Kenya Girls’ Scholarship is a nonprofit initiative whose mission is to help Kenyan girls receive a college education. Founded by Cambridge Who’s Who® member Dr. Mary Muchiri, the charity raises funds to provide disadvantaged Kenyan girls with the opportunity to receive a scholarship to attend Daystar University, which is located in Nairobi, Kenya. If relevant courses are not available, another Christian college is recommended.
As gender stigma persists among many Kenyan communities today, educating girls has not been considered a priority issue; however, to break the cycle of poverty, it has become a major goal for Kenyan girls to pursue education and obtain college degrees. Dr. Muchiri noted that most parents, faced with the decision to send either their son or daughter to a university, will send their son. This perpetuates the reality of very few women in positions where they can effectively impact their generally patriarchal cultures. “The only way to free women in Africa from poverty and to participate in decision-making is through education,” Dr. Muchiri added.
Mary Muchiri started the Kenya Girls’ Scholarship when her book, “Saved through Fire: A Family Experiences Kenyan War of Independence,” was published after her mother’s death. Because her mother only received a second-grade education and valued higher education for girls, Dr. Muchiri decided to dedicate all the profits from the sales of her book to a scholarship fund in her mother’s honor, which she named the Josephine Wambui Kimori Scholarship Fund. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, medical insurance, transportation, summer courses, spiritual activities, library, computer, and other university fees.
Dr. Muchiri has authored three books depicting her experience growing up in Kenya and the culture clash she faced when her family moved to the United States. They explore life lessons that anyone who seeks to improve themselves can connect with, regardless of their culture. Through her books, Dr. Muchiri hopes to interest others in Kenyan culture and inspire them to donate to her cause.
Muchiri currently works as an English teacher at Taylor University, located in Upland, Ind. She received an undergraduate degree and a teaching certificate from the University of Nairobi, in Kenya. Dr. Muchiri began her career as a high school teacher in Kenyan institutions in 1970, and taught at a science teachers’ college from 1971 to 1974. From 1980 to 1981, she continued her education at The University of Manchester, located in the United Kingdom, graduating with a master’s degree in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). In 1994, she earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at Lancaster University, which led her to teach in Kenyan universities from 1995 to 2001, when she moved to the US. Dr. Muchiri’s greatest achievement would be having a positive impact on the lives of other Kenyan girls by helping them pursue the same opportunity for college education that she received.