Financial challenges dim girl's invitation Little Miss World competitions in Greece

A six-year-old girl could miss an opportunity to take part in a contest in Greece in September due to lack of funds.

Mellisa Njeri, a Standard One pupil at Lions Primary School, was nominated to attend the Little Miss World Festival in Thessaloniki after winning the county title last November.

Njeri is one of the three girls expected to represent Kenya at the competition. After their nomination, they were required to come up with a project to be presented at the event in Greece.

Njeri settled on an electronic waste management project that entails collecting electronic waste that is then given to an organisation that specialises in disposing of it.

However, her family is yet to raise the Sh738, 000 required for her travel, participation fee and accommodation, alongside one parent and a coach. Njeri cannot travel alone because of her age.

“I have been looking for support for my daughter from various Government offices and individuals without success. She is very passionate about her project and eager to travel. I don’t know what I will tell her if we don’t get the money,” Njeri's mother, Irene Kimani, said.

“Our research revealed that most people have focused on eradicating plastic waste while electronic waste remains a threat to the environment. That is why we settled on the project."

Njeri has been collecting electronic waste and piling it at her home. Officials from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Centre have been collecting and disposing of it safely. Whatever they cannot dispose of locally is taken to more developed countries for disposal.

The girl has earned herself certificates of recognition and appreciation for her efforts from the agency based in Nairobi.

“Items received by WEEE Centre from Melissa Njeri have been safely recycled in accordance with local and international standards. Components that could not be disposed (of) locally have been shipped overseas,” reads one of the letters from WEEE addressed to the girl.

Ms Kimani, a teacher at Lions Primary School, said Njeri's family had allocated her a room at home to keep the electronic waste, including old television and radio sets, torches, printers and batteries.

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