About Us

Our Work

Focusing on children at risk, we started by offering school sponsorships and mentorship to improve school retention and academic performance.

Hearing from the children in our programs what they were lacking at school, our focus expanded to enhancing access to quality educational resources and learning opportunities such as interactive math tutorials, e-textbooks, internships, volunteering and community-based activities like tree-planting.

The next natural progression was guiding youth towards self-sustainability after high school through career planning and entrepreneurship including instilling digital literacy to better prepare them for the technology based working world of the future – and for improving their futures.

The “office” of Elimu in Canada is a virtual set up run from various home offices. So, there is no infrastructure in Canada, which is why you will only find a P.O. Box address for us. Our founder began undertaking projects in Kenya in 2006 and covered all administrative expenses for the organization for the first 10 years. We were officially registered as a Canadian charitable organization in 2012. We are also registered in the U.S.A. and Kenya.

Project expenses have grown from $25,000 in the beginning to $215,000 in 2018. For a summary of current revenues and expenses click here.

PUPILS, STUDENTS & ADULTS SERVERD BY OUR PROJECTS.

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Elimu Resource Centre

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Nyumbani Kwetu

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Sewing Project

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Stay In School

Meet Our Founder

Nina Chung – Founder and President

Her vision had sufficient relevance to motivate Kenyans locally and supporters from miles away. It all began with a small gesture—taking two young boys to kindergarten. The rest has developed organically, in phases, led by the needs she and her team identified at each step.

Born in Guyana (South America) Elimu founder, Nina Chung also has roots that mesh with the Kenyan essence. Her great-grandmother came from Africa to Guyana as a slave. Nina grew up and settled in Ottawa, Canada. Today she divides her time between Kenya and Canada overseeing operations in Kenya and managing volunteers in Canada.

She’s still hands-on with children who call her Mum. Many are adults now in colleges, or already graduated. She even has a few children who call her “Nyanya” (Swahili for grandmother).

Read the Founder's Story

Our Team

Elimu is a team of professionals from different cultural and spiritual backgrounds united by an authentic passion for improving lives by facilitating self-directed learning, especially for those from vulnerable situations. Each of those serving children in Kenya does so from a living Christian faith.
View all team

Nina Chung

Founder / President

Kamotho Ndung'u

CEO / Country Director

Jonah Ndung'u

Programs Director
  • Global Advisory Board
  • Board of Directors Elimu (Canada)
  • Board of E.D.P (Kenya)
  • Board of Elimu-USA

Meet Elimu’s Global Advisory Board

The Elimu Advisory Board is made up of volunteers from Canada, USA, England, Mexico and Kenya who willingly provide their particular expertise to support our projects in Kenya. Advisors are non-voting board members who act in a consulting capacity to the local Boards of Directors.

Suzanne Stoltz (Strategic Communications Advisor)

Lives in Ottawa, Canada. Currently an Advisor with Environment and Climate Change Canada, she is a PR and outreach professional with 20+ years of experience. Suzanne brings extensive knowledge in developing and implementing effective communication strategies. With expertise in event planning and media relations, she is passionate in helping to tell Elimu’s evolving story. She provides guidance on social media strategies and communications opportunities. She headed fundraising activities for Upendo School from 2010 – 2013, and visited Kenya in 2012 to attend the colourful thanksgiving celebration for the school opening in the Sabaki village.

Guy Giguère (Organization Development Advisor)

Lives in Québec and works as coach, lecturer and guide to the enterprise community. Trained in NLP, Management, Education, Psychology, he has spent the past 35 years roaming the work market, internationally, in both public and private sectors. He specializes in helping people to better perform in their own realities in terms of organizational culture, market and numbers. He’s also an entrepreneur who understands the need to change and evolve within the frame of a business. As a guide, his hobby, he has guide-coached small groups through personal and geographical transitions in remote areas such as the Sahara Desert in Tunisia, the Savannah in Kenya and some Holy Places in India. Guy’s expertise is invaluable in guiding Elimu through the changes and challenges of organization growth and development.

