Who We Are

Our Mission: Providing education and healthcare to vulnerable women and children affected by HIV.

We have a Vision of a community where all people are empowered to lead healthy and dignified lives with reduced vulnerability to HIV.

In 1994, in Isiolo, Kenya, a group of local women founded Pepo La Tumaini ('Wind of Hope' in Swahili) to make this vision a reality. We have come a long way since they built the first mud huts and gathered around the fire to support each other. We have grown in size, services and members – but our mission remains the same.

What We believe in

  • Respect for all human life.
  • Easy access to healthcare for the local, rural community.
  • A holistic education system which incorporates psycho-social care, vocational training and lessons in practical life skills, in addition to academic learning for children affected by HIV and poverty.
  • Building self-confidence and community spirit through the arts.
  • Reducing dependency on external resources and encouraging a self-sustaining local community.
  • Positive living and a life free from stigma for those infected and/or affected by HIV/AIDS.
  • Promoting understanding and awareness of HIV/AIDS to decrease transmission and discrimination.
  • Building leadership within the poorest, most marginalised young people, to become change-makers and governors of their own future.

Our Story

In 1994, Isiolo was a desolate, outback town, experiencing some of its most violent tribal clashes. In response to the spread of HIV, a group of women came together to spread messages of hope for those who were abandoned and banished from society. Among them was Pepo La Tumaini founder, Khadija Omar. Initially, Khadija and the women supported people with AIDS during the final stages of their illness so they could die with peace and dignity. As the ostracised community grew, the nutritional and emotional needs of the ailing became greater – Khadija led marches and protests through town, with the sick in wheelbarrows, demanding soap and blankets from the nearest government hospital. In 1996, the 'forgotten' community built their first group structure – the mud hut clinic to serve those in need of intensive care. In 1998 the project formally registered as a community based organisation in Kenya and began collaborating with other aid and government bodies to address the needs of the population and stall the transmission of HIV. Over the years, more buildings and permanent community structures arose, all built by those that live here, to meet the many social and economic problems stemming from the HIV pandemic.

In 2000, our nursery was erected to provide education for the young orphans (now an accredited Early Child Development centre). Nutritional support became possible through a small garden farm and partnerships with the likes of UNICEF and WFP, and a home-based care team organised themselves to provide outreach to those in need beyond the Pepo La Tumaini grounds. In 2007 the Senior School was founded to provide primary level education to children who had missed out on primary school. The Senior School is critical to our holistic model of care. It gives our children the chance to be children, and the opportunity to determine their own future. Under the umbrella of the Senior School, we provide vocational training and art therapy, alongside emotional support and love; novel and as well as important life skills for children who have suffered serious trauma and discrimination.

The clinic grew from humble beginnings to a professional healthcare centre, promoting the importance of stigma-free, confidential care at the regional district level. In 2014 the clinic became self-sustaining; our high quality of care attracts patients who can afford to pay, which in turn subsidises those that can't – meaning the clinic can continue to serve the poorest of the poor without external donations.

We remain a local effort, passionate about change and empowerment, with self-sustainability as our ultimate goal. Our community is now responsible for conflict transformation as far north as the Somalian border, and policy-changing advocacy at the UN, while remaining a centre of hope and preparedness in the heart of Isiolo – with our members at the core of everything we do. Thanks to our community, our founders, visionary leader (and the hundreds of children named 'Khadija' in her honour!), friends around the globe, and most importantly our children – we have become a true story of hope.

Where We Are

Although Kenya's bustling capital and beautiful safari lodges attract tourists from all over the world, the country is still home to a large number of people living in poverty and surviving hand-to-mouth. 43% of the population survive on under $1 a day. Isiolo is an arid, transit town in North Eastern Kenya, one of the most under-served regions in the country. With a population of around 200,000 people, the main mode of living is nomadic due to infrequent rains. Drought in the rural areas causes people to move their livestock many kilometers in order to find water and grazing. Today, the nomadic tribes who have lived in Isiolo the longest, face violent displacement from wealthy landowners and still fight each other for land and resources. Pastoralists are struggling to sustain themselves.

Isiolo is an urban centre on the edge of the desert facing rapid development due to it's strategic position. The great north road passes through Isiolo up to Marsabit and Moyale on the border with Ethiopia. When nomadic people reach Isiolo from the desert, hungry and vulnerable, they find no public support, but a strong market demand for commercial sex work, driven by the travellers passing through. Many of our school children have been forced into such work before coming to Pepo La Tumaini. 51% of the population of Isiolo have no access to education, which significantly slows progress to eliminate female circumcision, under-age marriage, rape and child labour.

Where We Are

Although Kenya's bustling capital and beautiful safari lodges attract tourists from all over the world, the country is still home to a large number of people living in poverty and surviving hand-to-mouth. 43% of the population survive on under $1 a day. Just a few hours drive from the capital you can find villagers and subsistence farmers who have very little formal education. Isiolo is an arid, transit town in North Eastern Kenya, one of the most under-served regions in the country. With a population of around 200,000 people, the main mode of living is nomadic due to infrequent rains. Drought in the rural areas causes people to move their livestock many kilometers in order to find water and grazing. The nomadic people in the region are deeply in touch with nature and come from an ancestry of great tradition. Survival is tough, and historically tribes have had violent clashes during drought due to overcrowding of the limited available water sources. Today, the nomadic tribes who have lived in Isiolo the longest, face violent displacement from wealthy landowners and still fight each other for land and resources. Pastoralists are struggling to sustain themselves.

