- She grew up witnessing the effects of climate change.
- She started the Soina Foundation.
- She was recently featured at the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York.
In the arid terrain of North Kajiado, where the sun blazes and the earth is parched, a young and fierce warrior named Anita Soina emerged with an unwavering determination to make a difference.
With every step she takes, the ground beneath her feet trembles with a sense of purpose and passion for environmental justice.
From the wise teachings of her grandfather, Anita learned the true meaning of leadership and the power it holds to make a meaningful impact on the world.
Today, she stands as a beacon of hope, inspiring and empowering the youth to become agents of change in the fight against climate change.
At just 23 years old, she has already made a name for herself as a dynamic and charismatic leader, inspiring people of all ages to take action on environmental issues and positively impact their communities.
Growing up in North Kajiado, Anita was surrounded by the natural beauty of Kenya’s landscapes and wildlife.
But as she got older, she began to see the devastating effects of climate change on the environment and its dependants.
This sparked a passion in her to become an advocate for the planet and its inhabitants.
At 17, this young girl wanted to discover her purpose in life as early as possible.
To help her with this, she joined mentorship programs, having decided to be a social change activist and catalyst from what she had learned.
In her journey, she encountered the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SDGs, also referred to as Global Goals, are a collection of the universal call to action to improve the prospects and lives of everyone, protect the planet and end poverty everywhere.
Soina was, however, confused about which goal to go for until she came across SDG – 13, which is climate action.
She noticed that many young activists, including her, often felt disconnected from sustainable development and conservation due to the technical jargon and language often used by these sectors.
Her interaction with the ‘zero hunger and no to poverty’ goal stemmed the confusion.
At SDG–13, she learned about global warming, climate crisis, climate emergency, and climate action.
Anita reasoned that even if people focus more on eradicating poverty, the best place to start is the environment.
Since all these will happen on earth, she settled on environmental conservation. However, this field was broad and needed a team to achieve its goals.
Educating young people
Soina’s mantra is “leave no one behind,” so she started getting inquiries from young people on her social media platforms who wanted to join her in the cause.
With time, she got several people enthusiastic about tree planting.
She realized that the young people only wanted to plant trees, but she needed them to understand the environment, why young people, and why now.
She educated them on the importance of environmental conservation and the role of young people in the movement.
This led to the formation of Spice Warriors, an organization that rallies youths to be environmentally conscious. She works closely with Charlene Ruto to mobilize youths on climate change advocacy.
The Soina Foundation
The foundation seeks to address social issues, such as education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Gender Based Violence (GBV), and sexual reproductive health awareness.
They believe that equality between women and men is an integral and vital part of human rights.
It is important to a prosperous, peaceful, and sustainable world.
Her work has seen her nominated to represent various conferences like United Nations Conference (COP-27) on climate change; Sustainable Energy for All Forum in Rwanda; Stockholm plus 50 in Sweden, and The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).
Soina’s impact is not just limited to environmental conservation.
She was recently featured at the United Nations headquarters at the UN Water Conference 2023 in New York, where she spoke about the crucial issue of menstrual hygiene.
With 65% of girls and women in Kenya not equipped to handle their periods safely, she insists on the importance of investing in girls’ and women’s health, water, and sanitization.
Dedication to environmental advocacy
Three years ago, this remarkable young woman decided to do something different for her birthday; she dedicated her special day to a worthy cause instead of receiving gifts.
Soina wanted to help her community regain the trees they had lost over the years. On her birthday, Anita mobilizes people to plant trees. She has since then planted over 3000 trees!
“I’m passionate about environmental conservation, especially the advocacy part and tree growing,” she says.
Despite not having an educational background in environmental conservation, it does not make her environmentally unconscious.
She believes that the only education you need to conserve the environment is that you live on this planet.
Her passion for environmental conservation and youth empowerment has taken her to Mexico, where she is currently making waves at the Youth Lead Congress.
Soina’s unwavering dedication and charisma have captured the minds and hearts of lecturers and students at the University of Ibero and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México as she discusses Spice Warriors and the Soina Foundation.
This event is a thrilling chance to engage with like-minded young people, participate in youth leadership promotion workshops and connect with different organizations all working towards the same goals of achieving SDGs.
Her work does not stop there; after her time in Mexico, she is off to France to continue spreading and advocating change and hope.
She says, “I will never stop telling my story because nobody else will if I don’t do it.”
Her fearless spirit and determination saw her vie for the position of Member of Parliament for Kajiado North Constituency in the 2022 general elections.
“I dared to dream,” she says.
Her political journey was born from a deep understanding that political goodwill is vital for implementing climate and global community solutions.
In the August 2022 elections, she was the youngest candidate to run for office as a Member of Parliament.
With her unshakable belief that she could make a difference, she courageously stepped forward to present herself as a candidate.
Her political journey began with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), where she contested for the MP position in the 13th Parliament of Kenya.
She later left UDA for Green Thinking Action Party (GTAP), led by Isaac Kalua, to vie for the same position. She made this move because she believed the environment is at the heart of every economic model.
During that time, GTAP had a strategy to lower the nomination fees for aspirants who wanted to contest in the elections. Anita, however, conceded defeat.
Leading the way
Soina’s drive and passion inspire everyone, regardless of age and background.
Her work serves as a reminder that you can have the power to make a positive impact around us.
It’s never too early or too late to become part of the change. Whether it’s through volunteering with local organizations, or recycling, every little bit counts towards creating a more equitable and sustainable world.
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So, dear reader, take a cue from Anita’s story and strive to be the change you wish to see in the world.