Msomi Academy for Girls Blog



We are planning our trip!

It’s been over two years since we have been able to visit Kenya, and we all miss it desperately. We are currently planning a trip before the end of the year, though, so everyone please keep your fingers crossed that the Delta variant won’t keep us down. Our new initiative is still on track to launch in 2022, albeit a little later than we’d like, but we’re thrilled to have the funding to be able to do this and our late 2021 trip will introduce us to some potential remote villages w here we hope to begin making a difference as soon as we can.

That said, it’s been a rough couple of years for us, as it has been for all non-profits. So please – if you are willing and able to give to us, we’ll take whatever you can spare. And if you don’t want to donate to us, find another non-profit and donate to them – everyone needs your support to get through what has been a crazy time in our lives. Remember, your $25 can buy a almost two backpacks filled with all kinds of school supplies for a Kenyan kid in need, so it doesn’t take much!

Take care out there. Mask up if you need to, get a vaccine when you can, and try to keep your chins up. Life will continue – maybe a little differently than it was, but hopefully safer and just as fun!


Msomi in the Kijiji!

We are moving ahead with our new initiative, as we’ve received Board approval! Msomi in the kijiji, or scholar in the village, will be known as Msomi-INK. It is a novel initiative that brings teachers to rural villages that have no current access to formal schools. Teachers will work on the Kenyan school calendar, which means they will be in each selected village for 3 months, have one month off, and continue this cycle for the school year.

With this program, Msomi Academy will begin making an impact sooner than we could with brick and mortar school – although that is still our ultimate goal. Msomi-INK is far less expensive (abut $10,000USD to launch the initial team), provides place- and community-based education, will leave behind community improvement, and demonstrate the power and value of education. We hope to encourage rural villages to begin on a path to understanding how much education can positively impact their communities – and therefore begin finding ways to create more formal schools in their areas.

We are so excited about this initiative! It is cost efficient, still meets all aspects of our mission and vision, and is scale-able. We plan to launch our first teams in January 2022, and once we have the “kinks” worked out, expand as our finances allow. Check back periodically to see how we’re doing! And if you’d like more information, check out our CEO on this podcast – – email us at [email protected], and/or follow us on IG and LinkedIn. Stay safe everyone!


TEDWomen 2020!

Privileged to attend TEDWomen 2020 with a theme of “Fearless.” An incredible array of strong women attending and speaking to encourage us to all become better versions of ourselves.

As we ready to pitch a new initiative in the midst of a pandemic, I am inspired to continue driving forward with our mission and vision of providing access to education for all in Kenya – and eventually around the world. EVERYONE deserves to learn – formally or informal – and apply new knowledge and skills to improving their communities. It doesn’t matter if we have money, restrictions, or lack of engagement – Msomi is committed to doing GOOD work with GOOD people.

We look forward to sharing our new initiative with you after it is presented to and approved (fingers crossed) by our board. Check back in December for an update, or look for it on LinkedIn (Msomi Academy) or follow us on Instagram – msomiacademy. We are excited and determined to move forward!


Run With the Herd!

We’re excited to find new ways to connect with you and each other as we present our first annual Run With the Herd virtual 5k run/walk! Sign up to receive a printable race bib, t-shirt (unisex style), and some Msomi swag and a chance to win one of five $50 gift cards, a bracelet supporting elephant conservation, or Kendra Scott jewelry. Every person who registers receives an entry and if you post to IG and tag Msomi +/- one of our sponsors, you’ll get an extra entry! Get a t-shirt for your regular morning run, run with a friend, or get $5 off per person for a team of 5 or more. Now, more than ever, it’s a great way to re-connect and reinvigorate, especially as the holiday season looms large. To register, go to:

Also, be on the lookout for Msomi merchandise, coming soon to the website. Embroidered face masks, patches, bags, and maybe a few other things to show your support for Msomi Academy will be for sale within the coming months. We are putting the final touches in place organizationally, so now we are turning toward fundraising so we can really start making the impact we’ve been working toward for the past couple of years.

Thanks to our race sponsors: Kendra Scott, The Gap Creek Coffehouse, Love My Supplies, and MGM Printing, as well as an anonymous donor – all of whom have helped make this virtual race possible. We look forward to seeing your race day photos!


