. Its focus on climate education highlights fashion's links to fossil fuels and water pollution. Addressing the global south's burden of textile dumping, it champions climate justice. Trashion Kenya promotes material reuse and supports waste transformation into art. It inspires youth and encourages innovation, creativity, and eco-friendliness, paving the way for a circular economy. Join the movement for a greener fashion future. TRC: Are there any particular success stories or moments in your sustainability journey that stand out to you as especially meaningful? Habiba: In my sustainability journey, certain moments stand out, etching deep into my heart. I recall my first Trashion Kenya project, where we introduced a club at Sandpiper International School, fostering environmental awareness and sparking creativity in junior students. Their upcycled art won admiration from Italian artist Armando Tanzini, reflecting the power of sustainability in art. Trashion Kenya's commitment to environmental conservation earned us a certificate from Italian Ambassador Alberto Pieri during the Leonardo Da Vinci 500th anniversary event. The pride of seeing our art purchased by THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

Armando Tanzini exemplified our Mrs. Earth UAE Water and CSR Advocate. My journey also led me to the inspiring Power Women in Kibra Slum, where HIV-positive women turned waste into empowerment and income. Learning their craft and documenting their stories shed light on the transformative impact of sustainability. Partnerships with organizations like Futbolmas Kenya and the Kibra Food Drive demonstrated the far-reaching potential of Trashion Kenya in supporting communities and environmental causes. These collective efforts, including my recognition as Mrs. Earth UAE Water and CSR Ambassador, fuel my unwavering commitment to sustainability. These moments inspire a deeper passion for a more sustainable and vibrant future. Together, we can continue crafting a world where sustainability thrives, leaving an indelible mark of positive change. TRC: What are some of the challenges you've faced in promoting sustainability in Kenya and the UAE, and how have you worked to overcome them through Trashion Kenya? Habiba: In both Kenya and the UAE, changing perceptions about sustainable fashion's style, accessibility, and affordability has been a challenge. Ethical concerns and competition made me more discerning in my collaborations. COVID-19 disrupted Trashion Kenya's journey, but partnering with the Green Futures Initiative for virtual education helped us adapt. Attending climate justice camps and collaborating with activists from 100+ global south countries boosted our movement. Overcoming outreach challenges, we leverage social media to expose fast fashion's impact, collaborate with organizations against the fossil fuel industry, and showcase sustainable fashion's beauty through visuals. Despite challenges like funding, our ambitious vision includes youth empowerment, environmental sustainability, and community development. In the UAE, finding sustainability jobs as a young expat posed challenges, but roles with Thrift for Good and Fashion Revolution UAE allowed me to contribute to charity projects, change perceptions of preloved clothing, and engage with the sustainability community. Panel participation, event attendance, and collaborations expanded my network and influence. I eagerly anticipate my role as the Mrs. Earth UAE Water and CSR ambassador. More networking and panel discussions will amplify the sustainable fashion movement and support Trashion Kenya's development. Through these opportunities, I've journeyed to inspire positive change in the sustainability industry, and together, we can continue making a difference! EMBARKING TOGETHER: HABIBA'S CALL TO ACTION FOR SUSTAINABLE CHANGE In her closing message, Habiba encourages a collective journey towards a more sustainable, circular world through conscious consumerism. Habiba advocates for supporting ethical and sustainable brands while shunning environmentally detrimental fast fashion. She emphasizes quality over quantity, endorsing second-hand and upcycled fashion. The call is to reduce waste via mindful consumption and recycling. Habiba urges education and inspiration of sustainable practices for community-wide change. In her vision, every small action contributes to a future where sustainability and circularity are the norms, paving the way for impactful change, one step at a time.

