Caren Wakoli is a Certified leadership coach, transformational leadership trainer, certified 7-Habits of Highly Effective People trainer, democracy & good governance champion, and social entrepreneur who delights in mentoring young women and men to be able to achieve their greatest potential in life. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF); an organization that focuses on raising young people as positive agents of change in society, through effective participation in governance and decision-making processes. She has over 17 years’ experience of doing youth empowerment work in Kenya and Africa at large. She has taken part in various policy formulation and implementation processes in Kenya and internationally. She serves in various boards, governmental and non-governmental.
Caren has received several recognitions for her commitment to youth and women empowerment, democracy and good governance. She was a finalist in the CEO Global Most Influential Women in Business and Government (Civil Society and welfare category) 2017. She has been profiled as one of the most influential women in East Africa, by the East African Standard Newspaper in 2017. She is one of few African leaders to join the Obama Foundation African Leaders Program 2018. She is a YALI East African Fellow 2014 and Director; East African Acumen Fellow 2014, Spark* Kenya Changemaker 2013 and Young Female Achiever 2006 at the University of Nairobi.
Caren serves on various boards – she is the Chair of the Youth Congress, Board Member at DSW Kenya, YALI East Africa, and Siasa Place. She has previously served on the Government Agency Boards such as; National Council Member – African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM – under the African Union), Uwezo Fund, NACADA and Chaired Nairobi County Youth Oversight Board.
She has a Master’s degree in international studies and Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Sociology, both from the University of Nairobi.
In her free time, she likes to read biographies, watch movies, take nature walks, listen to music and journal.
Janet is the Manager, Finance & Administration at Emerging Leaders Foundation, in charge of providing leadership in all aspects of ELF’s budgeting, financial reporting, accounting, administration & procurement. She has over 7 years of experience in financial management of Non for Profit and possess wealth of experience that spans across several competencies including financial management & reporting, accounting operations, auditing, administration, development of operational manuals, training and capacity building.
She is passionate about good leadership and mentorship. She currently mentors young women some of whom are ELF’s mentees and also outside ELF and holds various leadership position in other spaces in the society.
Janet holds an Msc in Finance & Investment Analysis, Bcom Finance from the University of Nairobi. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and has a certificate in Strategic Leadership in Governance from the Pan African Christian University.
Rodgers Kidiya is the Programs Manager at Emerging Leaders Foundation(ELF). Before joining ELF, Rodgers was head of research and development at the International Institute for Legislative Affairs where he led successful policy research and legislative advocacy efforts mainly on excise taxation on tobacco and alcohol products both at national and continental level.
At ELF, he is incharge of, among others, developing strategies, coordinating and monitoring inter-connected projects spread across three main strategic programmes: Leadership Development, Governance and Socio-Economic Empowerment.
Rodgers, a certified public policy trainer, from Sefako Makgatho University, South Africa, is passionate about poverty eradication in Africa and believes that this can be achieved through transformational leadership that can inspire entrepreneurship and use of ICTs for development across the region. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from University of Nairobi and current student of MBA Strategic Management and M.A Economic Policy Management. Rodgers is also a multi-skilled in ICTs with vast knowledge of programming, graphic, video and web-designs
Stella Cheboi is the Programs Officer, Leadership Development, coordinating all leadership and mentorship projects at ELF.
She is a blogger and passionate story teller who uses her spare time to engage Rural Primary School Students in storytelling, journaling and reading clubs to help them own and have pride in their stories as well as improve their performance in school. She believes in the power of mentorship and community service. An advocate of the community that is ‘Abled Differently’.
Cheboi is a holder of Higher Diploma in Business Management and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce at The University of Nairobi.
Jim is the first born in a family of five and often refers to himself as ‘Mildred’s son’ denoting his love for the mother. Born in Kisumu but raised in Nairobi, India joined Compassion in 2003 at the age of eight while studying in Mathare and only left the Leadership Development Program three years ago at the age of 22 years upon completing college.
He is a political science graduate from Moi University. Besides his day job at Emerging Leaders Foundation where he serves as the Policy, Research and Communication Officer, he shapes public opinion through regular television interviews on political matters. Mr. India is a champion for youth inclusion in all spaces and is particularly passionate about the issue of youth employability in Africa.
He loves playing and watching soccer and is an ardent Manchester United fan.
He has previously worked at International Institute for Legislative Affairs (IILA), Executive Leadership Network (ELNET) and Sovereign Insight. He has also volunteered with a host of other organizations especially in the slums of Mathare where he grew up.
Jim’s favourite quote is;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all humans are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
His love for Jesus and the word is his guiding principle in all that he commits to do.
A talented artist and runway model, Josephine is the assistant Program Officer, Leadership Development, incharge of mentors, trainers and alumni coordination. As an alumni of ELF fellowship, she considers the training and mentorship she received as a major turning point in self-discovery, mental shift and growth for herself and serves to ensure as many young people as possible get the same life-changing opportunity.
She is passionate about economic empowerment of marginalized groups, especially youth and women.
Sofina holds a degree in Community Resource Management from Kenyatta University and a certificate of Public Management in Social Transformation from Arizona State University. She hails from Taita Taveta County, where she has been involved in the management of the Isanga Project an initiative aimed at increasing education access in Taita Taveta county.
