Kianda Secretarial College
Kianda Secretarial College effectively set the pace for all other Kianda Foundation projects. It was given the name ‘Kianda’ meaning ‘fertile valley’ where everything blossoms. The college offered training in secretarial and business studies to the girls, and oversaw their development into women of integrity and initiative. Some in society were vehemently opposed to the idea of different races learning together. Kianda College was determined to offer opportunities for further education to Kenyans becoming the first multiracial college in Kenya. At the dawn of independence many white families opted to move back to their homelands, creating a skills flight. Many corporate entities and government bodies were in need of a skilled workforce. Kianda College was already training girls from all over Kenya to be work ready. Many international and local companies supported the girl’s training through bursary/ sponsorship programs which covered tuition, boarding, pocket money and books. The trainees who opted for sponsorship were then bonded to the sponsoring companies for work.
Kianda Foundation was founded by four determined women:-
Mary Mahoney (USA)
Margaret Curran (Ireland)
Olga Marlin (USA)
Teresa Temes (Spain)
They arrived in Kenya in 1960 at a time when racial segregation was the norm, with a clear mission to ensure that women in Kenya have equal access to opportunities for education. They wanted to give girls and women a chance at a dignified life. In the 60's most African women did not even have an opportunity to complete primary school with chances of joining secondary school few. Moreover, it was unheard of to start or run an interracial college.
With these challenges in mind, Kianda Secretarial College was started in 1961.
From very humble beginnings, in a one storey building with just a few rooms at Kianda, the college grew to have over 7,000 alumni from 43 nationalities working in various industries in Kenya and around the world. In its 30 years the College trained secretaries who quickly filled the secretarial positions in government and private offices of post-Independence Kenya, effectively positively affecting the development of the country. The college offered a new and positive outlook in the lives of Kenyan girls setting the scene for them to further their careers and be counted among the most prominent women in the country.
Kianda College merged with Strathmore College in 1993, at that time a post-secondary institution of higher learning, and it later became Strathmore University.
Kianda Foundation has been impacting the lives of girls and women since 1961 by providing them with opportunities for success
Before getting a chance these girls have:-
No funds to continue with their education
No hope to get out of the cycle of poverty in which they find themselves in
During their education and formation the girls:-
Have the joy of learning
Start discovering their talents
Start envisioning a better future
After getting the formation:-
Their self esteem increases
They are able to get gainful employment and income that supports their whole family
A dignified life for every woman in Kenya through quality education.
To provide quality and personalized education to women and girls, developing all aspects of each individual to the full in accordance with Christian principles.
AREAS OF INTERVENTION
We are actively involved in Kindergarten (Gatina Nursery in Tigoni), Primary and Secondary Formal Education (Kianda School).
Board of Trustees
The Foundation was set up by a group of professional women in Kenya who decided to place their education, management expertise, time and knowledge at the service of women in this country.
Olga Emily Marlin - M.A. H. Dip. Education
Prof. Christine Gichure - PhD (Philosophy)
Dorothy Khamisi, B.A. (History and Linguistics), Masters in Educational Management
Wilfreda Chepkoech, H. Dip. Pharmacy
Seraphina Mwangi, H. Dip. Business Studies
Bernadette Musundi, M.A, Administration and Management
Administrator and Financial Controller
Public Relations Manager and Outreach Programs Director