Kijana developed through the educational, exploratory and professional journey of Founder, James P. Cummings. He served as a volunteer teacher at Ebusiloli Secondary School in western Kenya in 1987-88 with WorldTeach, and the experience served as a catalyst to his future teaching career. While teaching Social Studies at The Benjamin School, in North Palm Beach, FL, he launched Kijana in 2002 in collaboration with fellow teachers, students, and friends from Macalester College.
Since 2002, Kijana has invested in over 70 schools in Kenya, and provided major funds for the multi-year refurbishment of Ebusiloli Primary and Secondary School. Additionally, Kijana was the primary funder for the rebirth and development of the nearby Mwituha Secondary School. Kijana breathed new life into multitudes of schools and students. Some beneficiaries were able to leverage the resources and energy invested into them to find the opportunity to learn and study internationally.
Kijana also developed many international cross-cultural experiences for students in the United States. Kijana President, James P. Cummings has orchestrated the visits of over 70 Americans to western Kenya, since the early 2000s.
2020 marked the beginning of a new era for Kijana as the Kijana Global Innovation School was opened with 15 students. This path-breaking school now has 14 classrooms and an extra large multipurpose room, as well as an administration building, a playground, a garden, toilets, kitchen, buses and a van, and a staff & faculty of 35, and more. All of this has been made possible by the multitudes of donors from many parts of the US.
The school is unique in its vision and physical development. Kijana President, James P. Cummings, has a deep commitment to developing schools in beautiful settings. His first experience as a teacher in the United States, at The Prairie School, had an indelible impact upon his educational vision. Consequently, he believes that architecture and environment are crucial to the learning experience. Kijana has also been fortunate to receive a notable grant from the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, which has provided the foundation for development of the unique “Care, Share and Explore” program.
Why We Need You
The world needs visionary people and schools to enliven the educational experiences of our global youth. We invite you to join us with your energetic support in fulfilling our vision so that more of the hundreds of millions of young people who need greater and more creative educational opportunities will find them. Their expanded opportunity will be the world’s gain as these young people fulfill their academic, social and creative promise becoming positive world makers. Join us in building a new generation of innovative learners and thinkers to shape a green, peaceful and prosperous future.
Rooted In Kenya
Kenya is an emerging middle income nation, with a motivated, talented and entrepreneurial generation of young people. Kenya’s creative and motivated citizenry lacks financial capital however to move closer to their potential. Kijana is contributing to Kenya’s and the world’s educational fabric by creating a modern pre-K through 9th grade independent school, which will serve primarily average income and highly talented Kenyan youth in western Kenya and infuse new options into our global educational capacity. A modern partner high school is planned as well to provide for our students as they graduate from 9th grade. Human society suffers as significant human capital is underutilized and unfulfilled by our traditional socio-economic and global educational systems. The inaugural Kijana Global Innovation School invests creatively and energetically in this underutilized global human capital, improving our collective global well-being.
Founded by Teachers
Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative was founded in 2002, by two American teachers, James P. Cummings and Bruce A. Huber, who today have over 60 years of collective classroom teaching experience.
James P. Cummings, a Social Studies teacher, served as a WorldTeach volunteer teacher at Ebusiloli Secondary School in Kenya in 1987-88, and has taught at The Prairie School, in Racine, WI, The Benjamin School in North Palm Beach, FL., and Seminole Ridge H.S. in Loxahatchee, Fl. He holds a BA in History and International Studies from Macalester College, in St. Paul, MN, and an MA in African History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
James Cummings was listed three times in Who’s Who Among American Teachers as a Distinguished Educator in the early 2000s. He received a Distinguished Service Award from his high school, St. Mary Central H.S., in Neenah, WI (2013) and was honored at the Education 2.0 Conferences in 2022 (Dubai and Las Vegas) for “Educational Leadership.” He served as a keynote speaker at the Dubai Conference (Dec 2022). In the spring of 2022, he was awarded the Charles J. Turck Global Citizen Alumni Award from Macalester College. He will be recognized in the upcoming edition of Who’s Who in America.
Bruce Huber, an accomplished musician, artist and marine life enthusiast, has taught at the Oakwood School in Poughkeepsie, NY, The Good Hope School, on St. Croix, in the US Virgin Islands, and at The Benjamin School. He holds a BA and MFA from Bard College.
Realized by a Dedicated Local Team
The physical development of Kijana’s Global Innovation School is led by two prominent, talented and energetic local team leaders who predominantly work behind the scenes, but are key to the overall success of our emerging school project.
Since May 2019, Ebby Shiroya has served as Kijana’s Project Manager and Director. She is responsible for overseeing daily operations related to the school’s development and construction needs.
Jeremiah Awori is Kijana’s multi-talented Chief Architect. Mr. Awori is an example of the unique grassroots connections that Kijana President James P. Cummings has been able to establish and cultivate in Kenya. Their association has spanned over two decades and Mr. Awori has been instrumental in the design, construction and completion of a variety of Kijana school enhancement and beautification projects in many parts of Kenya.