The Kenya Education Fund supports
more than 500 students in roughly 240 high schools, colleges, and universities across all 8 provinces of Kenya and is among the largest NGOs of its kind in terms of the number of high school beneficiaries with 4-year boarding scholarships.
The organizational history of the KEF is uniquely rich as it weaves together the histories of two now legally merged entities, the Nomadic Kenyan Children’s Educational Fund (NKCEF), incorporated in 2001, and the Kenya Education Fund, incorporated in 2005. The NKCEF was formed ten years ago after a group of families from McLean, Virginia accompanied their children’s high school teacher, Joseph Lekuton, on a trip to his homeland of Kenya. The tour included a visit to the semi-arid region in Northern Kenya where Mr. Lekuton grew up – a region rarely visited by tourists where the people are largely nomadic, pushing their cattle and their homes across the desert to follow the scarce grass and water. Several of the women on the trip were particularly moved by the unique challenges the nomadic tribes of Kenya face. Among their major concerns included how nomadic children attended schools when their families constantly moved with their herds. The answer, sadly, was that many children did not attend school. From this simple, yet profound question, these women returned home to form the Nomadic Kenyan Children’s Educational Fund (NKCEF)—a high school scholarship fund that provided Kenyan nomadic children with the consistency of boarding school, the primary form of secondary education in Kenya.
The Kenya Education Fund, on the other hand, began in 2005 as a means of providing school fees to seven Kenyan children whom the founder, Bradley Broder, knew from his service with the US Peace Corps. These children came from destitute families who often struggled to put food on the table. Paying school fees was an impossible dream for them. Together with Dominic Muasya, Brad formed the organizational infrastructure to provide high school scholarships for students across the country from a wide variety of backgrounds—from urban slums to rural villages to nomadic communities.
In 2008, the NKCEF board identified the KEF as an organization with a similar mission and approached Brad Broder and the KEF Board with the proposition of a merger. Both organizations had a mission to educate bright, motivated, poor high school students in Kenya and improving economies of scale was a fundamental goal for both groups. On January 1, 2011 the merger was finalized and a new Virginia-based Kenya Education Fund was born.