We’re going virtual!

Please join us the for our virtual race weekend – November 13-15, 2020 – and Run with the Herd! We weren’t able to do our in-person race this year, so we’ll be doing it virtually. Find a friend or form a team and walk, jog, or run a 5K any time from Friday the 13th (but be safe!) through Sunday the 15th, take a few selfies and post to our IG account at msomiacademy….put in #msomiacademy PLUS one of our fab race sponsors and earn a chance to win one of several amazing prizes, including jewelry from Kendra Scott, awesome eco-friendly bracelets, gift certificates, and CASH.

Your registration will get you a t-shirt and two pdf bibs with your name and a number on it – you choose which one you like best, print at home, and run the race – or frame it because it’s so pretty. (:

Registration will open no later than 14 October, with early registration and t-shirts guaranteed until 6 November. $30 registration fee includes a t-shirt and virtual swag if you want to pick up your packet in person (hub locations TBD); $35 if you want/need your packet snail-mailed to you. Starting 7 November you can still register – of course! – and $30 will get you the virtual bibs (plus any other virtual swag we can come up with) and $35 gets you the t-shirt shipped to you (but no guarantees it’ll be there by race weekend).

We’re so excited to have you join the Msomi Herd and help us provide high quality, accessible education to those in need. Email [email protected] with questions, follow us on IG, and/or find us on FB. Check back for updates and get out those shoes for runnin’ and walkin’!


She did it!

So proud of our social media guru, Ms. Megan Fleck, who got us over the 100 Instagram followers hump today! We know this may not be a huge deal to you all, but this is the point at which IG starts giving us some additional details that will be really useful in increasing the number who follow us. The more people that know about us, the better our chances of reaching our goals to Connect. Educate. Thrive.

Meg has been with Msomi almost from the very beginning and is a hugely valuable member our team – although our team is really more a family. She is one of the kindest, most loving, and most giving people I know and we are lucky to have her on board. So if you know her, give her a shout out, high five, virtual hug, or the like. And if you don’t, well – check out her bio on our web page in the “people” section ( And then….follow us on IG (msomiacademy) as we continue to expand our reach and help others gain access to education that they otherwise may not have!


We now return…

To our regularly scheduled programming! It’s been a looooong time since I blogged, I know. Life has been moving so fast I’ve barely had time to breathe, but I’m renewing my efforts to connect on our beautiful website as we create new ideas and work towards new goals!

We’ve updated dated our mission and vision, found a fantastic promise statement, begun heading in a direction that should get us where we want to go faster, and started planning for our 2021 trip. We had to cancel 2020 because, COVID-19 (ugh!), but we are looking forward to heading back to Kenya in 2021 with a team of oldies but goodies and a few newbies.

Look for more posts as we get up and running…we’ll be reporting out on an exciting new initiative (Msomi-INK), talking about some recent donations and their impacts, and profiling some of our folks so you can get to know the team a little better. Check back once in awhile – and drop us a line if you want to connect. We’re happy to hear from you and love telling anyone who’s willing to listen about Msomi Academy for Girls!


A successful trip

We have returned from our second full team trip to Kenya and are simultaneously happy and sad to be back. It’s always nice to return to your luxuries, of course, but it also deftly highlights the needs of those we just left. Any decent human being returns after a trip like ours feeling extraordinarily fortunate to live the way we live, and we all have a deeper appreciation for and understanding of what those in other parts of the world live like on a daily basis.

Nonetheless, we did some good and learned a LOT. The photo here shows an early childhood classroom at Oldonyonyokie Primary School. Located in the Rift Valley, the uniforms may look familiar to those of you who saw the blog from this time last year. This time we had a chance to stay with them for 2 days, talk with their teachers and student leaders (whom they call prefects), and observe a variety of their teachers in action. What a wonderful experience! We also played with the kids and met the young ladies we bonded with last year, both of our groups pleased that each recognized and remembered the other.

We then traveled west and a little north to introduce the team to Kisii, the town where we hope to open our school. There we were invited into our friend Jared’s lovely apartment for some local tea (we were the first mzungus – foreigners – to ever be in his home), visited with Bernard who started the private Benya Academy, bought out the woodworking store, and proceeded to invest even more in the Kisii economy at the soapstone factory. The meeting with Bernard proved to be invaluable, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with him far into the future.

