Robert Murithi Kamwara, Founder, Naledi Inititative
Robert Murithi Kamwara is a transformational facilitator, dynamic teacher, and powerful mentor, dedicated to inspiring emerging leaders with revolutionary visions for uplifting their communities and lives. As the firstborn among 10 siblings in a polygamous family, he hails from the marginalized Tharaka Community in Kenya, facing the challenges of a dry and stony environment.
At the age of seven, Robert, along with his mother and five biological siblings, was forced to leave his home by his father, who sought to marry a second, more educated wife. The family endured hardships, living in a grass-thatched mud-walled hut that was later swept away by floods. After seeking temporary shelter with a neighbor, Robert dropped out of school for two years to support his stressed mother and malnourished siblings through sand harvesting and charcoal burning.
Despite these challenges, Robert became the first in his family to complete primary school and later joined university through sponsorship. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Management from Meru University of Science and Technology.
Robert has received recognition for his impactful work, including a nomination for the 2023 Leading Women of Africa Award in the Women’s Rights Advocate category. He is also the recipient of the Best Impact Rotary International District 9212 project of the year award (2021/2022) and the 2022 OUTSTANDING Assistant Governor of the year of Rotary International District 9212.
Motivated by personal experiences, Robert founded the Naledi Initiative, a non-profit Community Based-Organization in Kenya. This initiative aims to provide a male voice and support system for women, addressing issues such as gender-based violence and supporting healing.
As an advocate, Robert stands against female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and champions free cancer screening for vulnerable women. He has undertaken remarkable physical challenges, including climbing the second highest mountain in Africa and cycling long distances for cancer prevention awareness and screening campaigns.
Using his academic background and life experiences, Robert has designed effective community engagement and empowerment models, grassroots organizing programs, conflict reconciliation initiatives, and proactive health campaigns. His focus is on vulnerable rural communities in Meru and Tharaka communities in Kenya.
Describing himself as a ‘regenculture’ space holder, Robert emphasizes empowering grassroots people, especially women, youth, and rural communities. His approach involves working with communities rather than helping them, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-discovery. Through the Naledi Initiative, Robert endeavors to champion community well-being, illuminating a path of hope and dignity for all.