Paul Turpin (Strategic Planning and Organizational Strategy Advisor)

Paul works as a consultant where his skills power individuals and groups for innovating and developing themselves. Passionate and curious by nature, he leads others to question, to change perspectives, and to systematize in order to discover new avenues to the future. His approach embraces transformation-producing activities. His support is guiding Elimu to understand the ever-changing business environment, explore possibilities, imagine the potential that lies within our organization's assets and team-members, be more agile in decision-making and translate shift into sound and impactful actions. In his own words: "I'm incredibly proud of the impactful projects Elimu has undertaken in the past five years I have worked with them. Everyday, ELIMU transforms the lives of kids and adults alike in Malindi. And one day, all of Kenya will be truly thankful for Nina's vision and for the concrete actions ELIMU's partners, volunteers and employees have undertaken with perseverance and heart".

Tom Craven (Education Advisor)

Originally from England, Tom now lives in Nanyuki, Kenya, and is Head of School at Braeburn Nanyuki International School. He worked with Elimu Founder, Nina Chung, as a volunteer with VSO in Kenya between 2003-2005 and was present at the early meetings between Elimu and Upendo School management committee, where he was able to provide valuable advice from an educational perspective. He continues to provide support and educational consulting to Elimu for all of our projects.

Leanna Verrucci (Marketing Advisor)

Holds a Masters in Child Psychology. Since graduating, Leanna has worked in a number of industries – education, publishing, travel and tourism, television and hospitality and consumer packaged goods – in a variety of positions – marketing manager, director of communications, senior brand manager, reporter, publisher, owner and operator. She recently worked as the Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Algonquin College and is currently the Director of Marketing and Membership at the Canadian Psychological Association. Leanna is passionate about education and mental health and helping empower youth to be all they can, and want to, be.

George Brown (Lawyer, urbanist and Integral Associate Coach)

He is Principal of Integral North. Prior to this, George spent nine years as President of the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, (OCLF) as well as 9 years as a City and Regional Councillor in Ottawa. As a Councillor, he served as Chair of the City’s Economic Affairs Committee and the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. He has a Master’s of Science Degree in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College’s Graduate School of Business (now Southern New Hampshire University) and an LL.B. degree from the University of Ottawa Law School. He was called to the Bar in Ontario in September, 2003. George is a Part-Time Professor at the University of Ottawa Law School. He is Chair of United Way Ottawa’s Community Impact Cabinet and a Member of it’s Board of Directors. George is a founding member of the Elimu board of directors and our first chairperson.

Jane Bennett (Special Advisor)

Lives in Kent, England where she is a, Motivational Coach and Mentor, after an earlier career in international marketing. She provides advice and direction to Elimu Founder, Nina Chung on issues of program development, relationship management and life skills consulting both with respect to the development of Elimu as an organization and with regards to internal issues relating to Elimu project partners and clients. Jane also assists with fundraising in the UK.

Santiago Maza (Film and Video Production Advisor)

Lives in Mexico City where he is an independent film director. He spent two months in Kenya in 2011 where he produced videos to document Elimu project developments and created a photographic library of images from all Elimu projects. He continues to assist Elimu’s communication media manager with advice and support. He has also organized fundraising activities in Mexico to promote and support the work of Elimu in Kenya.

Valerie Benetar (Project Administration Advisor)

Lives in Mexico City where she works with a local non- profit organization involved in capacity building and skills training amongst traditional communities in the impoverished region of Chiapas. Valerie volunteered with Elimu for two months in 2011, assisting with monitoring and evaluation tools for Elimu projects. She also helped to produce formats for Elimu agreements with local project partners. In Mexico, she continues to support Elimu projects through fundraising activities.

Meet Elimu’s Board of Directors (Canada)

Jan Wood (Chairperson)

Currently resides in Calgary, Alberta where she is the Vice President of the Calgary Marketing Association and owns her own marketing company. 2011 to 2014 she lived in Denver Colorado where she worked with OpenWorld Learning, a non-profit organization that supported after school learning using computer programming. From 2009 to 2011, Jan travelled extensively teaching English at two private international schools in Thailand and volunteering for Elimu in Kenya, tutoring the children of Nyumbani Kwetu Home, as well as offering planning and development consulting for the establishment of Elimu as a charitable organization. Jan has over 20 years in the marketing profession with ten of those at Canada Post Corporation where she specialized in International Product Development and was in various management and leadership roles. She also worked as National Marketing Manager of Travel CUTS (Canadian Universities Travel Services). Jan is equally passionate about travel and education.

