“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal”.
Hello, my name is Lawreen Mkado I am 29 years-old a student at the United Nations University – Institute of Environment and Human Security. I did my masters in Geography of Environmental Risks and Human Security in Bonn, Germany but originally I am from a very small and beautiful village in West of Kenya.
A few weeks ago I attended the COP 23 and one thing I got to learn is that you never use another person’s story to write your story. This is the reason as to why every country had a representative to lay out their problems and some of the progress stories they have in their countries.
When I enrolled in my diploma course in Community development and social work, I did not know what I was signing up for I was only looking for my passion. This was until I finished my studies and started my internship with a local organisation in Kenya called Kenya Water for Health Organisation in affiliation with UNICEF. The internship focused more on development projects in the informal settlements and rural areas in Kenya. As an intern I did not have to do much but in my situation I guess I did much, because I got to find the people that need me most and at the same time got to know my passion in development. After the internship I had already decided on what I wanted to do, although the project was still on going and I got an extension for my internship I wanted to be an expert in my work and I wanted to learn more. So I joined the University to do my Bachelor`s degree in Development Studies with the goal of going back to enhance this work now and for the future generations. While at the University I attended different clean up exercises in the informal settlements and did voluntary job in a children home. I finished my degree within half of the time allocated within one and half a year instead of three years. Then I continued my journey to Germany to pursue my masters at the United Nations University. My move to Germany was my eye opener since I got to learn more about sustainable development at an international level and experiences from people all over the world. During my masters I moved to Berlin for an internship with the International Organisation for Migration, which later took me back to Kenya for a period of six months to do a research on climate change, environment and migration which is part of my master’s thesis.
However, when I moved to Germany is when I realised how important the social media is simply because it is the only way I can communicate to my family back in Kenya and my friends all over the world. What inspires me most is how easy information can go viral with the use of social media. This gives me hope that one time knowledge on eco-system, agriculture and sustainable development will as well spread just the same way. Although in some cases the media has been misused where information can be true or false. But I believe that social media is a long term tool of reference. For example some of the articles, newspapers, books, videos, journals and any other source of information are important to show where we are coming from, where we are and now where we are heading. I now have more articles, journals, books and newspapers that I can read online without making any single move.
Joining GLF is like getting into a moving train because we have people who are in already we only need more people to keep pushing towards sustainable development. This is a great opportunity for me to further enhance spread of what is happening around us and to the grassroots. This program will help me to gain more knowledge and skills in different domains such as sustainable development, eco-system and agriculture.
My dreams and inspirations is to bring change to those that need it and to make the world a better place because sustainable development is the pathway to the future and it is important for everyone. The only way to get to this change is make everybody know that change begins with them and their actions towards sustainable development counts now and in the future. I believe the use of social media is very important because people can network, share and compared information and ideas in different parts of the world and it is important for the future generations. Since “Sustainable development requires human ingenuity. People are the most important resource” according to Dan Shechtcan.
Name, Nationality and age: Lawreen Mkado, Kenyan, 29
Country in which you currently live: Germany
Which organisation you work for, or which university you study at: United Nations University
Your mother tongue: English, Swahili
Other languages you are fluent in: German