Sarah Carta Samuel | Executive Director

Sarah Carta Samuel joined Dignitas as Executive Director in January 2017. Prior to Dignitas, Sarah completed a prestigious year-long Education Pioneers fellowship in Washington, D.C. that provides exceptional professionals with pathways into education leadership. During her fellowship, she worked for a prominent education NGO, where she improved the organization’s external communication and participated in their strategic planning process. As Program Manager for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Sarah provided grants to clean energy projects in Africa, honing her skills in business development, budgeting, data analysis and grantwriting, as well as solidifying her desire to live and work in Kenya. With Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Sociology and Social Work from Loyola University Maryland and Washington University in St. Louis, respectively, Sarah has committed herself to a career serving children and families. For Sarah, becoming Executive Director of Dignitas is the culmination of years of working in classrooms, supporting non-profit programs, and experience in international development, and the realization of a long-held dream.

Operations Team

Gloria Omuya | Operations Officer

Gloria joined Dignitas in 2011, drawn by her passion to make a positive difference in the community. Prior to joining Dignitas, she volunteered as a HIV/AIDS Peer Educator with I Choose Life Africa-Mathare Chapter. Gloria currently handles a versatile role where she supports office operations, human resources, communications and resource support programs for partner schools. She believes that all children deserve an equal opportunity to receive a quality education and is glad to be working with Dignitas to support this vision. Gloria is passionate about people and is always seeking for opportunities to build relationships and harness collaborative efforts with internal and external stakeholders. She holds a Certificate in Humanitarian Core Skills from RedR UK, a Diploma in Public Relations and will graduate with a B.A. in Public Relations & Media Studies from the University of Nairobi this year.

Francis Njoroge | Program Assistant

Francis was born and raised in Mathare, where he continues to be active in youth empowerment movements like Maji Mazuri Youth Group. He believes in creating opportunities for others and that every child should have access to quality education. As a Program Assistant, Francis works on program support with focus on planning and implementation of special projects like uniform distribution and the Dottie Scholarship Program. He holds a Diploma in Business Administration from NIBS College and is currently undertaking a Project Management course at the Kenya Institute of Management.

Meshack Otieno | Operations Assistant

Before joining Dignitas, Meshack supported Ashoka East Africa – Change Making Program in Mathare where he was active in youth empowerment movements. He also volunteered at Mabawa Empowerment Centre, an organization that engages stakeholders to improve the learning environment in Mathare. He believes that education is one of the most important issues to focus on in Kenya as it enables children to gain necessary skills so that they can have a brighter future. As an Operations Assistant, Meshack is a key point of contact for partner schools and provides logistical support to the rest of the team. Meshack has a Diploma in ICT Management and is currently pursuing a B.A. in International Relations at Egerton University.

Mercy Naitore | Finance and Operations Assistant

Prior to joining Dignitas, Mercy worked as a volunteer with the Flying Doctors Society of Africa and supported multiple children’s homes in Karen and Kangemi. As Dignitas’ Finance and Operations Assistant, Mercy ensures that there is enough cash flow at the office as well as required resources for staff to perform their duties effectively. “Taking responsibility to use our resources and knowledge at our disposal” is her daily motto. When she is not glued to a computer screen, she is passionate about giving back to society. Mercy also enjoys learning about people from different cultures so that she can be better placed to interact with people from all walks of life.

Learning & Evaluation Team

Maurine Makena | Senior Learning and Evaluation Officer

Maurine is the Senior Learning and Evaluation Officer at Dignitas, supporting program quality through designing learning and evaluation frameworks to drive program efficacy and expansion. Before joining the Dignitas team, Maurine supported the Monitoring and Evaluation Department at Deaf Aid Kenya. She first developed an interest in creating equal opportunities for marginalized communities when volunteering at Ascent Leadership Training (Kenyatta University) and mentoring children at Ruiru Primary School. Maurine has a degree in Computer Science from Kenyatta University and is a certified Monitoring and Evaluation Professional.

Dennis Kimathi | Data Management Assistant

Dennis is a research and data analyst driven with a mission to spearhead positive change in the community. Prior to joining Dignitas, he worked at Strategic Research & PR as a Research Assistant where his passion for promotion and protection of human dignity developed. He has previously volunteered in the Red Cross JKUAT chapter and has also participated in mentoring high school students in Meru. In early 2017, Dennis led the ‘Twende Ganze Initiative’ to support the Ganze community members affected by the prolonged drought that occurred in Kenya. At Dignitas, Dennis supports the Learning and Evaluation team by collecting, managing, and analyzing data to generate insightful reports that inform Dignitas’ programs.  Dennis has a degree in Bsc. Statistics from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT). He is also a certified Program Planning and Monitoring & Evaluation professional.

School Support Team

Carol Owala | Senior Leadership Coach

As an instructional coach, Carol has a particular interest in supporting pedagogically disadvantaged students, building on her previous roles as an assistant teacher at Makini School, as a special needs teacher at Little Rock Inclusive Centre- Kibera and as a special needs teacher leader at Dignitas. She believes that through her work, school leaders and teachers will be able to address the attitudes and experiences that lie behind social differences in education. As an Instructional Coach, Carol facilitates trainings and provides ongoing feedback and support to teachers at partner schools.

Rebecca Crook | Curriculum Design Manager

Rebecca is an educator and explorer committed to partnering with marginalized communities to broaden opportunities for youth across the globe.  After teaching bi-lingual primary school in California, Rebecca supported curriculum and teacher development at a network of low-fee private schools in South Africa.  She was the founding principal of the third school in the SPARK network. At Dignitas, Rebecca leads program design to develop education leaders within Nairobi’s informal settlements.  She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A from the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University.

Samantha Nyabola | Leadership Coach

Samantha is a Leadership Coach at Dignitas. In her role, she facilitates training and provides ongoing support for teachers in partner schools.  Samantha is passionate about student success and believes that by supporting and coaching teachers, students will experience high quality learning. Before joining Dignitas, Samantha was the Dean of Students and physics and chemistry teacher at Nairobi Muslim Academy. She holds a Diploma in Science Education from Kenya Science Teachers College and is currently pursuing a B.A in Counseling Psychology at African Nazarene University.

Mercy Munialo | Leadership Coach

Mercy comes to Dignitas after seven years as a teacher and an Education Program Assistant at Elite Digital Youth Group. Mercy is passionate about quality education for every child, especially children with special needs. She believes that all children, irrespective of their financial or societal backgrounds, should have undeniable access to quality learning. She envisions that this goal will be achieved when teachers are empowered with necessary skills so that they can bring out holistic learners. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Maseno University and a Master’s degree from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University in Special Needs Education. Mercy is currently pursuing her P.h.D in Special Needs Education at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University.

Julie Ogonya | Leadership Coach

Julie is an educator with rich experience in the education sector, having taught at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. After teaching English and Literature at Eregi Teachers College, she took a leap and ventured into the corporate world at the nudging of a mentor, joining PRIMR, a numeracy and Literacy intervention program. She later worked under Centre for British Teachers Education Trust (CfBT) and RTI International as an Instructional Coach in the sprawling Kibera slum. She was one of the pioneers of PRIMR that was later nationally scaled up as the TUSOME Early Literacy Program. Seeing the leadership gap that existed in the community schools, she joined Dignitas to equip leaders in community schools with skills, knowledge and attitudes that will have a trickledown effect on the children, making them thrive and succeed. Julie graduated magna cum laude with a BEd in English and Literature from Catholic University of East Africa. She will graduate with a M.A in Literature from Maseno University this year.