Our leadership structure is very horizontal and we make our decisions together. Our three administrative staff all bear the title of ‘Co-Founder’, regardless of their duties or investment in order to symbolize this decision.
Our three Co-Founders are:
Andrew Mwangi Kiunjuri
I started my street life at the age of 10.
I lost my father at a tender age. This forced my mother to be the sole provider for a family of six. Life was so hard after that time: no food, clothing and most of all education. I joined the street to help curb the hard life at home, sometimes to help provide for the family, though to survive on the street I engaged into illegal activities and crimes were the order of the day.
One day I came across a missionary who rescued me and took me to a home called Mully Children’s Home, where Nush and I met. From there, life changed and I was able to get a basic education. After ten years of rehabilitation I moved out and started my own life, and I became a businessman. I got a diploma in social work and am working on a second diploma in business management, focusing on non-governmental organizations. Finally, I was among the founders of a street children’s drop in center called Tumaini (‘hope’ in Swahili). I worked there as the programme coordinator for two years before co-founding Nyumbani Social Enterprises.
David Nush Wanjohi
I was a street child before in the street of Eldoret. My experience as a street child at the age of 5 years has been both my most memorable and the worst moment in my life; to be homeless is not a choice for a street child: not having a place to call home, not knowing where to get food; a meal per day being survival mode, not having shelter nor protection was my day to day life.
One day I was lucky to come across a Good Samaritan who rescued me in early 1992. I was provided with life, shelter, food, clothing, love and most of all peace of mind. I went through the rehabilitation center at Mully Children’s Home. I obtained a diploma in social work and community development (Elgon View College) and am currently pursuing a second diploma in project management (Kenya Institute of Management). I thank god because I am the way I am because someone somewhere invested in me: his time, resources and tolerance.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 2004. I graduated from UBC in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Geography and Political Science with an additional focus on environmental issues and the continent of Africa. I am currently in the second year of a Master’s degree through the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, also at UBC, studying host community perspectives on hosting young international volunteers in Eldoret, Kenya. I currently work as Academic Life Coordinator for the UBC Jump Start Program, a first year transition experience for new international and Aboriginal students. I have served as Program Coordinator, International Students through the Global Health Office at Dalhousie University and as Co-coordinator for the Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning (EIESL) Project. In addition, I have interned for a year with the Cascadia Region Green Building Council, served as a Program Officer for KASOW, a Kenya-based NGO that focuses on vulnerable populations in various locations in rural Kenya, and worked as a Programming Assistant for Youth Challenge International.
Jenna McAlevy has joined us as our Public Relations Officer. More to come shortly.
We also have solicited the guidance and experience of faculty members at the University of British Columbia to act as advisors on this project. Their commitments to social responsibility, global health, education and exploring alternative ways of knowing, as well as their East African provenance position them uniquely to provide counsel to the co-founders. Our advisors are:
Co-Lead Faculty: Social Accountability and Community Engagement (SACE)
Faculty Champion: CanMEDS Health Advocate Role
Associate Faculty Member: School of Population & Public Health
Faculty Fellow in Residence: Liu Institute for Global Issues, Global Health Network
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy; Faculty of Education
Andrea Papan specializes in rights-based approaches to gender and development. She presently works as a researcher. She previously worked in the UN system in several countries, and she has consulted internationally on issues relating to gender and governance, gender and knowledge management, and gender and health. She is deeply interested in questions of transformative change.