It was also a major concern to John that most of the schools did not have enough classrooms, toilets, libraries, labs, administration blocks, and running water. Over 400 children shared three pit latrines which was not only highly unhygienic, but a risk to their health.
About the Founder
Educate Me Sustainably (EMS) was founded by John Kiarie. Raised in Nairobi and Kiambu, Kenya, he attended different schools as a child and could not help but notice the struggles his classmates went through being in school. More than three-quarters of students in each class could not afford the required textbooks, school uniforms, exam materials, or even food to eat.
As a child, John gave what little he had by sharing his textbooks with classmates so they could prepare for the exams. He developed an extraordinarily strong urge to help make textbooks accessible to children in different villages and communities in Kenya. He believed that educating a poor child can change his or her family for generations.
After he started working, John set aside a portion of his earnings to provide textbooks for a few children in his village. Later, when he relocated to the US, he was thrilled to see how accessible textbooks were to all students–from preschoolers to doctoral scholars. His long-harbored passion was rekindled and he decided to start a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing textbooks to Kenyan communities.
John also introduced a new way of making every penny count by structuring the organization to not only give a book to each child, but established a system where the textbooks are donated to a class. After the students graduate, their textbooks remain in the classroom, ensuring that the next class has access to this valuable resource. This gives all children going through the school access to a textbook without the need to buy new books multiple times over.
Beth was born and raised in Kenya and moved to the US in her early twenties. She is a reservist in the US Navy and a psychology student, studying clinical mental health and counseling. She wants to help those struggling with daily and clinical stress as well as those with substance use disorder. Beth is passionate about addiction, mental health and quality education. Her goal is to see EMS grow into an organization that can make big impacts in society, specifically in education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Beth knows firsthand how much need there is in Kenyan schools, as she didn’t step foot into a library until she went to university.
Esther is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over seven years experience working in both the private and public sectors. As a tax consultant who has worked in different auditing firms, she is considered one of the top tax consultants.
Esther grew up in rural parts of Kenya where she walked over eight miles to get to school, which consisted of studying under a tree while sitting on a rock. She believes in the value education brings to a community and that has shaped her desire to help children access quality education. She currently works with local schools.