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19 December 2013

Ann NjiruWhen hundreds of University of South Australia students from around the world graduate this Friday, there will be one young graduate who will be thinking most of all about her country’s poor and hungry.

Keen to head back home and make a difference, Bachelor of Nutrition and Food Science graduate Ann Njiru, 22, will return to Kenya where she will expand a food program she has designed to keep children in school.

Ann’s program, Food for Education, provides 40 children aged eight to 13 with healthy and seasonal foods at lunchtime on school days, to help keep them in school and improve their education prospects.

And while free state education has been available to all children in Kenya since 2002, Ann says many of the poorest children are still not attending regularly because they are hungry.

“Often you find they will leave at lunchtime to work for food money,” Ann says.

“When I came to the University of South Australia, I had a clear goal in mind: to do something to benefit my community in the long term.

“My degree has been instrumental in giving me a good understanding of how to tailor nutritional needs for my students.

“My program has seen an improvement in children’s attendance and performance at school – so I hope to carry it on.”

Vice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says graduations are a special time because they are a culmination of a great deal of hard work but also a celebration of the great drivers of achievement – passion and enterprise.

“Qualifying for a degree from the University of South Australia is a major achievement and I wish every one of our new graduates ongoing success,” Prof Lloyd says.

About 800 students will graduate from the University this week adding to a total of more than 7,500 graduates this year.

Guest speakers at the graduation ceremonies will be Nick Bolkus, who for over a quarter of a century was a prominent political identify and Senator in the Australian Parliament, and UniSA’s Pro Vice Chancellor for International and Development, Nigel Relph.

Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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