Photo by Harriet Kariuki

Photo by Harriet Kariuki

Viona Shina Leboo

Graduate Harvard University

Shina grew up in the shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro, in a small village named Loitokitok. After high school, she received a full scholarship to Harvard University where she studies Economics and Psychology. After completing a summer internship at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, Shina was offered a full time position upon graduation.

Fatuma Adan Mohamed

Junior at University of Toronto Mississauga 

Fatuma and her family fled Somalia when she was eight years old due to ongoing violence resulting from the civil war. They ended up in Dadaab Refugee Camp on Kenyan/Somali border. Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world with some 400,000 residents. Residents struggle with chronic overcrowding, risk of disease, seasonal floods and lack of educational and employment opportunities.

Fatuma overcame significant obstacles (including lack of support for girl education) to gain admission to a quality high school outside of the camp. But she couldn't afford it. Enter KEF, sponsoring four years of schooling at The Kenya High School. This impressive young woman thrived in high school and is currently on scholarship studying Psychology at University of Toronto Mississauga in Canada. She hopes to go on to medical school upon graduation. 

Philitricia Were

Sophomore at Middlebury College

After receiving a KEF high school scholarship to a quality boarding school, Philitricia rose to the top of her class. A budding leader, Philitricia was chosen to serve in student government as academic prefect and received an 'A' upon graduation on the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

Her outstanding performance and determined spirit earned her a scholarship to Middlebury College in Vermont, U.S. This feat is particularly impressive as Middlebury is listed as the fourth best liberal arts college in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report, with a mere 17% acceptance rate. Currently a sophomore, Philitricia is studying Economics and Spanish


Zura Suleiman Mahmoud

Post-grad at Northfield Mount Hermon School

After completing high school in Kenya, Zura earned a scholarship to Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH), an elite prep school in Massachusetts, U.S.

NMH is a highly selective college-preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9–12 and postgraduates. (Member of the Eight Schools Association which includes the notable Andover and Exeter)

While at NMH, Zura will be focusing on increasing her college prospects. She hopes to gain admission to a college or university in the U.S. and study Economics and Mathematics. 



Fardosa remembers running home from Kindergarten to tell her father she could not only write her name but his as well. He was so proud that he told everyone he could find. From this day forward, he knew that unlike many Somali girls living in Kenya, she should be given the opportunity to get an education and not forced to marry early.

KEF supported Fardosa's high school education. Afterward, she moved to Turkey to attend Karabuk University. Some members of her extended family and community made some noise about this untraditional decision. But Fardosa says she, "turned off the noises... and listened to myself because I am what matters in the equation." She is in her first year studying Railway System Engineering. 

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Hussein Kassim Hussein

SOPHOMORE at University of Nairobi

In Kenya, top students are given the opportunity to attend national "gifted" schools. Unfortunately, many of these bright scholars are unable to attend as the cost is almost double the fees of standard high school. 

After receiving a KEF scholarship, Hussein was able to attend one of these top schools. Upon graduation from Lenana High School, Hussein earned a perfect score on his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). 

This achievement earned Hussein many awards as well as an intern opportunity with Pathologists Lancet Kenya. Hussein is currently studying Electrical and Information Engineering at The University of Nairobi. 

ENOW Rahma hassan

freshman at fatih University 

Enow comes from a polygamous community in the Eastern Province of Kenya. Even though girls are often marginalized in this area and committed in child marriage, Enow's father always told her she was a shining star. Her mother, while uneducated herself, always tried her hardest to support Enow's educational aspirations. 

Tremendously grateful to her sponsors who supported her scholarship, Enow is also thankful to KEF staff who taught her many leadership skills at our workshops. Enow is currently at Fatih University in Turkey studying medicine. She hopes to someday become a Pediatric Doctor. 



joel mwato

m.b.a, B.COm & C.P.A.

Joel graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in financial management, from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He went on to get his CPA in accounting and is currently employed as a Senior Accountant at Ewaso Ngiro South Development Authority. 

While working, Joel put himself through graduate school. He completed his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Nairobi in 2015. 

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Benter Dongo

Senior Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology 

Benter grew up in a single room house made of iron-sheet, mud and cement in Mathari Slum. Due to her strong academic performance, Benter gained entry into a top high school and went on to graduate with top marks. She currently studies Human Resource Management at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Benter was a recipient of KEF’s Bridge Scholarship, which provides one year of University tuition to exemplary alumni.

Bashir maalim

Junior at university of Nairobi

Bashir comes from a nomadic, Somali community. He grew up with his 19 siblings in a single room home covered by a thatched-roof made of thin basal sticks. Often in primary school, classes with 90 students to 1 teacher occurred under a tree. The scorching sun distracting Bashir from his studies. His teachers were selfless in their relentless efforts to educate their students regardless of the limited resources. 

During his second year in high school, Bashir was sent home multiple times for lack of school fees. His father informed him that this was the end of his schooling. But a kind teacher took him aside and informed him of KEF. 

When Bashir graduated from high school in 2012, he placed 17th nationwide on the KCSE. Bashir is currently at the University of Nairobi, College of Health Sciences in his third year towards completion of a Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery

John Santosian Kamau

Graduate of The University of Nairobi

Growing up, John, his four brothers and grandmother had to make due with sharing one bed. With no solid enclosure, their home was exposed to the elements. Rainy days were particularly hard. Although nights will a full moon were pleasant due to their lack of electricity. 

Before receiving a KEF scholarship, John would have never dreamed of growing up to be a professional. Last fall, he graduated from University of Nairobi with a degree in Environmental Engineering. 

John is the founder of Africa Nomads Conservation, a group of environment conservationists working to save Kenyan wildlife from poachers. 

Ann wairimu

student at kenya institute of management

Due to lack of funds, Ann spent 10 years at home between elementary and high school. After receiving a KEF high school scholarship, the Principal at her school helped keep her true age a secret from her classmates.

Currently, Ann is a night student at Kenya Institute of Management to receive a diploma in Business Management. She is employed as a Depot Manager with Axon Energy.  

Karen Lerindo

Junior at Lakeland University, Wisconsin

Karen graduated high school second in her class with a A- on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). She is currently on full scholarship at Lakeland University in Wisconsin, U.S. She is studying international business.

In 2015, Karen received an internship at Rockline Industries in their logistics and supply chain management department.

Charles Neepe

Graduate of Strathmore University

Charles grew up in a home made of wooden sticks and cow dung with his mother and seven siblings. Working as a nomadic pastoralist, his mother became the sole provider after his father died. Without a KEF scholarships, he would not have been able to attend high school.

Charles went on to attend Strathmore University. He is currently employed as an accountant with the global NGO, Islamic Relief Worldwide. In this work, Charles is able to pay it forward. Charles' work assists displaced persons and asylum seekers within the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab. He is also now able to pay for his younger siblings school fees.