Founded in 2008
Cultivating programs to improve health, economic, social, and educational inequality -- one community at a time.
In 2008, Ralph F. Stroup, MD travelled to the Central Highlands of Kenya to help facilitate an HIV/AIDS training workshop for Kenyan health care workers with the goal of developing community action plans to cope with the disease.
The Need for Health Care
While there, Dr. Stroup was invited by local Maasai leaders to visit several very remote primary health care clinics, some were empty shells in need of completion, and others were in danger of closing because of funding. The abject poverty, lack of access to clean water, state of existing health care facilities and the great needs of the Maasai people touched Dr. Stroup deeply and this led to the formation of KHCI. The definition of public health expanded rapidly to include, education, food security, women’s empowerment, and clean water within the footprint of the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy and ultimately beyond.
Ralph F, Stroup MD
Ralph is president and CEO of Kenyan Health Care Initiatives, Inc., and the co-chapter leader of the Orange Connecticut Chapter of Days for Girls. Dr. Stroup is a retired Urologist with a long-term affiliation with Yale School of Medicine Department of Urology and for more than 30 years he was in private practice in New Haven, CT. Throughout his career he was an active member of the Yale Medical School teaching program.
Mary Ann Stroup RN, MBA
Mary Ann is the secretary, treasurer and board member of KHCI. Mary Ann is the founder and co-director of the Orange Connecticut Chapter of Days for Girls. From her nursing administrator background at Yale New Haven Hospital and the West Haven Veterans Hospital she has extensive experience in management organization and healthcare delivery. Her management background and work experience have been instrumental in program development, fundraising and networking for KHCI.
Martha Maleson, RN
Martha Maleson RN, was the first nurse to work alongside KHCI. Martha is a strong leader, with a thirst for knowledge and is driven to improve life within her community. Thanks to the support of KHCI she was able to return to school to receive her BSN while she continued to work. She is now certified to do cervical cancer screenings. In 2015 she was selected to attend the Sabatia Eye Hospital for a three month training and is certified to be an ophthalmic nurse assistant enabling her to do advance screenings for trachoma, cataract and acuity. Martha has completely embraced the Days for Girls program, has established health teaching programs in the schools and beyond and is an integral part of the KHCI health team. Her love of nursing stems from the relationship she had with her own school nurse. Martha says, “The passion to serve the sick is deep rooted in my heart”. She truly lives by this code.
Catherine Senteu, RN
Walking in a field Catherine simply said, “if you really want to help girls they need menstrual products.” These few words had a major impact on KHCI’s focus, shifting to stopping menstrual shaming, supporting gender equality, and keeping girls in school. Out of these remarks came the Chumvi Sewing center, Chumvi, Days for Days, Orange Ct Chapter of DfG, and support for Mukogodo Girl’s Empowerment.
Partners / Collaborators
American Friends of Kenya
American Friends of Kenya, (AFK) a 501(c)3 nonprofit collects and provides books for 200+ schools across Kenya, and coordinates teacher workshops and training. AFK has been a close collaborator with KHCI since 2013. AFK has provided transport for many items shipped to Kenya by KHCI for schools and clinics, and Days for Girls. KHCI and AFK work closely together on projects of mutual interest including the Chumvi Community Library currently under construction. AFK’s network has provided books and supplies to schools within the conservancy.
Aqua Clara, Kenya
Aqua Clara, Kenya, a Kenyan company that manufactures high quality fiber water filters, educates the communities about the importance of clean, potable water and long-term water filter maintenance.
Chumvi Community Library Committee
Kimiri Chumvi Community Library Committee is the interface between KHCI and the many individuals who are working together to build and sustain the Chumvi Community Library, the first facility of its kind in the Conservancy.
Days for Girls International
Days for Girls International (DfG) is a global 501(c) nonprofit with whom KHCI has worked since 2013. DfG is dedicated to making re-useable menstrual products using local leaders to establish sustainable businesses. DfG provides in depth menstrual health education for women, girls, men, and boys. The Il Ngwesi Women’s Center is home of the Chumvi DfG Enterprise. Mary Ann and Ralph Stroup are the co-leaders of the Orange, CT Chapter of Days for Girls and have worked to help develop the DFG network in Kenya.