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The Thinking Cap Initiative’s Journey on Igniting Brighter Futures By Bem Abubaker

It is common for people and groups to voice complaints about the issues present in society. However, complaining without action has never resulted in progressive change. To make a difference, it is important to redirect our energy towards new strategies that challenge the status quo and create opportunities for progress. One area where we can all make a difference in our communities is through volunteering, activism, or simply being an engaged citizen. We can educate ourselves on the issues that matter most to us, take steps to raise awareness, build support for our causes, and collaborate with others who share our goals. By working together and staying focused, we can create real change and build a better future too. 46 |


his is what Thinking Cap Literacy Initiative (TCLI), founded in 2012, is investing time, human capital and resources into. TCLI's mission is a much-needed effort in Nigeria, where the illiteracy rate is 31%, and the education system struggles to provide quality education to all. Through innovative and creative teaching methods, TCLI creates a dynamic and engaging learning environment for students. By encouraging critical thinking and problem-solving, TCLI empowers young minds to develop skills that will serve them well beyond the classroom. These skills are valuable in today's constantly evolving job market, where individuals need to be adaptable and possess the ability to think outside the box. Thus, TCLI's commitment to combating illiteracy in Nigeria is not just a noble cause, but it is also a practical solution to equip the country's youth with the tools they need to succeed in life. Aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 4, which champions quality THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT


education, the organization boasts a multifaceted approach to achieving literacy and educational excellence among children and young people. One of TCLI's key objectives is promoting core moral values, language proficiency, and a deep appreciation for cultural heritage. They believe that these values are essential in creating well-rounded individuals who are capable of contributing positively to their communities and society at large. Moreover, their commitment to providing scholarships and bursaries to deserving young individuals ensures that financial barriers do not impede their educational pursuits. This is especially important in disadvantaged communities where access to education may be limited due to financial constraints. Projects are strategically designed to tackle issues that often keep underserved children away from school, ensuring they not only overcome these challenges but also remain in the educational system. TCLI also understands the importance of providing emergency interventions and support to communities in need. They believe that every child deserves access to quality education and that no child should be left behind due to circumstances beyond their control. That's why the organization works tirelessly to ensure that young learners across the globe have access to the education they deserve. Whether it's responding to natural disasters, conflict situations, or other emergencies, TCLI is committed to being there for communities in need. The TCLI team of dedicated professionals works closely with local partners and stakeholders to provide immediate assistance, including shelter, food, and medical care, as well as education and psychosocial support. By working collaboratively with community members, TCLI is able to provide tailored solutions that address the unique chal-

lenges faced by each community. The goal is to empower individuals and communities to take charge of their own futures and build a brighter tomorrow for themselves and their children. Supporting education and promoting literacy At the Thinking Cap Literacy Initiative, their unwavering dedication to literacy and education shines as a beacon of hope for the future. They firmly believe that every child deserves access to quality education. Thinking Cap Literacy Initiative mainly works with kids aged 5 to 18 and has operations in seven Nigerian states. TCLI's approach to promoting education and literacy is both creative and practical. The organization recognizes the importance of hands-on activities and engagement to foster a love of reading and learning in children. As such, the annual spelling bee contests are a perfect way to encourage children to improve their spelling and reading skills. These contests not only provide a fun and exciting environment for children to compete, but they also promote healthy academic competition and encourage children to strive for excellence. In addition to the spelling bee contests, TCLI also offers programs and projects that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the communities they serve. This pragmatic approach ensures that resources are utilized in the most effective way possible, and that the impact of their work is felt in a meaningful way. Ultimately, TCLI's success in promoting education and literacy is due to their ability to creatively engage children in learning while also recognizing the practical needs of the communities they serve. Literacy Workshops aim to sensitize children on issues such as plagiarism and healthy reading habits. They are also

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aimed at teaching them excellent writing. These workshops are held in schools across the country and participants are awarded certificates of participation. TCLI also fosters competition in Writing and Mathematics. As an organization that believes literacy is not restricted to reading and spelling alone, TCLI organizes writing competitions for children to showcase their writing skills and talents. The Math competition also presents a platform for students to exercise their brain power and sharpen their mathematical skills. The Scholarship Drive has been an incredible success, providing dozens of economically disadvantaged children with the opportunity to receive primary and secondary education. Many of these children are orphans or raised by single parents, making it difficult for them to afford the cost of education. The scholarship drive has been a lifeline for these children, allowing them to receive an education that would have otherwise been impossible. The impact of this drive on these children's lives cannot be overstated, as it has opened doors of opportunity that were once closed. The Portable Library Project has also had a significant impact on underprivileged communities and schools. The project's goal is to provide portable bookshelves stocked with educational

