Jitegemee’s mission is to provide educational and integrated support services for vulnerable children and youth in Machakos, Kenya. We work to remove the obstacles of poverty that prevent children from attaining their educational goals. Our child-centered holistic programming includes school support, vocational and livelihoods training for youth and their caregivers, healthcare and education, and psycho-social support. We are committed to helping our young people gain decent employment, live dignified lives, and contribute to their community.
Verity Norman-Tichawangana, Executive Director, splits her time between Machakos, Kenya and Amherst, MA, U.S.A. She joined Jitegemee in 2016, and oversees our fundraising, program management, and strategic development. Verity is currently pursuing a PhD in International Development Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Verity is originally from Cape Town, South Africa, and has worked extensively in international development in Zimbabwe and the U.S.A., most recently for World Education, Inc. She holds a Master’s degree in International Education also from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cape Town.
Jennifer Katiwa, Country Director, joined our team in 2018 and is responsible for the day-to-day program management of our Machakos campus, overseeing the programs and operations staff and providing leadership, training, and support. In 2020, Jennifer was named an African Visionary Fellow by longtime Jitegemee partner, Segal Family Foundation. Previously, Jennifer worked as an Education Officer with Windle International in Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Nairobi and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education (Biology and Chemistry) from Egerton University. Jennifer is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in the University of Nairobi in Educational Administration and Planning.
Peter Muasya, Economic Empowerment Manager, oversees Jitegemee’s economic empowerment project, which includes our Street Business School program, the Machakos Clean Energy Project, and Youth Empowerment Training. In 2019-2020, Muasya was named a Metis Leadership Fellow. Muasya is a Jitegemee graduate and served on the building committee for our education centre. He is a graduate from the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Muasya is a CPA and is currently enrolled in an online Master’s program in economics offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Joshua Muema, School Support Manager, joined Jitegemee in 2017 and oversees our Secondary and Post-Secondary Education Support Programs. As our social worker, he provides guidance and counselling to all Jitegemee students and is also part of the Vocational class and Street Business School teaching team. Joshua previously worked as a social worker at the International Centre for AIDS Care and Treatment Program and Machakos Level 5 Hospital. In 2020, Joshua graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Development from St. Paul’s University in Machakos. He also has a Diploma in Community Development and Social Work from Thika Technical Training Institute.
Faith Kiliku, Program Officer, oversees our Primary School Support Program, as well as the Feeding Program for all 200 of Jitegemee’s students. She also heads the Health Program and teaches the Living Values and Health curriculum for our Vocational Program students. Previously, Faith has worked with different NGOs in Uganda that promote sexual and reproductive health within marginalized groups. Faith holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Miriam Mutindi Mativo, Operations and Finance Officer, joined Jitegemee in September 2019 and oversees our Finance department and Operations. She is responsible for overseeing our book of accounts and also supervises any renovations and repairs to our campus. Miriam is also one of the instructors of the Vocational Class teaching team. She is also a Jitegemee graduate, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from Laikipia University, and is currently training to be a Chartered Public Accountant.
Alex Mutiso, Senior Founding Teacher, is a retired teacher from the Ministry of Education’s Adult Education Department who has worked with street children in Machakos for more than two decades. For almost 20 years, Alex was seconded to Jitegemee by the Ministry, and was instrumental in designing Jitegemee’s vocational training program. Following his retirement from the Ministry of Education, Alex continues to lead the Vocational Program teaching team and teaches basic math, literacy, and communication skills to our vocational students. He also helps coordinate our alumni activities.
Florence Mwanzia, Vocational Program Teacher, is seconded to Jitegemee from the Ministry of Education’s Adult and Continuing Education Department. Prior to working with Jitegemee, Florence also worked as a teacher in various research centers and a women’s prison. She holds a diploma in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Nairobi’s Kikuyu Campus, as well as a certification as an Adult Education Teacher.
Veronicah Kioko, Economic Empowerment Assistant, is an alumnus of Jitegemee, who did her secondary schooling at Katoloni Secondary School. She is one of our Street Business School coaches, and also provides support for the Machakos Clean Energy Project as well as the Youth Empowerment Program. She is planning to pursue a diploma in Community Development.
Cecilia Mutisya, Receptionist and Programs Assistant, is the first friendly face you’ll see when you arrive at Jitegemee. She is responsible for receiving all our visitors, and also assists the programming team as a Street Business School coach and as part of our Vocational Class teaching team. Cecilia joined the Jitegemee team in 2018, and is also a Jitegemee alumnus.
Titus Muteti, Communications Officer, joined Jitegemee in 2021 and oversees our print and digital communications. Prior to Jitegemee, Titus worked as a researcher with a number of NGOs in Kenya, including World Vision, ICRAF, and also worked in media development for Jumbo Institute. He graduated from Kisii University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information and Management, Second Class Upper Division, and also holds a Certificate in Media Production with core skills in Video and Sound Production as well as Web Development.