Since 2002, Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative (a 501c3 non-profit organization), has provided a pivotal role in helping to transform education in Vihiga county in Western Kenya. Vihiga County, amongst the relatively poorer areas of Kenya, suffered from very limited educational resources and relatively low expectations for educational outcomes. Potential for advancement to higher education was consequently limited. With hundreds of thousands of dollars of investments, Kijana has altered the educational trajectory and raised the expectations of citizens, by investing in over 25 schools, many in Emuhaya Constituency, within Vihiga. The most visibly significant of the investments has been that of Mwituha Secondary School, which, with the partnership of the local community, has been transformed from the dilapidated remains of an old school to a burgeoning institution of over 400 hundred students. Mwituha’s transformation followed years of work in other area schools, particularly Ebusiloli.
Just prior to our official beginning, Ebusiloli Secondary School had roughly 100 students. Today, it has over 700. Kijana re-built Mwituha partly because our investments at Ebusiloli had spurred a surge in demand. Mwituha’s rise inspired a nearby community, Ematsuli, to redevelop their school. The three schools now educate roughly 1500 students, whereas in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only about 100 students were obtaining high school educations in the area. Consequently Kijana’s investments have also spurred a significant rise in students from the area moving on to a university education. Kijana has helped initiate a renaissance in education in the region. The newly elected Governor of Vihiga, who was previously the MP for Emuhaya, recently wrote in his biographical electoral appeal: “…Emuhaya Constituency stands out as having the best road network, the best education facilities and performance (on aggregate)….” Kijana Educational Empowerment Initiative’s investments have contributed significantly to this progress.
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 seeks to contribute to Kenya’s and the world’s educational fabric by initially creating a modern pre-K through twelfth grade independent school, which will serve primarily average income and highly talented Kenyan youth in western Kenya and add and infuse new options into our global educational capacity. Human society suffers as significant human capital is being underutilized and unfulfilled by our traditional socio-economic and global educational systems. The inaugural Kijana Global Innovation School will invest creatively and energetically in this underutilized global human capital, improving our collective global well-being.
Founded by Teachers
Kijana was founded in 2002, by two American teachers, James P. Cummings and Bruce A. Huber, who today have over 50 years of combined teaching experience. Jim Cummings, a Social Studies teacher, served as a WorldTeach volunteer 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. 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. The two continue to be the driving forces of Kijana.