2005 HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Thirteen years ago, Lucy Yinda committed her life to the children living in the slums of Mombasa, Kenya. These children suffer from abuse, hunger, malnutrition, and diseases like HIV/AIDS. Moved by their love and innocence, she created the Wema Centre, providing a home and family, medical care, education and vocational training for the youngest victims of poverty.
The Wema Centre grounds are filled with animals and beautiful gardens. There, Yinda is actively involved in the lives of the children she rescues. The Wema Centre currently provides protection for 106 former street girls, formal education to 80 former street girls, and non-formal education and vocational training to 350 destitute children. Numerous children receive immediate care through the feeding and medical clinics Wema provides on a daily basis.
The children who live at Wema Centre give back by spreading awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention through discussion groups, drama, films, publications, and international fundraising events that have benefited thousands of other needy children. Yinda has a keen appreciation for art and has infused her love of beauty into the Centre; not only through its physical atmosphere but also through the opportunities its young residents have for creative expression. Ten thousand children have found hope as a result of Yinda’s compassion and her work with the Wema Centre. Lucy Yinda’s dedication to disadvantaged children reaches beyond those directly impacted through the Wema Centre. As a result of her intensive lobbying with the government, all street children in Kenya are now able to obtain National Identity Cards.