The Ameena Centre project is possible because of the passion and determination of our two teachers, Mercy and Hillary. This school is their dream and their vision. Ameena Project is coming alongside teachers Mercy and Hillary and supporting them to do their good work.
Mercyline Mukhwana, Program Director (center) – Lives about 5km from Kiang’ombe with her husband and two boys. She is a college trained Early Childhood Development Teacher with a deep passion and talent for bringing out the untapped potential in vulnerable children. She has worked at Umoja Primary School, one of the lowest resource schools in Thika municipality. She also worked at the Karibu Centre, a preschool program for children living in extreme poverty. She has seen the changes in struggling children when they have the opportunity to attend an educational program that is creative, exciting, and that truly values each child. Her name says it all: Mercy is a true light in dark places. She is powerfully committed to lighting up the lives of the neediest of children.
Hillary Ghondi, Teacher / Logistics Manager (far right)- Lives about 5km from Kiang’ombe in a small flat with his new wife Nancy. His mother sells maize at the local market, yet Hillary is still a primary support for her and his younger siblings. He is a very bright young professional who spends his life helping others. Prior to formal employment, Hillary was a regional youth leader and volunteered for youth development activities in the community. Hillary continues to do this in his free time. He worked at Karibu Centre where he was surprised by his remarkable aptitude for working with small children. As a teacher’s assistant, he was trained and learned very quickly. Hillary brings his love for children to this project along with a dedication and commitment to make this an ongoing success.
Esther Malika, Cook / Administrative Assistant (far left) – Lives with her two teenage boys about 5km from Kiang’ombe. She is an incredible cook able to create balanced and nutritious meals form the most basic ingredients and cooking equipment. By the end of 2013 she had prepared and served over 60,000 meals in a rudimentary kitchen over open fire. Far from just a cook, Esther brings a deep compassion for struggling children and parents. Whether she is helping the classroom, working alongside parents, serving meals, or the many other roles she fills, everyone who crosses her path leaves feeling deeply valued and important.
Hassan, Security reliever / assistant cook (second from left) – Lives with his wife and 5 children. His youngest daughter was born at the same time as Ameena and our families have a special connection because of this. His wife sells potatoes in the market and Hassan is incredibly loyal, strong, and dependable man. Everyone is confident that when Hassan is on duty everything / everyone will be safe and secure.
Gabriel, Security (second from right) – This remarkable man is from Kiang’ombe and as a young man he was a notorious thug. He spent many years in prison where he had an incredible personal transformation. Gabriel tells everyone he meets about his new life and the passion that drives him now. He has been incredibly dependable and dedicated to the project and protects our property and staff like they were his own. While security is his main duty, no job is too hard or too long for him. Gabriel chips in wherever he can to make sure everything goes well on his watch.
In 2015, Ameena Centre was fortunate to add three teaching interns from local Kenyan colleges to our staff. In 2016, these interns will transition to teaching staff with the addition of two new interns from local programs. Ameena Centre also added weekend security and local parents for casual labor needs.