Frank H. Netter, MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Dr. David Hill, Director of Global Health at Quinnipiac University has worked with KHCI to establish an active program within the Il Ngwesi Conservancy and Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital in which Quinnipiac Medical students play an active role in gathering data related to public health, health care systems, and health issues identified as suboptimal which can be use to develop interventional strategies in the future. Many students use their time in Kenya to develop the framework for their medical school capstone projects( independent study theses).
The Il Ngwesi Group Ranch Conservancy
The IL Ngwesi Conservancy incorporated by the Government of Kenya is administered by an elected board of trustees. The conservancy, located in the Central Highlands of Kenya, is where 12,000 Maasai pastoralists live within 7 noncontiguous communities in an area of 22,000 acres. Transportation is arduous, and internet and electricity are largely absent. KHCI has been working within the conservancy since 2008. All needs assessments and projects originate from conservancy members. Mutual cultural understanding, respect, transparency, and honesty are the hallmarks of the relationship. Active involvement by the community and sustainability are integral to all projects.
Laikipia County Ministry of Health
Laikipia County Ministry of Health is the Government of Kenya department which administers all aspects of health care within the county. They are responsible for needs assessments and support of the four primary health care dispensaries within the Il Ngwesi Conservancy.
Laikipia North Stakeholders Forum
Laikipia North Stakeholders Forum is a community-based organization (CBO) whose chairperson, Ranja ole Mepukori works with KHCI to provide homestead drip irrigation gardens and water filters with food insecurity, improved health and sustainability issues at the forefront.
Mukogodo Girls Empowerment
Mukogodo Girls Empowerment Program (MGEP) is a Kenyan nongovernmental organization (NGO) directed by Josephine Ndirias, dealing with the issues of gender inequality, early childhood pregnancies, early marriages, gender violence, and ritual female circumcision (Female genital mutilation). KHCI has been a strong supporter of this organization which is dealing with many difficult cultural, social, and economic issues within the Conservancy and beyond.
North Branford Rotary
North Branford, CT Rotary (NBR) has worked closely with KHCI for many years helping to develop a Rotary International grant to furnish the Ntalabany Health Dispensary, provide water, water filters, a drip irrigation greenhouse, and electric predator fence, and community education in conjunction with the Nkubu, Kenya Rotary. NBR and KHCI jointly provided water filters for pre-schools and schools within the conservancy. NBR is committed to international collaboration with KHCI.
POMAC, a prosthetic orthotic network management company in the US, has worked with KHCI for several years and has provided fundraising opportunities for selected Kenyan individuals in need of artificial limbs. The good will that has been generated over the years is immeasurable.
R. Bruce Williams
R. Bruce Williams, is an independent international educational consultant facilitating educational workshops, and has had over 35 years’ experience working with non-profits. Bruce first began work with the Il Ngwesi Conservancy facilitating the HIV/Aids multi-year workshops and then facilitating the 5-year strategic plan for the Conservancy. He previously taught at DePaul University, Chicago, IL. He is currently teaching workshop facilitation in China.
Dylan Stroup CFP, has an undergraduate degree in finance and economics, and is a partner in Educated Wealth Strategies, a financial planning firm in Bethlehem, PA. He has made multiple site visits with the KHCI team and understands the challenges and opportunities ever present within the conservancy.
Eileen Kelly Berry
Eileen Kelly Berry, is a retired recreational education teacher, and was a professionally ranked tennis player and coach. She has extensive volunteer experience with charitable organizations. In addition to being a member of the Orange CT DFG advisory team, she has travel multiple times to Kenya to do hands on training, teaching and sewing with DFG Chumvi as well as other DFG Kenyan Enterprises. She brings to KHCI extensive experience in human relations, fundraising and problem solving.
Jennifer Briggs, is a retired administrator with experience as a research biochemist, volunteer coordinator at the Yale Peabody Museum, and secretary in charge of a Yale undergraduate resident hall. She has extensive volunteer experience with charitable organizations. Jenny is part of the Leadership committee for the Orange CT Chapter of Days for Girls. Her organizational skills, insight and her empathy are invaluable.
Joseph Camilleri MD, is a board certified urologist in private practice in Southern CT and is actively involved in the Residency training program at Yale New Haven Hospital. He has been committed to the work of KHCI since its inception.
