Precious Sisters was founded by Gerald Maithya in 2005, in memory of his sister who died when she was 4 years old.
Gerald wanted to commemorate her short life and his idea was to offer girls from poor backgrounds in his home country of Kenya the gift of an education – to give others the opportunity that his sister never had.
We work with four schools across Kenya, selecting bright girls from underprivileged homes to receive sponsorship from us. Sponsorship from Precious Sisters means:
We typically sponsor 90+ girls in school at any one time. 80+ girls have completed their secondary schooling, with over 90% going on to university. To date, we have helped nearly 180 girls receive the education they might never have had.
Two boards of trustees manage the charity and its work – one in the UK and the other in Kenya. We have been a UK registered charity since 2006 and we registered as an NGO in Kenya in 2011. Trustees bring a breadth of experience from educational, charitable and business sectors and a number of trustees sit on both Boards.
“As the Programme Manager I run the charity on a day-to-day basis in Kenya. I liaise with the schools’ administration on the key processes that we carry out through the year” – Anne Waweru
Ann Waweru, our Programme Manager, ensures that our mission is delivered, on the ground in Kenya. She ensures that the aims of the charity are met, as well as supporting the girls. Her activities include
I first visited Kenya in 1999 and have returned many times since. It is a wonderful country, entrancing in its natural beauty, yet harrowing in the injustice of the widespread poverty that affects so many. There is so much potential; there are so many reasons to be optimistic about the country’s future, but Kenya’s emergence as a land of opportunity is still hampered by the inaccessibility of secondary education to so many of its poorest citizens.
When Gerald came to me with his idea for Precious Sisters back in 2005, I knew that this could be one way in which to make a real difference, however minutely, where it really matters. By giving bright young women from the poorest backgrounds their chance to shine, we fundamentally improve the future of the whole country. For women are the future of Africa and education equips them to make that future brighter. I am so pleased to be a small part of their journey.
I first became aware of the work of Precious Sisters on a business trip to Kenya, and realised what a simple and brilliant idea it is. Giving “Bright Girls the Chance to Shine” is a great cause. I was very lucky to travel with work and through seeing different places I realised how fortunate I had been due to the quirk of fate that meant I was born where and when I was. I have had opportunities and choices available to me that should be available to more people. Precious Sisters helps open doors for people who have had them closed to them through no fault of their own.
I am pleased to be able to help Precious Sisters deliver on its ambition, and open up opportunities through helping support the Precious Sisters get a Secondary Education. I am also proud that this helps support the UN Global Goals of Quality Education.
I have lived in Africa for over twenty years and have seen how important education is. I am married to a Kenyan, and her family is able to what it does because my father in law was the first in his family to go to school.
I have worked with charities which support street children and orphans for many years, and despite their desperate backgrounds you see in their eyes the talent and drive that some of the children possess. For those of us who come from privileged Western backgrounds this is humbling and inspirational. The ones who make the transition from the cycle of poverty that they were born into to a life where they can make their own choices are driven by the creed that ‘It doesn’t matter where I have come from, look where I am going.’
I oversee the operational side of Precious Sisters and have been doing so since 2008, and it is wonderful to see some of the girls that we sponsored back then, having graduated with university degrees, now starting on their careers. Some now come and mentor the girls who are in school. They have grown from the painfully shy girls with no idea where their lives were going into confident, independent minded young women who I know will make a positive difference to their families and communities.
Seeing the girls develop over time is what drives me. These are bright girls who deserve a chance.
I am currently the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Ltd, a Diageo subsidiary in Kenya. I have held a number of senior positions in leading organizations such as the President – Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Deputy Chief Executive Telkom Kenya Ltd and Managing Director Cadbury Kenya, after early career roles in marketing and manufacturing.
I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and Technology from Nairobi University and an MBA- Marketing emphasis. I am a Trustee of the United States International University, Kenya.
I am passionate about girls’ education and am proud to serve as Chair of Precious Sisters in Kenya. I believe that educating women will be equal to educating whole communities. Educating women will therefore lead to improved livelihoods for families, communities and development of the country at large.
I am an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Certified Company Secretary. My areas of specialty are Commercial and Banking law and Corporate Governance. I attended Precious Blood Secondary School, Riruta and thereafter Moi University, Eldoret where I attained a degree in Law. I am a member of the Precious Blood High School Alumni whose main mission is to exploit the old girls capacity and networks to support and lend a helping hand to the girls in our Alma mater to achieve their full potential.
I have broad Legal experience having worked with private law firms (Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates), Non- Governmental Organizations (The Children’s Foundation (CRADLE) & Kenya Human Rights Commission) and most recently the Corporate Sector (Barclays Bank of Kenya, Orange Telkom, Family Bank Ltd & Kenya Commercial Bank). I am a member of the Law Society of Kenya, in which I serves as a member of the In -House lawyers Committee.
I live by the mantra “You have two hands so that you can use one to give and the other to lend a helping hand”. I am also a fervent believer that educating the girl child is the lifeline to development. It is for this reason that I have dedicated time in the last five years since I joined Precious Sisters to mentoring young girls, until my appointment to the Board of Trustees in March this year.
My sister Caroline was the inspiration behind the creation of Precious Sisters. She passed away at the age of four and I wanted to do something appropriate to celebrate her short life. The idea was to offer young girls from deprived backgrounds the gift of education and the chance to fulfill their dreams. Little did I know that this humble idea would touch the hearts of so many people who have kindly joined us in sponsoring the education and mentoring of these young and ambitious girls. Progress since 2005 has made my family and I feel very proud – a lot of girls have benefitted from a secondary education and, to date, 91% of the school leavers have attended university: a heart-warming outcome in Caroline’s memory.
I have been fortunate. I received a good education, achieving a BSc in Physics & Mathematics at the University of Nairobi, before beginning my career at Cadbury’s in the UK. As well as gaining a wide ranging commercial experience there, I also met some good people who helped me launch Precious Sisters and who now generously give their time and support. Thanks to Cadbury, I was also able to fulfill one my dreams when I obtained an MBA at the London Business School. In 2014 I came back home and I am now at Barclays, working as Chief of Staff in Kenya, following 5 years of working at Barclays in the UK in different functions and teams since 2008.
Through our Precious Sisters charity, we are developing and mentoring bright girls who have the potential to impact not only their family and their immediate communities, but also the Kenyan nation as a whole. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and grateful that, through Precious Sisters, Caroline Ndoti Maithya’s memory can live beyond our time.
I am a certified accountant and hold a MBA in Finance from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. I have over 15 years of leadership experience working in finance and commercial roles in the UK, Uganda, Mozambique and Kenya.
Education has always been an area of keen interest for me and I look forward to learning more about the education sector as well as contributing my knowledge and experience with regards to Precious Sisters. Being a lifelong learner, I am passionate about the transformational nature of education and hence a keen advocate for creating opportunities through participation. I wish to see education opportunities extend to even more students in the country.
I enjoy travelling, am an ardent Arsenal fan, enjoy rugby and chess and am looking forward to the challenge of being a proactive and committed Precious Sisters trustee here in Kenya.