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resources to communities that lack access to libraries. This initiative has been incredibly successful, with bookshelves being delivered to a variety of communities, including IDP camps and schools without libraries. This project is a testament to the power of education and the incredible impact that access to learning resources can have on children's lives. The portable library project is changing lives, one bookshelf at a time. Through its various interventions, TCLI has successfully helped over 2,000 children between 2012 and 2021. These interventions have included scholarships, mentorship programs, and workshops aimed at empowering children and equipping them with the necessary tools to succeed in life. TCLI has also established partnerships with various organizations that share its vision of empowering children. These partnerships have allowed TCLI to reach even more children and provide them with the support they need. Some of the organizations TCLI has partnered with include Girls Should Thrive Initiative, NASCO, Nutri-C, Indomie, Toyin Wiggins Centre for Leadership & Mentoring Initiative, SexEd Foundation, and Reformation Wall Classical School. TCLI's commitment to its mission has also led to the successful graduation of its very first secondary school student under its scholarship scheme in July 2023.




Dancing in Rhythmic Harmony with Sustainable Fashion By Zimkhita Kweza


Born and raised in the bustling heart of Zone 14 Sebokeng, a remarkable artist is forging a unique path at the intersection of ballet and sustainable fashion. Meet Bhungane Mehlomakhulu, a name that resonates with creativity, innovation, and a deep commitment to breaking the mould.

Bhungane's journey epitomizes resilience and ingenuity. His journey into recycling and sustainability began during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine period when purchasing fabric from stores was not possible. However, this setback did not deter Bhungane; it fuelled his creativity. During the Covid-19 lockdown period, he embarked on a transformative journey, crafting high fashion pieces from discarded materials, including humble Woolworth's shopping bags. This moment marked the organic birth of Bhungane's unique approach to sustainable fashion. “Tailoring and fit is so important for me I was only taught how to make a bucket hat and skirt. I never went to fashion school, so I had to learn everything from YouTube and teach myself a lot,” says Bhungane.


What sets Bhungane's creations apart is his unwavering dedication to sustainability. His sustainable fashion pieces are a testament to his keen eye for beauty hidden within everyday objects. What once seemed like mundane materials are meticulously repurposed, carrying his message of environmental conservation. Each piece is a work of art, an embodiment of the potential that recycling and up cycling hold for the fashion industry. But Bhungane's connection to dance is not confined to the stage; it is woven into the very fabric


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of his designs. His ballet background has imbued him with a profound understanding of movement and flow. His creations are more than static garments; they are dynamic, embodying the grace and rhythm of a dance performance.


One of Bhungane's most significant challenges is the delicate balancing act between his two passions: fashion and dance. Being a full-time ballet dancer is demanding, requiring rigorous training and performance commitments. Yet, Bhungane masterfully interweaves these worlds, he refers to himself as a dancer by day and fashion designer by night, each art form fuelling the other. Dance provides him with discipline and creativity, enabling him to excel in both fields.


Bhungane Mehlomakhulu's designs are not confined by conventional boundaries of gender, sexuality, or body type. His creations celebrate diversity, embracing the beauty of individuality. “If you think about it, it is so dated to say women cannot wear pants and men cannot wear skirts, I never want to box my clients, if you feel like you can wear my clothes you can wear them. I want people to feel freedom in my garments and know that they can do anything,” says Bhungane. In an industry often marked by exclusivity and rigid standards, Bhungane's work serves as a refreshing breath of inclusivity. His designs empower individuals to break free from the confines of societal labels and express themselves authentically. Bhungane's fashion is a celebration of the uniqueness that resides within each of us.

