Msomi Academy for Girls Blog



Some collisions are good collisions

When I signed up for the AVMA conference this year it was because I had the funds and I needed some CE to ensure my veterinary licenses remain in good standing.  Afterwards, I discovered the keynote speaker was Shiza Shahid, founding CEO of the Malala Fund and current head of NOW Ventures, very short shrift to her list of amazing accomplishments.  But really, the important thing here is her dedication to ensuring girls around the world have access to education.  Sound familiar?

Sometimes you go into these things hoping for the best and ending up disappointed; not so for this one.  Shiza is a phenomenal public speaker, which is perhaps not surprising given her vast experience over the past decade or so.  What makes her so good, though, is the passion and conviction with which she speaks.  It also helps, of course, that her passion echoes my own, but let’s not take do anything to take away the gift she has in this arena.  We already follow Malala on Instagram (malalafund – so you can, too), and I’ve reached out to Shiza to see if she’s willing to open a conversation between us and her.  But even if she never gets back to me or isn’t interested, if you ever have the chance to hear her speak, DO IT.  You won’t regret it – it may even inspire you to do something you never thought possible.


In honor of Friday the 13th

For many superstitious folks, today is the day to worry about strange goings-on.  For me, however, Friday the 13th has always been a good day; I used to say that 13 was my lucky number.  It is a fun day no matter how you slice it, so in honor of that, I thought I’d remind everyone that EVERY day should be a good one – at least in terms of learning.

When my team and I were in Oldonyonyokie primary school in the Rift Valley of Kenya and in the heart of Maasai country, we talked with teenage girls who had dreams to become pilots, physicians, and lawyers.  Many of these girls believe, for the first time in their ethnic cultural history, that this is possible.  Why?  Because they have been visited and mentored by a young woman who became the first female from Oldonyonyokie primary to graduate from medical school.  You can see a video about her, and the school, here:

Every school in Kenya has its own colors and unique school uniforms, and for the Msomi team, these dark pink and white checked uniforms will be dear to us forever; the girls were funny, bright, warm, and so excited to have visitors spend time with them.  We played games, delivered bed nets, and taught the grade 4 through 8 students about malaria and how to prevent it.  It was our first human-centric outing in our most recent visit, and a wonderful way to introduce us to the diversity in Kenya.

We hope you’ll continue to join us as you see just how much power education of girls and young women can wield.  As I told the ladies at Nyakach – women can change the world!


Making progress…

We are getting good news every week, it seems – a nice place to be in!  We have a lead on possible land in Kisii, the city we are most interested in establishing our school.  I have a meeting with a wonderful professional photog in about 10 days to discuss how we can facilitate him documenting our process from inception (well, almost) to teaching our first classes of girls.  Most everyone I speak to about this wants to donate, so we are working hard to get the website up and running – especially the donations button, of course! – and will be rotating photos of our most recent trip in and out.  An article about our endeavor is in the works and will be published in the next few weeks by our School of Public Health (SPH) communications director, and there will be photo murals on the wall with museum-like captions somewhere in our school.  Finally, we are planning our second trip to Kenya at the end of this year.  On this trip, we will stay in Kisii and it will be our first foray into getting around without someone there to constantly hold our hands.  I’m glad there will be a group of us, at least!

Often I don’t feel as though I’m doing that much when it comes to the planning processes for Msomi, but then I look back at that first paragraph and realize I’m doing fairly well – especially when I have such a fantastic team of folks who are working just as hard.  Little bit by little bit, we will get through these start up times; I know this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

My next blog will tell a story from our adventures in Kenya the first time around; I do hope you’ll come back to read it.  We learned so much while we were there and I’d love to share as much as possible with as many people as are willing to hear!

Kwaheri for now –




Welcome to Msomi Academy for Girls!

Jambo!  We are thrilled that you’re spending a few moments of your time with us.  Please look through our photo gallery to see pictures of the team in action and to view some of the beautiful faces and places we were honored to get to know and visit on our inaugural trip to Kenya.  And if you have any questions or would like more information, connect with us through our “contact us” section or follow us on IG, Twitter, or LinkedIn.  We’d love for you to join us on our journey!

Msomi Academy for Girls is a non-profit registered with the state of Texas in the United States.  We are in the process of applying for our 501(c)3 status, which will make us tax exempt and, better yet, give anyone who chooses to donate a tax deduction.  Check back for updates as we move forward with this – we are looking to file our official paperwork by the beginning of August, so wish us luck.

Currently we are self-funding.  All donations will go directly to the non-profit as we collect funds and supplies to purchase land in Kenya, contract labor and supplies, and begin building our school.  We are determined to build an all girls primary school (grades 1 through 8) in a rural city in Kenya, so that we can provide high quality applied sciences focused education to girls who might not otherwise have access.  Our plan is to recruit, hire, and train excellent educators from Kenya, and to ensure the program is self-sustaining within the country.  It’s a big goal, but our team is committed, passionate, hard-working, and brilliant, so we feel good about our chances.

That’s it for the first post.  Keep visiting us to learn more about our organization, our people, our progress, and our adventures.  We look forward to sharing our journey with you and welcome your inquiries!  Kwaheri, my friends.


Katherine Fogelberg, DVM, PhD


Msomi Academy for Girls, Inc.