Africa Team

Susan Kiragu - Regional Beacon Representative

Susan smallDr Susan Kiragu was born in Nairobi, Kenya and grew up in Nairobi and Nakuru. Susan studied education at Undergraduate and Masters level at Kenyatta and Nairobi universities, after which she worked for a local NGO as a researcher in HIV/AIDS education. She completed her PhD at Newnham College, Cambridge in 2009, then joined The Centre for Commonwealth Education at the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate. In 2013 she worked as Research Manager for Camfed International. She has done educational research with children from underprivileged homes in Kenya, and has also partnered with colleagues from Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, South Africa and Swaziland. In 2013, Susan and her husband Victor quit their well paying jobs in the UK to come back to Kenya and serve more children from poor backgrounds. They founded an NGO, Children in Freedom, to provide scholarships and mentorship to African children, encouraging them to value their African heritage, and to use their strengths and talents to create and innovate solutions for their countries. Their powerful mentorship programme has been acknowledged by President Uhuru and Margaret Kenyatta.

Susan joined The Beacon Equity Trust team in 2016 and is now the Beacon Regional Coordinator, a role that enables her to continue to identify and nurture change-makers in Africa. She brings on board robust understanding and experience of Kenya's and Africa's educational terrain, and a strong innate desire for Africa to thrive – a dream that is impossible to achieve without firm and ethical leadership and governance. She believes strongly in The Beacon Equity Trust's mission to shape gifted children from an early age to become the visionary and ethical leaders that countries in Africa need.

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Debborah Odenyi - Kenya Beacon Representative

Debbie small

Debborah Odenyi was born and raised in Kakamega, Western Kenya. She studied at Kakamega Township Primary School, then Bunyore Girls’ School Kenya, and went on to study Education. She attended Eregi Teachers Training College, The Kenya Institute of Education, Sir Humphrey International College, and Kenyatta University College where she obtained her B.Ed. (Early Childhood Studies). She worked for the Teachers Service Commission, Kenya for 18 years, teaching in different public schools until 2011, when she joined the private sector. She taught at Oshwal Academy, Nairobi before going on to become Headmistress at SHOFCO (Shining Hope for Communities) - Kibera in 2014. She is currently Director for Programs and Education, Kenya and Tanzania for Girls on Fire Leaders. GOF provides early adolescent girls in the slums of Kenya and Tanzania with transformative leadership skills through educational travel, sustainable community projects, diversity engagement and global connectivity.

Debborah brings to the Beacon a wealth of experience in teaching and mentorship. Having worked in public and private schools, which employed both local and international curricula, she has interacted with and taught children from very diverse environments. She is passionate about transforming young people’s lives through mentorship and empowerment.

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