Our Story

A Journey original Gentle Bells buildingThe Kijabe Children's Education Fund story began in 2007 when Nancy Mering and three friends went to Kenya to visit Nancy”s daughter who was working in a hospital in Kijabe. While in Kenya, they were introduced to Esther Waweru, founder and headmistress of Gentle Bells Preparatory School, a preschool in Longonot, an impoverished town, in the Rift Valley. Discouraged by the terrible conditions in the public schools, Esther started a school of her own in the most rudimentary conditions.  A daily feeding program  was a crucial element in providing for the children nutritionally, educationally, and  spiritually. Esther's determination, sacrifice and dedication to the children of Longonot was impressive and inspiring. kcef-formsA New Mission The women returned to the U.S. determined to partner with Esther to help her realize her ambitions. The women felt the wind (Kijabe in Masai) of the Spirit moving through that dedicated teacher, moving in that place to change the lives of children. and also moving in the sense of purpose in their own lives. This was the beginning of the Kijabe Children’s Education Fund. Supporting Kenyans’  Efforts In the years since KCEF has partnered with other Kenyan schools, organizations, and ministries to help feed children, provide for capital improvements, enhance educational strategies, train teachers, and provide educational opportunities for disadvantaged children through scholarships to camping programs and secondary schools.   Partners with a Purpose Specifically, KCEF has expanded its mission by supporting feeding programs at three additional schools in the slums of Nairobi: Mawewa, Kicoshep and Karem.  To assist with the agricultural efforts at Gentle Bells School, KCEF affiliated with Care of Creation for organic farming. To bring students the benefits of experiential education KCEF, teamed with Tanari for a nature camp and social education through weekend experiences and a weeklong summer program. Most recently, KCEF has affiliated with One Laptop per Child to provide laptops and teacher training in the use of computers to enhance their teaching and student learning.