Founder of environmental NGO Light on a Hill
Growing up in a rural community in Kenya, Eva ‘Kandi’ Makandi regarded nature as a member of her family. “The farms’ outputs provided our school tuition, and the diverse fruits and berries were our daily go-to,” she said. “We played in the forests, swam in the nearby streams, and made planes from wheat and maize leaves. The scars on my knees bring back all the fond memories.”
But as time passed, she gradually saw her home’s landscape degrade, noticing how its forest cover, biodiversity, and farm yields diminished. For this reason, she decided to take action and founded Light On A Hill, an organization centered on environmental conservation, education, and talent development in her community. Her work has seen her establish a tree nursery, collaborate with schools to plant trees, and conduct clean-up events. She was one of the Global Landscape Forum (GLF)’s 2022 Restoration Stewards, and through this platform has shared advice and experiences on community restoration.
“Education is very key in transforming mindsets and evoking change,” said Kandi, who sees educating young children to love nature as among her most important missions. After more than two years of working with her community’s children, she sees them now encouraging their parents and peers to grow trees, establish kitchen gardens, and abstain from littering.
“My motivation is that the young generation will grow up knowing at least some of the beauty I grew up around,” she said.