Maureen Monaghan (Secretary / Treasurer)

She is a native of Quebec City but has lived in Ottawa for over 45 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She spent her entire 33-year work career with the federal government as an economist and policy advisor in the Energy Sector of Natural Resources Canada, retiring in 2008. Maureen served for two years as treasurer of the Ottawa District Golf Association. She then became treasurer of the Ottawa Heart Institute Auxiliary, a position she held for 20 years. After retiring from the public service, she assumed the position of Managing Director for the Auxiliary. Maureen was also the treasurer of a small investment club for 15 years and has participated in a number of committees in her church, including 3 years on the finance committee.

Jennifer Lavoie (Board Member)

She brings 20+ years of public relations, fundraising and marketing skills to Elimu. She runs Lavoie Public Relations and is an international business advisor with non-profit clients in emerging economies such as Nigeria, Vietnam, Macedonia, Ethiopia and the Yukon. With Elimu, she assists with global communications and fundraising. Jennifer fully supports Elimu’s community-wide approach to learning, which empowers children, families and communities to build better livelihoods and realize their dreams. She holds a bachelor of public relations from Mt St. Vincent University, a masters in management from University of Ottawa, and a certificate in international community development. Jennifer teaches inner-city kids how to cook and coordinates a winter shelter in Nanaimo.

Nina Chung (Founder/President)

Nina divides her time between Kenya and Canada. She leads the Kenyan team in collaboration with the CEO and manages the liaison with the Canadian board of directors. She is responsible for Kenyan and international outreach for funding, resource and partnership development. She left a successful business to her partner in Ottawa, Canada in 2004 to volunteer in Kenya. During that time, she began assisting children with education and entrepreneurship training and established Elimu to make her projects sustainable. Nina has over 30 years’ experience in project management, partnership development, international marketing and business strategy planning. She worked over 14 years marketing international travel and cultural exchange programs and services to youth and student markets. In 1996, she started a successful marketing consulting firm in Ottawa. She has conducted market research and implemented communications programs for culturally diverse consumer markets. She has lived and worked in a variety of cultural environments. Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Meet the Board of Elimu Development Projects (Kenya)

E.D.P Stands For Elimu Development Projects

Kamotho Ndung’u (Chairperson and Co-Founder)

An entrepreneur in his own right. He holds a Commerce Degree from Kenyatta University and owns a successful automotive business in Malindi. He is in charge of Elimu’s Kenyan operations, handling all aspects of management and administration including financial planning, budgeting and accounting. He works closely with the President and shares the responsibility for liaison with the Canadian board of directors and the Kenyan team. He is in charge of human resources and mentors youth in our programs, especially high school graduates in employability and entrepreneurship. Prior to Elimu, he worked as Program Manager—Business Development at Kenya Enterprises Resource Centre (KESREC) helping local community groups with business planning and start-up including savings and loan training, budgeting, business plan writing and resource mobilization.

Nina Chung (Vice-Chairperson and Founder)

Nina divides her time between Kenya and Canada. She leads the Kenyan team in collaboration with the CEO and manages the liaison with the Canadian board of directors. She is responsible for Kenyan and international outreach for funding, resource and partnership development. She left a successful business to her partner in Ottawa, Canada in 2004 to volunteer in Kenya. During that time, she began assisting children with education and entrepreneurship training and established Elimu to make her projects sustainable. Nina has over 30 years’ experience in project management, partnership development, international marketing and business strategy planning. She worked over 14 years marketing international travel and cultural exchange programs and services to youth and student markets. In 1996, she started a successful marketing consulting firm in Ottawa. She has conducted market research and implemented communications programs for culturally diverse consumer markets. She has lived and worked in a variety of cultural environments. Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Maureen Monaghan (Secretary / Treasurer)

A native of Quebec City but has lived in Ottawa for over 45 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. She spent her entire 33-year work career with the federal government as an economist and policy advisor in the Energy Sector of Natural Resources Canada, retiring in 2008. Maureen served for two years as treasurer of the Ottawa District Golf Association. She then became treasurer of the Ottawa Heart Institute Auxiliary, a position she held for 20 years. After retiring from the public service, she assumed the position of Managing Director for the Auxiliary. Maureen was also the treasurer of a small investment club for 15 years and has participated in a number of committees in her church, including 3 years on the finance committee.