Sofina Merinyo was a Programmes coordinator at TAP Africa. Her passion for leadership and implementation from the frontline enables her to manage, monitor and ensure execution of the program objectives by all facilitators and volunteers engaged in TAP Africa. She is a competent Christian professional who values integrity, excellence and discipline. Sofina has previously worked with University of Trier on Afya kwa Wote Project focused on mapping out healthcare facilities in informal settlements, VSO Kenya, SAPTA and Kenyatta University. She has experience in monitoring and evaluation having worked for KNCHR and TLC-Africa as a data analyst and volunteers with Food 4 education.
Sofina is an Alumni of Young African Leaders Initiative Program (YALI), Political Leadership and Governance Program (PLGP), colleague at the 2019 Kectil Program and currently a fellow at Imara. She also enjoys engaging in media and events planning and organization having been awarded best MC-Kenyatta University 2015 . She has a passion for good governance and social justice and would like to be in a position to advocate for equal education for all on the continent.
Born in Portreitz and raised in Laikipia, Marvin is son to Mr. and Mrs. Kimani who raised him with godly values and a sincere work ethic.
He holds a Finance major degree and is a fellow of various programs including Leadership For Change, Africa Biblical and Leadership Initiative, IFES: Mentoring for transformation and making an impact in Africa, all of which have spurred him to be champion for economic and social progress in Africa.
To this end, Marvin is passionate about Pan Africanism, transformational leadership, good governance, and sustainable development
He is a knowledge-driven person who believes one minimizes errors in life when they know better and act better. He enjoys the exchange of ideas.
Time away from work, Marvin gets pleasure from bird watching, gardening, traveling and reading.
He has worked with FOCUS Kenya and joined ELF Africa as a Finance Associate.
Edward believes in building and inspiring individuals to believe in their greatness to achieve
superior results. Motivated by his commitment to excellence, Edward is currently running an
online platform dubbed “Progress Power Nation” that focuses on facilitation of young people’s
effort in exchanging ideas in preparation for the future i.e. scholarships, conferences, awards,
internships, etc. In addition, he also provides mentorship to them.
Edward’s passion for inspirational – transformative leadership and technology has led him to
win various accolades. In 2018, he was among the top 5 student leaders in the country who
won the most coveted ‘Exemplary Student Leader Award 2018’ by University Student Leaders
Awards (USLA) as organized by the Africa Youth Leadership Forum (AYLF). In 2018, he also
won the inaugural ‘Emerging Leader Award 2018’ from the Emerging Leaders Foundation
(ELF) as a Cohort 5 Fellow.
Among the certifications he possesses is the Good Corporate Governance Certification and
International Association of Corporate Directors (IACD) membership.
Edward holds a BSc in Software Engineering from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton.
Griffins is the President of Bungoma Youth Connect, a leading network for youth entrepreneurs in Bungoma County. He enjoys reading and writing, and is passionate about youth empowerment on financial management. He is the Communications Officer at the Office of the First lady – Bungoma. He is a Bachelors of Commerce-Finance graduate, and alumnus of the YALI Regional Leadership programme.
Vincent is an ardent social worker focused on campaigns for full eradication of Female Genital Mutilation and Gender Based Violence; and youth governance in Migori. He is the coordinator of Activista Kenya – Migori Chapter; a global movement of young people working in solidarity to end poverty and challenge injustices. He holds a diploma in Community Development from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
A passionate footballer with a heart for youth empowerment, Ahmed empowers youth through Sports. He is the founder of Kakoneni All Stars which organizes and fundraises for Sports tournaments to educate young women and men on civic education, eradication of drug abuse and reproductive health issues in Kilifi County. Ahmed was an aspirant in the 2017 elections contesting for the Jilore ward seat, and remains active in County politics. He is an ELF alumnus – class of 2016.
Ephantus is a vocal community mobilizer with key interest in politics and youth leadership. He is actively engaged in educating his community on participating in governance processes. He previously worked with the Parliamentary Service Commission as personal assistant to a Member of Parliament. He is a registered medical laboratory technologist and is currently pursuing a Masters in Infection disease diagnosis at Kenyatta University.
Winnie is a marketing professional who has worked with various brands and successfully positioned them globally. She is the founder and managing director of Tennie Enterprises, a general supplies company through which she also empowers fellow youth to take up business opportunities in Makueni County. Winnie plays an advisory role in the Makueni Youth Empowerment Service (M-YES), an initiative of the County Government. She holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Kenya Methodist University.
An actor and comedian, Ken is the chairperson of North Rift Theatre Ambassadors. He is a passionate community mobilizer mostly working in civic education and peace keeping in Uasin Gishu County. In 2009, he won a peace award sponsored by Brand Kenya and Directorate of Youth Affairs. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management from Moi University.
Daniel is an avid reader with keen interest in transformative leadership and development. He works as a programmes manager at Konnect Youth Consortium in Kericho County. He enjoys engaging leaders who inspire change both at grassroots and global levels. Dan is trained in advocacy and policy development, and holds a Masters in Strategic Management from Kenyatta University. He is committed to ensuring that the youth of Kericho can interrogate existing county plans and programmes and participate in decision making.
An FGM survivor, Catherine lives and breathes women’s and girls’ rights mostly in the areas of health and education. She is the Executive Director of AfyAfrika, a youth serving organisation focused on improving self-sufficiency among youth through health promotion, advocacy and research. The organization is currently running a girls movement dubbed “Sikeketwi Movement” aimed at galvanizing grassroots support for collective elimination of FGM in Narok County. Catherine is an ELF alumnus – class of 2016.