Our Team

Monicah Ndegwa

Founder/Executive Director

Monicah Ndegwa earned her BSc. in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing/Clinical Systems Leadership at the University of Arizona.

Monicah entered the healthcare industry with a passion for helping others. She is a firm believer in using one’s talents, education, and expertise to help those in need. As a nurse, she is passionate about the quality of life of medically fragile patients and believes in holistic patient care that extends beyond hospital stay.

Dr. Wanja Ogongi

Director of Regional Programs & Operation

Dr. Ogongi graduated from the University of Nairobi with her B.A, earned her Master of Social Work (MSW) at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and her PhD in Social Work from Widener University. She practiced social work professionally for 10 years in the US, prior to going into full time teaching. Her social work practice areas include Human Rights (focus on women and children), Child Welfare, Refugees and Unaccompanied Minors, and Medical Social Work. Her areas of teaching include Human Behavior in the Social Environment (HBSE), Social Work Practice and Social Science Research. Her current areas of interest for research are on immigrant and refugee mental health and other issues affecting the African Diaspora in the United States.

Ogongi has great personal interest in the welfare of her fellow Kenyans and Africans in the US as her brothers and sisters. If she could, she would love to see each and everyone of them do well in life.

Brenda Beekay

Director of Community Engagement

Brenda Beekay is an Accounting financial analyst in the oil and gas industry. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in accounting and an MBA from the Texas Southern University in Houston TX. She is highly involved within the Houston Kenyan community and is renowned for her strong organization & planning skills in community walks, fundraisers, and events to support members of the community – a passion she holds very dear.

Often, many refer to Brenda as a leader that leads from the back due to her humbling way of getting things done. She has strong interpersonal skills and has a charming way of bringing people together as a community for good causes. During Harvey, she initiated the “kenyaninhouston strong initiative” which resulted in members of the community supporting affected Kenyans through donations, financially, and house cleanups.

Brenda was recently recognized during the 2018 annual mashujaa awards for youth empowerment. She is passionate about giving back to the community and enjoys helping children and the youth through mentorship and professional development. She serves as a volunteer for the Junior Achievement USA program, the National Association of Black Accountants, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also serves on the board of Miss Kenya USA and is also a co founder of the George Liberty Mutua foundation.

Faith Otieno

Director of Finance

Faith Otieno moved to Houston, TX from Kenya in 2008. She studied BBA in Accounting and MBA at Texas Southern University, Jesse H. Jones (JHJ) School of Business. In 2015, she proceeded to work for an industry-leading global firm, PwC LLP, in the area of assurance to provide independent assurance to clients on the financial performance of their businesses and the internal controls that govern their financial information. Her area of focus has been on financial services industry.

As an Assurance Senior Associate, she provides upfront coaching to junior engagement team members to complete assigned audit procedures, and reviews work assignments with a focus on quality in order to add value and create exceptional client experience. In addition, she participates in the management of engagement economics by leading in project management.

In her free time, Faith enjoys travelling to visit new places, reading inspirational books, watching her favorite T.V shows, and spending time with family and friends.

Naomi Thuri

Regional Director of Operations
(Texas)

Ms. Naomi Thuri earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Houston Victoria-Sugarland, and her MBA in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas Tyler. Naomi has been a nurse for 14 years and has extensive supervisory/management experience. She has served in various roles including Director of Nursing, Administrator, Charge Nurse, and Nurse Manager.

Naomi is very passionate about the needs of critically ill individuals. Because of her involvement within her church, fellowships and community, she has been called upon numerous times to encourage, visit with, and pray for families affected by illness.

