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Corporate Social Responsibility


Grace Neema

Grace Neema joined us in January 2016. She comes from a deeply impoverished single-parent family and had achieved reasonable marks in her Primary school exams. When she started in secondary school, however, she found the going very tough. After lengthy discussions she agreed to transfer to a vocational training college where she immediately thrived and specialised in Dressmaking and Fashion Design. She completed in 2019 and was fortunate to find employment in January this year with Zeb & Effie, a niche high-end clothes designing company which takes pride in employing less fortunate girls. She was becoming part of the team and developing new skills when, like everything else, the business had to close temporarily. She was extremely lucky that her employer agreed to continue her salary to enable her to support her mother and two sisters during this difficult time.

Elizabeth Wangui

Elizabeth’s story was similar to Grace’s. She arrived in Embulbul, a peri-urban slum area close to Nairobi to live with an “aunt” having completed two struggling years in High School. We were alerted to her difficult circumstances and agreed to take her on but on condition that she also attended St Columba’s Technical Training College. She reluctantly agreed but when she got there, she loved it – she had found her niche. From being bottom of the class in school she achieved Distinctions in all her subjects and became Head Girl. After qualifying she started an internship at Brood, one of Kenya’s top artisan bakeries, and her hard work ethos and happy manner meant that she was given permanent employment. As a key worker she is now assured of a good income to support all her extended family.

Sospeter Njoroge

Sospeter Njoroge had a challenging upbringing, moving to Nairobi at age 3 with his mother and siblings after his parents’ divorce. His mother supported the family through farming vegetables but could only afford to send two of her children to primary school. Sospeter enjoyed school but had to leave at age 12 due to financial barriers to secondary education. He was sponsored his final two years of secondary school, allowing him to pursue his dream of becoming a chef. Through the program’s contacts, Sospeter secured an apprenticeship at the upscale restaurant The Talisman in Nairobi. Now in his seventh year there, he has worked his way up to chef de partie and also learned pastry skills. With his salary, Sospeter has been able to build a house for his mother and open a grocery store business for her. Sospeter now provides for his own young daughter’s education, continuing the cycle of support.

Esther Wahu

Esther Wahu Njeri was raised by a single mother who did casual labor work, resulting in periods of food insecurity for Esther growing up. However, she did well in primary school. She completed secondary school hoping to study nursing, but was offered an alternative unappealing course instead. Esther deferred for a year and took a catering course which was impacted by the pandemic. She then enrolled in a new hospital theatre technology program at Karen Hospital Medical Training College. Due to the rigorous demands of the program, less than half of the original 20 students who began the course were able to complete it. “It’s tough,” Esther explained. “You really need discipline – it’s the key thing.” After gaining valuable hands-on experience through an unpaid internship lasting six months at a large hospital in Nairobi, Esther has since secured a contracted role at a well-respected medical center. While Esther had initially aspired to attend university, she no longer dwells on what could have been. Instead, she takes pride and fulfillment in the career path she has chosen and the work she performs in healthcare settings.

Monicah Kibaru

Monicah Kibaru came from a family of six surviving siblings. She lived with them on her father’s ancestral land until he passed away in 2003, after which the family was evicted and moved to Dagoretti village outside Nairobi where her mother did odd jobs to support them. Monicah benefited from Kenya’s introduction of free primary education in 2003. She excelled in primary school and was top of her class, but secondary school requires fees. She continued to work hard and be disciplined, ranking in the top 10 of her class throughout secondary school. Monicah went on to complete a degree thanks to the support she received. She now works in human resources for a sisal company.