About

Changemaker in Slums (CIS), founded in 2016, is a social venture empowering schools with our market-based innovative solutions. By business engagement, capacity training, and micro-capital, we are assisting schools to run revenue-generating projects within the 3 pillars of our focus:

  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Leadership Development

CIS directs network, investment and technologies from Europe to Africa, so schools can have access to resources they otherwise wouldn’t have. We are actively engaging local communities to align with Sustainable Development Goals, especially SDG7 and SDG12.

CIS has been operating in 3 cities in Kenya (Homa Bay, Nairobi and Nakuru) since 2016. In 2019, we also expanded part of our services to Nigeria and Ghana

Mission

Our mission is to empower vulnerable schools, so to provide a life-changing educational opportunity for children in developing settings.

We bring together local communities, business and academic partners in new collaborations. We believe every child has the right to go to school. So, we help to create market-based sustainable solutions & business models empowering low-cost private schools.

Management Team

The Management Team (Back Office) is based in the Nordics and is responsible for project management, marketing, financial management, and corporate partnerships.

Wenjing Yang (Head of CIS): Wenjing has 3 years of project experiences in the field of social innovation in East Africa and China. Before starting CIS, she collaborated with a research group for social economy and enterprise in Taiwan, and co-published papers under this topic in both Indonesia (2014) and Macau (2015). Wenjing has also been involved in an NGO in Kenya since 2015. Currently, she is overseeing the strategic partnership and day-to-day operations of CIS.

Chung Tsz Chung (Project Manager): Chung has spent extensive time working in 3 countries in East Africa. Currently serving as the CFO of a Norwegian start-up (Investio), Chung brought in rich start-up experience into CIS. Prior to joining CIS he also co-founded a social venture in HK (WeLearn), where he built the organization from scratch and single-handedly closed sponsorship deals. Under CIS, Chung is mainly responsible for managing existing projects and relationship management with angels, current partners, as well as within the CIS team.

Jiahui Yu (Business Designer): Jiahui has an international background in change management and organizational strategy. In just the past few years, she has created a social project in China and practiced innovative solutions in leading industrial companies around Europe and the US. Jiahui joined CIS to take on a consultative role on design strategy and organizational scalability. With creative approach and structured imaginative work style, Jiahui is always passionate about contributing to CIS’s growth.

Raquel Hinojosa (Legal Consultant): Raquel obtained her masters degree in Law and Business Management. Alongside her international traveling experience, Raquel has also worked as the person-in-charge of the Purchasing and Logistics Department, at an international company. With her expertise, Raquel will be an important link to develop innovative solutions at CIS, especially with respect to our value chain.

Matthew Evans (Nordic Country Coordinator, Energy):  Matthew’s academic background is in history and politics. Originally from the UK, Matthew is now located in Aalborg, Denmark. With a work background in a variety of different industries such as the automobile and banking, Matthew has numerous different skills such as communication, analysis, and organisation that he can bring to the role. As Nordic Country Coordinator, Matthew supports new program implementation in Africa, coordinates research projects with Nordic institutions, and leads the application as well as pitching process on soft funding within the Nordic region.

Lulu Pownall (Business Developer, Energy): Lulu is a graduate with a Master’s degree in economics and business administration. Lulu has worked in development projects in International Consulting company and NGO in Africa. Her other experience include backoffice, supporting sales, logistics and administration. Her acquired skills can be valuable in extensive areas of project management, business development and understand of working environment in Africa and Europe. Her international experiences brings more of diversity, yet the strategies to deal with different markets and cultures.

Team supports:

  • Adefemi Afuwape (IT Support)
  • Yanxi Zhou (Designer)
  • Zhimin Dai (Financial Manager)

Ground Team

The Ground Team (Front Office) is based in Kenya and is in charge of managing the local operations, including field research (school visits, data collection), stakeholders engagement, project maintenance, and operations. As a bridge between the management team and customers, they play a vital role in identifying the customers’ needs and providing them with timely supports.

Wangari Watene (Regional Manager – East Africa): Wangari is a native Kenyan currently living in Nairobi. Wangari has been working in the field of social innovation for more than 2 years with international NGOs in Kenya. She has led a series of empowerment projects related to education and community health (i.e. Mbagathi District Hospital, Westlands Health center, Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Medical Missionaries of Mercy in Kibera, and Kukuma School in Mukuru Slum respectively). Kare is responsible for program training and marketing, as well as school monitoring on the ground for CIS.

Agwa Brian Omondi (Ground Associate): Agwa is a native Kenyan and was an entrepreneur before joining CIS, whose power project was funded by an incubator. Driven by the mission of CIS, Agwa decided to work at CIS. Agwa looks after the project management and marketing process, he has implemented new project management tools and innovative communication channels for the team. Right now Agwa is working on implementing new packages with CIS’s partner school.

Others: Aoko Magero, Sarah Njung’ei Muranja, Clara Matete, Herine Chepkirui, Victor Chege, etc.

Advisory Board

Our advisers bring in technical expertise both in theoretical and practical aspects. Their technical advise is essential in making our innovative business coming to life.

Mr Gichungi (Adviser, Energy): Mr Gichungi is a mechanical engineer doing distribution of solar lanterns for a kerosene free Kenya. Previously he worked for the Kenyan utility, Kenya Power, and was in charge of all off-grid power stations in Kenya operated by the utility. He has worked as a consultant on green mini grids for various organizations such as GIZ, IED, TTA and World Bank. In 2015, he founded a company known as ESL which he has been using to distribute pay-as-you-go solar systems around the country. He has a wealth of experience in off-grid solar energy systems which he brings to CIS.