Monique Ntumngia, who hails from Cameroon and is the founder of ‘Green Girls’, a social business, which educates young women from rural communities in the use of renewable energy, is the recipient of this year’s World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, International President’s Youth award.
The award acknowledges and encourages outstanding achievements of young people under the age of 30 who are making significant contributions to nature conservation. The 2019 WWF International President’s Youth Award was presented in Mombasa, Kenya on June 14, 2019.
“It’s been my good fortune that Green Girls has allowed me to combine two of my great passions: sustainable development and female empowerment. Renewable energy is an essential part of any solution if we are to meet both Africa’s future energy needs and the environmental challenges that lie ahead. Today’s youth will be at the forefront of meeting these challenges and women will have a central role to play,” Monique said on receiving the award.
“Thanks to the tireless work of my team and the boundless enthusiasm of countless young women, we’ve managed to make some significant progress and it’s truly humbling to be recognised for our work.”
Since it was founded in 2015, Green Girls has empowered and trained almost 800 women from 23 communities across Cameroon to generate solar energy and biogas from human waste.
Monique’s efforts to champion the inclusion of women and girls in the renewable energy sector in Cameroon and Africa also won the hearts of the judges.
Pavan Sukhdev, President, WWF International heaped praise on Monique saying she is a shining example worth emulating.
“At a time when we are witnessing the devastating loss of nature and biodiversity and imminent breakdown of climate systems, risking the very foundation of human existence, Monique and these amazing women give us hope and show what is possible. said Sukhdev.
“She is a shining light, setting an example and showing us all that development and protecting the environment can go hand in hand,”
Through Green Girls’ work, more than 3,000 households have been provided with biogas, while more than 100 households have had solar installations fitted.
In 2017, Monique was crowned the winner of the inaugural WWF Africa Youth Award.