What’s the story?
Team Kenya was officially founded in 2008 by Valerie Wilson, a geography teacher and senior manager working in a secondary school in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Before establishing Team Kenya, Valerie had been working with the Ndhiwa community since 1999, focusing on school partnerships and curriculum exchange. In 2008 Valerie left her job in teaching to dedicate her time to Team Kenya and is now the Chair of Trustees. Her daughter, Victoria, has also been heavily involved with the charity since it was founded.
Since 2008, Team Kenya have built a strong relationship with the community in Ndhiwa, and Twende Pamoja. Team Kenya work in partnership with Twende Pamoja and together we have transformed the lives of over 60,000 people in Ndhiwa, including 20,000 young girls.
Meet the team
Valerie is the Founder of Team Kenya and also our Chair of Trustees. As well as her role as Chair, Val is also our Partnership Manager. Val has over 30 years’ experience in the education sector, including work as a Head of Sixth Form, lecturer in Geography and DFID Kenya Curriculum Project Coordinator. She has previously been a Trustee at One World Network North- East and spent eight years as a volunteer and Trustee at the Kenya Acorn Project.
Sophie was appointed Vice-Chair of Trustees in October 2019. Sophie brings with her over 15 years of HR experience. She has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development since 2013 and was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts in 2019. Sophie is an experienced Trustee and also supports Age UK Northumberland with HR, governance and strategy guidance in her role on the Board there. Sophie is hugely passionate about gender equality and education. She has been actively involved in a number of groups such as Northern Power Women and is MD of a business which works with university students to prepare them for the workplace.
Kirsty is our part-time Development Manager, joining the team in February 2020. Kirsty has worked in International Development for over 10 years with a particular focus on projects empowering girls and women.
Lynda has supported Team Kenya in a variety of roles over the last 10 years including Secretary, Treasurer and Trustee. Lynda is currently volunteering with us as the Acting Chair of Trustees and has worked on the joint Team Kenya/Twende Pamoja values project and helped to develop the transition plan to ‘shift the power’ to Kenya. Lynda was the former Head of Geography at Walbottle Campus and then Gosforth Academy before changing careers to lead the teacher training team at Newcastle College and then becoming the Assistant Principal of Newcastle Sixth Form College.
Claire is a Team Kenya volunteer and has previous supported us as a Volunteer Coordinator and Finance Assistant. She was also involved in the planning of our Community Conversations programme in Ndhiwa. Before joining us she worked for 30 years teaching in secondary schools, including 3 years working with VSO in the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea.
Jacky is a Team Kenya Trustee and also supports with grant applications. Jacky has over 30 years’ experience in education, starting her career as a teacher in East Africa and finishing as Deputy Head in a Northumberland High School. She volunteered at our projects in Ndhiwa for 6 weeks in 2013.
Terry is our Treasurer. He is a qualified accountant and worked in industry, in particular manufacturing and engineering, over 40 years for various companies, most recently as Finance Director of an engineering business where he was responsible for all finance and most commercial activities. Terry is now retired from full-time work but holds a non-executive directorship with a local design and manufacturing company and is a trustee of two charities in Newcastle and Darlington.
Vic Hancock Fell
Vic, is one of Team Kenya’s co-founders and took on the role of Development Manager, then Marketing and Projects Manager from 2015 until 2018, she is now on our board of trustees. She has 10 years’ experience working in the education and non-profit sectors and has recently completed her Masters in NGO Management. Vic is the UK Director of Raising Futures, another small charity working in Kenya.
Alicia is a Trustee based in Perth, Australia. She has 10 years’ experience in the finance and insurance industry, Alicia’s current role is as the Education Coordinator and Hospital School Liaison for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Alicia volunteered in Ndhiwa in 2009 for one month and in 2011 for 2 weeks.
Kath is a Team Kenya trustee. She has also assisted with a variety of voluntary roles, including coordinating our Aspire Scholarships programme.