Dr. Richard Wamai

Associate Professor of Cultures, Societies and Global Studies;
Director, African American Studies Program
Northeastern University

Dr. Wamai earned his Ph.D. in international health and development from the University of Helsinki, Finland. Prior to joining Northeastern he was a research fellow in the Takemi Program in International Health at Harvard School of Public Health. Before that, Dr. Wamai was a researcher at Oxford University (UK) Department of Social Policy. His previous work experience spans a number of other institutions including the London School of Economics, the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Institute for Public Policy, the World Bank, the Nordic-Africa Institute in Uppsala Sweden, and the University of Nairobi in Kenya. His research areas are: HIV/AIDS, focusing on male circumcision for HIV prevention, cost-effectiveness and policy in Africa; neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in Kenya; human papillomavirus in Africa; and health systems and policy. At Northeastern, with professor Pollastri, Dr. Wamai co-leads the Integrated Initiative for Global Health to champion global health efforts at the university.

Rev-Dr. Penny Njoroge, Ph.D. Psych.

Angel Counseling Services, Inc.

Rev-Dr. Penny Njoroge graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies and an MA in Christian Counseling Psychology from the Carolina University of Theology. She then earned a Phd in Clinical Psychiatric Counseling Psychology from the Cornerstone University of Louisiana. She is an Ordained Minister and Commissioned/Board Certified Chaplain with the Jurisdiction of Chaplains to the Armed Forces with The Anglican Church of North America.

Rev. Penny has been in the field of mental health for over 25 years and runs her own private counseling practice in Birmingham, Alabama – Angel Counseling Services, Inc.Her mission in life is to be a bridge builder to help build broken walls of life and motivate people to look beyond their past failures and life’s challenges. She assists people in creating healthy habits, routines, and goals towards the best life forward.

Rev. Penny is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress; a Professional Member of American Psychological Association, A Board Certified Death and Grief Therapist, Board Certified
Substance Abuse and Addiction Therapist, Board Certified Integrated Marriage and Family Therapist, and Board Certified Clinical Psychiatric Chaplain.

She has received numerous awards, including Kenya’s Presidential award for community service in Kenya and USA; Alabama Health Care Heroes Award, Birmingham Caregiver of the Year Award; Birmingham Mayor’s Hidden Heroes Award for Youth Mentoring, Humanitarian Award from Kenyan Parents in USA, Best Personality Award from the Golden Awards as well as 2015 International Most Motivating Woman of the Year Award. She travels all over the U.S. and globally as a transformational Keynote speaker in conferences, seminars, churches and corporations.

Jenny Wangeci Kanyeki

Jenny Wangeci Kanyeki
Media Practitioner

With a mission to influence society through media and the arts, Jenny Wangeci Kanyeki is a reporter at Standard Media Group, Kenya reporting on human interest and women’s health stories especially in areas of maternal health and child survival. She is an interior décor columnist and also reports on real estate, travel, food and lifestyle stories.

Wangeci is an Editorial and Media Relations Consultant at Brandspark PR, responsible for connecting clients to the media for maximized press coverage. She heads Editorial Content Development for Mavuno Church which has its headquarters in Kenya, and overseas editorial content of 19 campuses across 10 countries and is the Editor of Mavuno Life Magazine.

Wangeci received her health communication training from Internews Kenya. She is currently completing her Master of Arts degree in Communication (Media studies) at Daystar University and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons.) in Electronic Media & Public Relations from Daystar University, Kenya. She is the immediate former Secretary for Kenya Script Writers Guild which develops professional script writers for film, television, radio and theatre playwrights.

Her media research interest areas are around children and media as well as the safety and work conditions of journalists. In 2015, she presented a research paper titled Media Convergence in East Africa; a case study of Standard Media Group at the Global Communication Association in Berlin which was published by Springer as a book chapter in Digital Transformation in Journalism & News Media. She is also a member of International Communication Association and has presented early scholar research papers in San Diego, Entebbe and Accra.
She has been married to Willie Kanyeki for 19 years and together they facilitate Ndoa (Swahili for marriage) workshops which help prepare couples for marriage. They have three daughters, Michy who is 17 years, Alisa who is 14 years and Muini who is 7 years.

Facebook: facebook.com/Wangeci Kanyeki

Twitter Handle: @wangecikanyeki

Website: wangecikanyekilyf.com

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