Isiolo is an urban centre on the edge of the desert facing rapid development due to it's strategic position. The great north road passes through Isiolo up to Marsabit and Moyale on the border with Ethiopia. This road was built to promote trade and other economic activities, but also allows more sinister business to occur in the stop-off town, including trafficking of guns, illegal contraband and people. When nomadic people reach Isiolo from the desert, hungry and vulnerable, they find no public support, but a strong market demand for commercial sex work, driven by the travellers passing through. Many of our school children have been forced into such work before coming to Pepo La Tumaini. 51% of the population of Isiolo have no access to education, which significantly slows progress to eliminate female circumcision, under-age marriage, rape and child labour. Those from the rural areas are most vulnerable to exploitation and discrimination in the town. There is huge need for the public and private sectors in Isiolo to become more inclusive of all their constituents and embrace the multi-tribal, rich diversity of their county, promoting equality for all.

Governance

Pepo La Tumaini is a registered charity in Kenya, UK and the US, with a certified funding arm in Switzerland.

Administration costs are kept to the absolute minimum with virtually all the money raised by the foundation going directly to the programme. The registered organisations are:

Pepo La Tumaini

Suite 779
28 Old Brompton Road
London SW7 3SS

info@pepolatumaini.org

Tumaini Charitable Association

In Switzerland please contact us
for payments by cheque or
for our bank details at

info@pepolatumaini.org

Tumaini, Inc.

PO Box 1628
New York
NY 10163

tumainiUSA@gmail.com

The programme is governed on the ground by two local steering committees, which meet quarterly to manage the progress of the health and education projects. The steering committees take responsibility for the approval of budgetary strategy, scope, realisation of benefits, and the monitoring of risks, quality and timeliness. Local leaders in health and education are involved in overseeing project delivery and safeguarding the values of Pepo La Tumaini.

Sarah Kruger – Executive Director

Sarah first volunteered at Pepo La Tumaini in 2009 and stayed on to work in a number of creative and administrative roles. As well as co-ordinating project activities, Sarah is the primary liason between the charity and the programme. She is instrumental in both fundraising, managing funds and providing transparent accountability to our stakeholders and donors.

Kenyan Board

Khadija Omar - Director

Khadija Omar started the programme as a women’s self help group in 1994 as part of a community owned response to the growing challenges posed by HIV/AIDS in Isiolo. She has since received commendations from the UN and the President of Kenya for her contribution to the national response to HIV/AIDS in Kenya.

Farhiya Abdallah - Secretary

Farhiya grew up at Pepo La Tumaini as a youth leaderand helps to manage the ECDE nursery. She works as the assistant chief of central sub location in Isiolo responsible for community security, administration and sensitisation.

Yusuf Doyo - Treasurer

Yusuf has worked with Pepo La Tumaini since 1998 as an accountant providing transparency and accountability of the income and expenditure of funds. Yusuf is a member of the Ministry of Public Works in Isiolo.

Hassan Mulla – Board Member

Hassan has been a continuous supporter and advisor to Pepo La Tumaini contributing towards its ongoing development and security. Hassan is an accountant for BCD travel in Nairobi.

UK Board

Maria Teresa Heuze - Chairperson

Maria first visited Pepo La Tumaini in 2005 and helped support the Pepo La Tumaini Community organization in 2006 and 2007. In 2007 Maria and Jane Newman initiated the idea of a safe boarding school for children at risk. Maria is the Chairperson of Tumaini Education Trust in the UK and Chairperson of the Tumaini Charitable Association in Switzerland.

Shelley Irwin - Secretary

Shelley Irwin has worked for Joe Dryer for 10 years and is Secretary of the Tumaini Education Trust in the UK and the Tumaini Charitable Association in Switzerland.

Joseph Dryer - Treasurer

Joe Dryer is an experienced investment banker who is based in the UK and who has held senior management positions with a number of leading European and UK investment banks, namely, Dresdner Kleinwort, BNP Paribas and Hambros Bank. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of Heritage Capital UK. Joe is the chairman of the US charity.

Catriona Spiller – Board Member

Catriona first volunteered at Pepo La Tumaini in 2006 inspiring her to further her studies in health and development. Catriona works as a health analyst for TJ Meyer Family Foundation and has helped to spearhead the Mama Tumaini Clinic towards self-sustainability and national recognition.

Pamela Clough – Board Member

Pamela has spent the last 10 years working as a lawyer in London for a network of companies. She first visited Pepo La Tumaini in 2013 and was inspired by the confidence, happiness and achievement in the children she met. Pamela has been a supporter of the project ever since and now brings her corporate experience to the team to focus on supporting our long term financial sustainability.

Fundraising & Marketing Committee UK

Lisa Lubbock - Committee Chair

Lisa has been a supporter of Pepo la Tumaini for several years. As chairman of the fundraising committee she is responsible for various events to raise funds for the school. Lisa's background is that of a makeup artist with the BBC and more recently an Interior designer.

Roxane Marmion

Roxane first visited Pepo La Tumaini in 2008 and has been a supporter ever since. Having worked for Tommy's Campaign in 1995 and later as one of the founders and Trustees of Chase Children’s Hospice, she has experience in fundraising particularly for charities supporting children.

Suite 779, 28 Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3SS. Pepo La Tumaini is a company limited by guarantee in England (No. 9515118) and a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 1161928). Registered office: Greytown House, 221-227 High Street, Orpington, Kent, BR6 0NZ