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Recently, Bhungane has taken his two worlds, dance, and fashion, and fused them together. He has embarked on projects designing bespoke pieces for fellow dancers, a union of his passions that further exemplifies his multifaceted talent. The fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation. From water consumption to chemical pollution and textile waste, the industry's footprint is extensive. Embracing sustainability is essential to reduce these harmful impacts and protect our planet. Bhungane Mehlomakhulu envisions a future where fashion transcends traditional norms. He aims to revolutionize the industry, discarding wasteful practices in favour of climate literacy and sustainable fashion. With his artistic flair, Bhungane seeks to redefine what fashion means, ushering in an era where style and ethics harmoniously coexist. As sustainability becomes a core value in the fashion industry, it fosters a cultural shift toward responsible consumption and production. This shift can influence other sectors and promote a more sustainable way of life. In summary, sustainability in the fashion industry is imperative for protecting the planet, ensuring ethical practices, satisfying consumer demands, and fostering innovation. It is not just a trend; it is a fundamental shift toward a more responsible and resilient fashion ecosystem that benefits both people and the planet. As Bhungane continues to dance through life, his story serves as an inspiring testament to the boundless potential of following one's heart. In him, we find a true artist, forging a path that bridges gaps, breaks boundaries, and reshapes the future of fashion, one sustainable step at a time. THE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN | BUSINESS • COMMUNITY • IMPACT

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Kenya’s Eco-Warrior Awards 2023: Celebrating Sustainability’s Brightest Stars by Peter Kinuthia Murimi In a world where the environment faces unprecedented challenges, there emerges a glimmer of hope, a beacon of inspiration, and a celebration of remarkable dedication to the planet’s well-being. As the sun sets over the picturesque landscapes of Kenya, a country adorned with the breathtaking beauty of its natural wonders, a profound event unfolds—one that will leave you captivated, inspired, and deeply moved. The Eco Warrior Awards 2023, a remarkable celebration of sustainability and responsible tourism was hosted by Ecotourism Kenya, an organization dedicated to promoting eco-friendliness in the tourism sector, taking place under the luminous banner of “Sustainable Tourism: A Brighter Future for People, Planet, and Profit.” To have made it to the shortlist, nominees would have not only embraced the principles of sustainability but have made it their mission to be the custodians of our planet’s most cherished treasures, weaving together the threads of conservation, community empowerment, and cultural preservation into a tapestry of responsible tourism.

Champions on the Horizon: Unveiling the Eco-Warrior Awards 2023 Shortlist Presented below are the exceptional shortlisted businesses and individuals who are leading the charge in redefining sustainability within Kenya’s tourism industry in the following finalists in each category: 1. Ahnasa Destinations. 2. Air Kenya. 3. Amboseli Institute of Hospitality and Technology. 4. Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. 5. Anthony Ochieng.2 6. Asilia Kenya Limited. 7. Basecamp Maasai Mara. *2 8. Belinda Smetana. 9. Dibblex Soiyantet. 10. Elewana Elephant Pepper Camp. 11. Elewana Loisaba Tented Camp. 12. Elewana Tortilis Camp Amboseli. 13. Emboo River Camp. 14. Entumoto Safari Camp. 15. Governors’ Camp Collection. 16. Intrepid DMC East Africa. *2 17. Isaac Mwangi. 18. John Lesinko. 19. Kampur Travel Diaries.

20. Kenya Utalii College. 21. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge. 22. Leopard Hill. 23. Let’s Go Travel. *3 24. Mallayka Lanna. 25. Mara Naboisho Conservancy. 26. Mara Serena Safari Lodge. 27. Mark Miano. 28. Mugie Conservancy. *2 29. Nevil Agesa. 30. Newton Kongo. 31. Ngare Ndare Forest Trust. 32. Sarova Lionhill Game Lodge. 33. Saruni Rhino.3 34. Serena Beach Resort and Spa. *2 35. Shirley Akinyi. 36. Stacey Ngina. 37. Tembea Make an Impact.





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