We ended our 6-day marathon work week with a drive to the famous Maasai Mara, where we stayed in gorgeous permanent tents by a river filled with hippo mamas and babies, saw a variety of African wildlife, and I finally completed my sightings of the Big Five by seeing a wild leopard. It was a wonderful way to unwind and process all that we had seen and done to that point, although upon our return to Nairobi we were delighted to visit the Kibera Resource Center and see all the ladies we met last year again. They were strong, healthy, beautiful, and productive, as they have all graduated and begun their businesses. Many thanks to Mallory, Nancy, Evelyn, Elizabeth, Jen, and the other ladies who always welcome us with open arms and loving smiles. Your mandazzi is the very best and we look forward to visiting again soon!

As the team reintegrates into our normal lives, we hope you will think about helping us out. Seeing children so happy to have bread and milk, hearing them ask for more toilets and enough books so each child can study and learn, to request good quality soccer balls and be thrilled to receive a ruler, pen, pencil, eraser, and sharpener is enough to remind us that we need so little to survive. The need is great and we are trying to make a small dent, so every bit helps. For those of you who have already supported us, THANK YOU and we hope you feel great about what you’ve done. For those who are thinking about it, visit our gallery to see what a difference every dollar or minute donated makes.


5 days away

Wanted to get in at least one more blog before the team heads back across the pond. We have a jam-packed itinerary and are excited to learn more about Kenya as a country and Kisii, the town we look forward to serving for many years to come.

As we prepare for our long overseas journey, my anticipation is many-fold. As the only member of this team to have seen the land and the city to which we are connecting ourselves so profoundly, I can’t wait to see the faces of my teammates as they see Kisii and our potential school site for the first time! We have also managed to eke out an overnight in the legendary Maasai Mara, three of my team will experience their very first African safari. You can’t have all work and no fun, after all.

Along with those firsts, we will also get to visit the WEEP ladies of Kibera again, spend a couple of days with Patrick and his students at Oldonyonyokie, and head back to the elephant orphanage where we’ll get to pet the babies for a solid hour of bliss. Four of my team members have experienced many of these things last year, while our newest member will be seeing it all for the first time. And honestly, it is being able to introduce people to these experiences – as well as the opportunity to make small positive contribution to the world – that continues to make the tough times worthwhile. It’s definitely not all roses and tulips, but when those roses and tulips bloom the smiles are more than enough.

I’ll be doing my best to update the blog at least once or twice while in Kenya. And I’m still working on getting the photo galleries updated, so please check our website regularly. And don’t hesitate to get involved! Every penny counts and every time someone donates their time we are grateful. On that note, to whoever made the matching donation to our Shoes That Grow purchase, THANK YOU! We are now able to put great shoes on the feet of 75 children in Kenya, with 30 of those directly coming from our donor match ( We can’t wait to provide these kids with a sturdy pair of shoes that will last them many years while providing comfort and protection.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you all again soon. Don’t hesitate to contact us ([email protected]) if you have any questions or would like to donate!


We did it! (Take 2)

It’s been a banner Friday and I needed to share. We did it (take 2) is even better than the first…as we found out today that Msomi Academy for Girls has officially been recognized as a public charity! We are a legitimate 501(c)(3) now, which means all donations are fully tax deductible AND we can start writing grants, signing up for other donation platforms, and various other things we weren’t able to do until we received this VIN – very important news.

It’s a big hurdle we’ve now cleared, thanks to the big-time help of Sarah, our departing intern (but hopefully still a big part of our organization), as well as the support of the entire Msomi team. Big shout out to all who have helped us to this point THANK YOU! And now we begin figuring out how to navigate the Kenyan legal system, so we can be officially recognized there and ensure we are doing everything the right way…in other words, we’ll revel in this moment for a moment, then put our heads back down and start moving forward again.

But for now, let’s all enjoy this incredible success, as it’s the first really big stepping stone we’ve laid on our way too bringing our vision to life. Please join us on our journey – whether you choose to donate, show up at an event, or just check our website once in awhile, we’ll be glad you’re here.