Our Team

Julie Schaller-Schmidt

Executive Director -

Julie made her first trip to Kenya in January 2008 to serve as oversight for a U.S.-based foundation supporting projects within the country. She has made several trips in this role and has worked to support and develop programming that has lead to sustainable, holistic programs within the projects themselves. Her degrees in Education, Botany and Counseling have given her a strong foundation in understanding the issues, as well as her work with her own US community in the philanthropic, grant giving and mission driven work.

Her husband and family of five children support her as she continues the work begun by Mary Gerritts Stusek as Kenya Works looks for new and powerful ways to support communities throughout Kenya. While a US based nonprofit, Julie and the Kenya Works team are listening to communities throughout Kenya and finding ways to partner for positive, empowering change.

Caroline Wanjiru Gitau

Social Worker -

Caroline Wanjiru Gitau joined Kenya Works as a social worker in May, 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Communication and Economics she brings a variety of key skills to Kenya Works. She has worked with many communities in Kenya and has a thorough understanding of the many cultures, religions and diversity of its people. From mobilizing youth in leadership-building forums to AIDS/HIV awareness, Caroline is driven by her passion to empower and give back to her Kenyan community. 

Joe Wachira

Executive Director, VICODEC -

Joe Wachira is on a mission to uplift the community of Ongata Rongai, Kenya, with the services offered at VICODEC, a community-based organization he founded and directs. After finishing degrees in journalism and theology, Joe was moved to respond to the immense poverty he witnessed within the slums and especially in support of the children, who are its most vulnerable.

Joe’s immense heart is matched by his knowledge and skill base, which continues to be incredibly valuable to the Kenya Works team. Joe serves Kenya Works with the same vision and passion he used to build VICODEC into the wonderful organization it is today.

Michael Adie

Program Manager, Kenya Works Community Works

Michael Adie has been a friend, consultant and facilitator for Kenya Works in our Kenya Works Community Works (KWCW) workshops since 2014. He holds a Bachelor of Education Arts, Diploma in Law, Certificate in Community Development and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in private law at Mount Kenya University while also teaching at MCEDO High School, one of Kenya Works partners.

His compassion along with his education make him a perfect Kenya Works team member. Michael was recently nominated by the government of Kenya to attend an East Africa training in gender- based violence and gender mainstreaming. Michael will continue his lifelong calling for learning along with advocating for the rights of the most vulnerable in Kenya.

Catherine Chimba

Social Worker -

Catherine Chimba joined Kenya Works in February, 2017, as a social worker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work, which will undoubtedly help her in her position’s responsibilities. In addition, she has been trained in counseling, leadership skills, research, voluntary counseling and testing as well as home based care.   She has worked with many communities in Kenya and has a thorough understanding of the many cultures, religions and diversity of its people.   Catherine’s expertise as well as heart will support existing programs and support our growing partnerships.   Her passion of helping vulnerable groups and her love for her country of Kenya makes her a wonderful addition to the Kenya Works team.

Felisters Musyoki

Head of Vocational Training, VICODEC -

Felisters Musyoki is as creative as she is kind. As the Head of the Vocational training at VICODEC, she prepares adults for careers in beauty, tailoring, and food and beverage preparation/service. With her diplomas in Clothing Technology and Technical Education, the students receive a strong foundation to meet the demands for employment and self-sufficiency. She lead in the Kenya Works development of the Makini Pad, a superior, eco-friendly, reusable sanitary pad, supporting healthy and effective means for menstrual management.

Felisters and the amazing Makini Pad (pictured left), are leading the charge for women, their health and dignity. 

Makini Pad Production Team

a large group of smiling Kenyan women dressed in white holding up blue Makini Pad pouches

Jane Kamau, Ann Waiyaki and Faith Wangai

Social Workers -,,

Jane Kamau, Ann Waiyaki and Faith Wangai make contributions everyday to improve the lives of the VICODEC community and the greater community of Kenya. They have been instrumental in all aspects of Kenya Works, using their social work and community development education to educate, promote social change and development, and empower those they come in contact.

At the heart of these women is the belief that service, justice, dignity and worth are human rights that all should have. They are passionate and committed to making a difference in the lives of the people they serve and Kenya Works and is thankful for having such compassion, and knowledge, on the Kenya Works team.

Diana Wambui Ngugi

Executive Director,  Miale ya Tumaini -

With nearly two decades of psychosocial counseling within non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Kenya, Diana is deeply experienced in the intersectional and multidimensional issues of poverty, including the role of gender. She was moved to act on behalf of the hungry children of her Kware community, and leveraged her skills, training and passion to found Miale ya Tumaini, a community center focused on poverty reduction through feeding, empowerment and psychosocial services.

In addition to working with the women and children of Miale, she and her husband Robert have six children of their own. She brings her unique skills to a variety of interrelated Kenya Works efforts, and fluidly supports programs both within and outside of Miale ya Tumaini in partnership with Kenya Works including KWCW facilitator. She holds an MA in Counseling Psychology.

David Muiruri


David has been a part of the Kenya Works Team for the past 10 years. His love of Kenya and its resources led him to the tourism/safari business for the past 20+ years. A chance meeting with Mary Stusek as she began her humanitarian travels in Kenya has evolved into a wonderful opportunity for our partners in Kenya and our entire team.  Through his extensive travels, David has had a rich opportunity to see different cultures and communities throughout Kenya.  His insight and problem solving approach is an asset, especially when paired with his tremendous desire to help people meet their own basic needs. His huge heart is matched by his intellect and great wit which together makes for inspiring discussion, insights and fun!  David has personally taken on the responsibility of assisting many orphans and vulnerable children throughout his life and now he is “taking on” the people of Kenya. We are so happy to have him!

Mary Gerritts Stusek


Kenya Works was started by Mary Gerritts Stusek believing we all have the ability to be a catalyst for change. Since its inception in 2004, Kenya Works has supported numerous projects throughout Kenya that empower individuals and communities.

Kenya Works is a natural progression of Mary’s degree in Anthropology (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Archaeology (Oxford University). She also studied at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy, so that Kenya Works would have a strong foundation and be an instrument for successful and lasting change. While retiring from her executive director role, Mary continues her involvement with Kenya Works as a member of the board of directors. 

Board of Directors

Supporting Julie is the Board of Directors comprised of:

Kay Knuth (Knuth Financial Planning), Treasurer

Kevin Wirth (US AutoForce), Secretary

Marjorie Young (Retired Lead Counsel US Venture), Legal

Anne Morrissey, Marketing

Scott Ehlers (Image Studios), Photography/Visual Storytelling

Mary Gerritts Stusek