The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program
Hanan Sirat Ahmed / Kenya

Province: Eastern
City/Town: Isiolo
Age: 21

Class of 2015-2018

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Scholar: Gustavo Adolfo Roa Acosta Scholar: Hugo Bladimir Guardado Torres

Hanan is from Isiolo town, an urban city in Eastern Kenya. She belongs to the Somali tribe, a large minority group in Kenya with roots tracing back many generations. Hanan explains that traditionally, people work as pastoralists or businessmen, and consider agriculture to be a “low” job. Hanan explains “Somalis don’t like farming, they are herders. They care about business and animals, that’s it. I joke sometimes that I am the first Somali girl to study agriculture.”

Hanan’s passion for agriculture made her a rarity in her community, but she joined her high school’s Young Farmer’s Club anyway and learned to grow crops. She says “In my culture, women cover our hair and wear long skirts so people think we can’t work on the farm. I want to prove them wrong.”

With the knowledge she gains at EARTH, Hanan hopes “change this cultural perception that farming is a dirty job” because she has seen the devastating effects of drought and hunger on both humans and animals alike, and feels that this suffering can be avoided with the introduction of sustainable farming in her community.