Jan Wood (Board Member)

Currently resides in Calgary, Alberta where she is the Vice President in charge of Events and Sponsorship with the Calgary Marketing Association and runs two marketing-related businesses. From 2011 to 2014 she lived in Denver Colorado where she worked with OpenWorld Learning, a non-profit organization that supports after school learning using computer programming. From 2009 to 2011, Jan travelled extensively teaching English at two private international schools in Thailand and volunteering for Elimu in Kenya, tutoring the children of Nyumbani Kwetu Home, as well as offering planning and development consulting for the establishment of Elimu as a charitable organization. Jan has over 20 years in the marketing profession with ten of those at Canada Post Corporation where she specialized in International Product Development and was in various management and leadership roles. She also worked as National Marketing Manager of Travel CUTS (Canadian Universities Travel Services). Jan is passionate about travelling and knows that education comes in many forms and is the key to a better future.

Meet the Board of Elimu-USA

Cindy Rodriguez (Chairperson and Founder of Elimu-USA)

Lives in Los Angeles California with her husband Steves and their two children. Her career has always focused on children including a strong background in technology edutainment and curriculum development. She began as a teacher and grew into a leadership, working as Vice Principal for both elementary and middle schools. She has two MAs in Curriculum and Instruction and Education Leadership. She recently developed the Elimu Girls concept to promote Elimu’s Sewing Project which helps girls from rural Kenya to escape detrimental practices like child-bride marriages and female genital mutilation by extending their learning after primary school and training them in tailoring and dressmaking as well as helping them start their own sewing businesses by providing a brand new sewing machine upon graduation. Cindy has visited Kenya two now where she enjoyed engaging with the sewing students and hearing the stories of their struggles and triumphs first hand. In her free time, Cindy enjoys baking, cooking, travel, running and being an active mom.

Courtney Stuart-Alban (Vice-Chairperson)

She has more than 14 years’ experience as an attorney in Los Angeles. Her litigation practice focuses on copyright, trademark, technology law and policy, e-commerce and unfair competition. She has represented clients ranging from small business owners to fortune 500 companies. Courtney also maintains a committed pro bono practice and has prevailed in cases ranging from an international kidnapping case to a gender discrimination case against the long beach school district. Courtney has served on the advisory board for the Western Center for Law and poverty and remains involved in various local charities. In her free time, she enjoys photography, travel, music, literature, yoga and most of all spending as much time with her husband and two children.

Gisele Gauthier (Board Member)

She has over 30 years experience in a variety of fields including affordable housing real estate development, events management and catering, business administration and technology. She is an experienced grant writer and project manager with particular interest in process and detail. She has served on several non-profit boards including a local nonprofit serving children with autism and as president of the board of trustees for her church. Gisele also volunteers at WE CAN, a local women’s empowerment nonprofit working on various special projects. After many years of cultivating her professional career, Gisele returned to college in 1999 to realize the dream of earning her bachelor’s degree at Wellesley College, where she studied International Political Economy with a particular focus of poverty and women’s issues. She enjoys travelling around the world and has had recent visits to Germany, England, India, Ghana, and Morocco. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband, Peter and two cats, Maya Angelou and Angus (Gus) Young.

Nina Chung (Secretary/Treasurer)

She is also founder and president of Elimu (Canada). She divides her time between Kenya and Canada. She leads the Kenyan team in collaboration with the CEO and manages the liaison with the Canadian board of directors. She is responsible for Kenyan and international outreach for funding, resource and partnership development. She left a successful business to her partner in Ottawa, Canada in 2004 to volunteer in Kenya. During that time, she began assisting children with education and entrepreneurship training and established Elimu to make her projects sustainable. Nina has over 30 years’ experience in project management, partnership development, international marketing and business strategy planning. She worked over 14 years marketing international travel and cultural exchange programs and services to youth and student markets. In 1996, she started a successful marketing consulting firm in Ottawa, Canada. She has conducted market research and implemented communications programs for culturally diverse consumer markets. She has lived and worked in a variety of cultural environments. Nina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada.