We welcome you to our Circle of Hope.
The circle is one of the most common indigenous African symbols representing interconnectedness, unity, cooperation and community. This photo of a circle of children is the inspiration for our name. These orphans have found a caring place of shelter and hope even as they are surrounded by overwhelming poverty, disease and despair in the slums. Our vision is that these children get an education, reach their potential and make a positive difference in the world for themselves and their community.
Our informal educational mission in Kenya began more than 12 years ago by providing orphans in the Good Samaritan Children’s Home with uniforms and primary school fees. In 2007 we established Africa Circle of Hope Foundation (ACOHF) to build on this relationship and expand our efforts to bring people together to raise funds for the education of orphans. Our programs include scholarships for secondary education, university, and professional training institutes to benefit young people living in urban slums and rural areas in Kenya.
The primary mission of ACOHF is education and skill development to help these young people living in poverty build a strong foundation for productive work and a better life. Our programs are strengthened through these unified actions:
ACOHF programs are coordinated and monitored at the grassroots level by our experienced Kenyan board members living in Nairobi and Meru.
We work together with Kenyan educational institutions, professional business leaders and community partners to identify opportunities, create support networks and meet critical needs.
Our integrated wholistic approach includes mentoring, counseling, leadership training and career planning to provide an ongoing circle of support for students.
Sally ChristiansenPresident and Treasurer
Ms. Christiansen, co-founder of ACOHF, has extensive management, finance, operations, and quality process experience from 35 years with Sears Roebuck & Co. where she served as a manager and senior executive. She applies her corporate business and financial experience and proven leadership skills to operations of the Foundation as president and treasurer. As a documentary photographer and public speaker, she also helps educate people about the impact of AIDS and poverty on women and children in Kenya and the mission of Africa Circle of Hope.
Dr. Patricia Kay FelkinsVice President and Secretary
Dr. Patricia Felkins, co-founder of ACOHF, is an organizational development consultant with expertise in communication, marketing, and public relations. She recently retired from the School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago and has written five books on corporate and nonprofit organizations and community programs. Dr. Felkins travels to Kenya to coordinate and monitor ACOHF programs, and facilitate cooperative relationships for educational and economic development initiatives. She has substantial leadership experience with grassroots community programs and establishing collaborative educational partnerships.
Charles Kathurima MwitiDirector
Charles Mwiti is a Kenyan businessman with substantial executive experience and respected leadership in grassroots community development initiatives to help women and children. He is the CEO and owner of Lindberg Holidays and Safaris Ltd., which specializes in travel services for nonprofit and service organizations, and also Chairman of the Kianja Investment Co-operative Society for rural economic development. As our Director of Education, he is the administrator of all of our educational programs with schools, universities and related projects in Kenya.
Rev. Marilyn Makandi BrenchleyDirector
Rev. Brenchley, a longtime resident of Kenya, is a respected community leader in educational and development initiatives in the rural Meru district. Her efforts include working with primary and secondary schools as well as universities and technical colleges, educational scholarships, women’s cooperatives, mission programs, and cultural initiatives. Marilyn Brenchley is also Co-Founder of the Thiiri Centre for Culture, Music and Community Development in Meru, Kenya, As the Program Director at Thiiri Centre, she coordinates and monitors our ACOHF projects for youth. rural women’s entrepreneurship and AIDS support groups in Kenya.
Joyce Khanyunya MoshaDirector
Joyce Mosha is a Kenyan with experience in both Kenya and Tanzania in organizing and promoting community initiatives that provide support and funding for small businesses, agricultural projects and community development. She has extensive knowledge and skills related to women’s cooperatives, creative entrepreneurship, vocational training and community programs. Her work focuses on improving social and economic conditions and reducing poverty for women and children. She established Lemara Women Saccos Ltd., a thriving investment and microloan organization, involving more than 300 women. This initiative is supported by a local bank, which set up a community branch for this innovative program.
Dr. Raymond Sambuli MoshaDirector
Dr. Mosha is a leader in local and national initiatives to improve the quality of education and vocational training for youth with increased community participation and cultural understanding. He founded the Tumaini Vocational Training and Community Development Center, in Arusha, Tanzania. With a Ph.D. and three Master’s degrees he has taught at major universities in the U.S. and Europe. Dr. Mosha has authored books and articles about African educational systems, indigenous knowledge and spirituality. He is currently teaching at Tumaini University in Arusha and is a member of the Arusha City Council.
Suzan Strong is an experienced communications specialist in web-based strategies that utilize strategic marketing, media and communication to help bring communities together. She is a talented web designer and database manager integrating her substantial technical and creative media skills. As associate director of the New Mexico Broadcasters Association, Suzan brings valuable experience across diverse digital platforms to key stakeholders including media industry, educational institutions, business, government and community organizations. She lives in Albuquerque with her family.