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Our Team
Julie Schaller-Schmidt
Executive Director

Julie brings more than a decade of Kenya-based nonprofit management experience to her role at Kenya Works. She joined as the executive director in 2014 and has since grown the organization--and its impact--exponentially.


Her strong background in psycho-social development drives the Kenya Works vision of growing opportunity with dignity for all. Her experience in philanthropic, grant-giving and mission-driven work in her own U.S. community informs the Kenya Works strategy of building sustainable, holistic programs. This work is fulfilled through deep partnerships with affected communities where all stakeholders play a role in developing, managing and ensuring progress.


Degrees in Education, Botany and Counseling contribute to her deep understanding of community and opportunity development. Since her first trip to Kenya in 2008, Julie now makes several trips each year building on connection and community, a foundation for all Kenya Works programs.

Caroline Wanjiru Gitau

Program Manager

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. 

Benjamin Makori

Social Worker

Benjamin Makori is passionate about helping young people overcome vulnerable circumstances. He served as a social worker at Miale ya Tumaini, a feeding and rescue centre in Ongata Rongai, where he helped mentor and provide stability for children experiencing homelessness and other basic rights violations. 


Prior to joining Miale ya Tumaini, Benjamin worked as a volunteer and intern in the Department of Children’s Services, gathering extensive experience managing children’s welfare issues in the context of the broader community circumstance. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in community development from St. Paul’s University Kenya.

Ronoh K. Josphat

Social Worker

Passionate about implementing sustainable community projects in support of under-served communities, Ronoh strives to empower and bring change. He is an expert in creating awareness and sensitization campaigns. 

Before joining Kenya Works, he volunteered at Ongata Rongai Women Works of Charity in Kware slums in Ongata Rongai where he focused on impoverished orphaned children and families affected by HIV/AIDS.

Ronoh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies from The Catholic University of Eastern Africa and a diploma in Community Development and Social Work from Marist International University College.

Diana Wambui Ngugi

Executive Director, Miale ya Tumaini

With nearly two decades of psychosocial counseling in non-governmental organizations in Kenya, Diana is deeply experienced in the intersectional, multidimensional issues of poverty--including the role of gender.


Moved to act on behalf of the hungry children of her Kware community, she leveraged her skills, training and passion to found Miale ya Tumaini, a community center focused on poverty reduction through feeding, empowerment and psychosocial services. Kenya Works is the primary funding partner for this center.

In addition to working with the women and children of Miale, she fluidly supports other Kenya Works programming, such as facilitating Kenya Works Community Works Human Rights workshops. She and husband Robert have six children of their own. She holds an MA in Counseling Psychology.

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.

Okuyo Kenedy Omondi

Kenya Works Consultant–Homa Bay County

Kenedy leads the coordination of Kenya Works programs in vast Homa Bay County, overseeing scholarships and Makini Pad distributions. 


With more than a decade of teaching experience, Kenedy has hands-on knowledge of the effects of “period poverty” on school girls. Period poverty is the deprivation of menstrual supplies and sexual and reproductive health education that affects millions of impoverished adolescent girls in Kenya (and around the world). In response, he has overseen the distribution of more than 10,000 Kenya Works Makini Pads kits and empowerment curriculum across Homa Bay.


Kendy holds a certificate in education from Meru Teachers Training College and a bachelor's degree in arts from Mt. Kenya University. He and his wife Elizabeth, a children’s rights activist, are dedicated to ensuring opportunity for the children of Homa Bay County. 

Peterson Murithi John


When Kenya Works purchased its first vehicle in 2021, Peterson joined the team as our official driver. He has been a driver with Kenya Works partner VICODEC since 2016 and has over a decade of professional driving experience navigating Kenyan traffic, roadways and countryside. In his new role, he will be safely transporting Kenya Works facilitators as they cross the countryside delivering human rights training, girls empowerment initiatives and Makini Pads. 

Peterson is a skilled defensive driver knowledgeable in all Kenya National Transport and Safety rules and regulations. He is also conversant in vehicle mechanics and emergency first aid. He makes Nairobi traffic look easy (it's not) and enjoys working with young people both in church and at school. He is a committed team member honored to serve his country through the Kenya Works mission. 

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.

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.

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 the development efforts at Kenya Works developing the Makini Pad, a superior, eco-friendly, reusable sanitary pad, supporting healthy and effective means for Menstrual Hygiene Management. She oversees the Makini Pad production team on the VICODEC campus.


Makini Pad Production Team


Members of the production team have become voices for the girls of Kenya on a mission to end Period Poverty -- the problem of girls in poverty not having access to this basic human need. Team members regularly travel with the training team sharing their own stories with government officials as well as the girls receiving the pads.

Johnson Gachuri & Winnie Migwi

Founder & Director, Transform a Person Africa (TAPA)

Johnson Migwi founded TAPA in 2007 in response to the tremendous need he saw while visiting Kibera Slums outside of Nairobi, Kenya. His wife Winnie joined TAPA full time in 2014.


The center currently serves more than 350 students, providing quality primary education and a daily feeding program of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The center produces school uniforms as a social enterprise to help fund the program. This also creates vocational training and employment in tailoring and knitting.


Johnson holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Management from Daystar University. Winnie brings a wealth of experience working with US and British Non Governmental Organizations, World Concern International and AMREF.

David Muiruri


David has been a part of the Kenya Works Team for over 10 years. His love of Kenya and its resources led him to the tourism/safari business for more than 20 years. A chance meeting with Mary Stusek as she began her humanitarian travels in Kenya evolved into a long-term collaborative relationship for Kenya Works and our partners.

Through his extensive travels, David has deep knowledge working across Kenya's rich and diverse tribal communities and geography. His insight and problem-solving in helping people uncover local opportunities is matched by his huge heart, intellect and great wit, serving as a true inspiration for all. David has personally taken on the responsibility of assisting many orphans and vulnerable children throughout his life. We are always thankful to have him on our team. 

Mary Gerritts Stusek

Founder (Retired)

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 was 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.


She retired as executive director of the organization in 2014, but remains an active advocate for Kenya Works.

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