Justin Stroup PhD has made multiple trips to Kenya as part of the KHCI team helping to evaluate and develop strategies to assist with infrastructure development. He is a Geology Professor at SUNY, Oswego, NY with a concentration in Hydrology and brings insight into water issues within the community.
Mary Zozulin MD, FACOG is a practicing OB/GYN physician in CT with a passion for global health, with prior experience working with Ebola patients in Liberia. She dedicates her time in Kenya working with OB/GYN staff at the Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital. Mary brings a global perspective to KHCI programs and has made multiple site visits with the KHCI team.
Ochen Mayiani, a member of the Il Ngwesi Community Conservancy, has over ten years’ experience as a management professional with a focus on community mobilization and development. Ochen is employed by the Borana Conservancy, a Kenyan nonprofit and is responsible for community outreach programs including Livestock to Markets (LTM), Education Support Program (BESP), Mobile Clinic (BMC), Water Provision Program and works to strengthen community relations with the Il Ngwesi Conservancy. He is also Chairperson of the Ethi Dispensary Committee.
Saaya Tema is a member of the Il Ngwesi Conservancy. Saaya has applied his insight to coordinate healthcare efforts and infrastructure improvements within the Group Ranch. His work has resulted in a pronounced reduction in HIV/AIDS related issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and commerce, a postgraduate diploma in International Development and an advance diploma in business management. Saaya introduced the Stroups to the Il Ngwesi Community in 2008.
Drew Shreter marketing manager for POMAC. Drew provides web site and marketing support for KHCI. His multiple trips to Kenya have resulted in a thorough understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by the Maasai communities.
KHCI supports four clinics within the IL Ngwesi Conservancy, including building Ntalabany Dispensary in a most remote area which had no local health facilities. The clinics are staffed and stocked by the Laikipia County Ministry of Health under the Government of Kenya (GOK). Working with the staff and health department, KHCI identifies areas of need for which there is no currently available funding. We have provided fetal doppler ultrasound units, glucometers, delivery beds, scales, solar refrigerators, water filters, medical grade incinerators and placenta pits, helped furnish manyattas—small homes away from home-where women can rest post-partem, or where a patient can stay if they need overnight observation, and newborn clothing to help create an incentive for the women to deliver in the clinics under the care of skilled midwives—a stated GOK objective. KHCI has given grants to nurses so they can continue their medical education.
KHCI has focuses on health and literacy education. Health education programs include hand washing, sanitation, feminine reproductive physiology and menstrual issues, men’s health, gender equity and respect, importance of clean drinking water, creating ways to incentivize having women deliver their babies in dispensaries, and implementation of The Days for Girls health education program and use of reusable menstrual products.
KHCI works closely with American Friends of Kenya (AFK) to provide books, school supplies, educational games, and toys for 19 schools and 14 pre-schools in the Conservancy. The conservancy’s remoteness and limited resources contributes to a high student dropout rate, and many score low on government tests and then are not able to continue their education. KHCI is funding the area’s first community library to help address some of the issues of adult illiteracy and poor performance of school children.
From its inception, KHCI has recognized the importance of clean water for health of both individuals and communities and has carried out a number of projects including installation of rainwater catchment tanks, construction of a solar powered well pump system for Lokusero, funding of drip irrigation homestead garden systems, and most importantly the provision of high quality water filters for schools and pre schools and over 1200 table top water filters for homesteads within the Conservancy and beyond.
Government approved septic systems have been installed at Chumvi and Lokusero dispensaries through KHCI funding, new latrines some with wash stations have been built at Chumvi Dispensary, and the new library located near the Chumvi secondary school will have a biodigester system installed during library construction. Working with both schools and clinics, KHCI sponsored several workshops to teach construction of Tippy Tap hand washing stations using locally sourced materials in conjunction with health education about disease transmission. KHCI has funded medical grade incinerators and placenta pits for all dispensaries within the Conservancy.
KHCI has a strong relationship with Days for Girls, an international non- profit whose mission is to provide reusable menstrual kits and reproductive health education to women around the world. KHCI members Mary Ann and Ralph Stroup formed the Orange, CT Chapter of DfG, and created a network of volunteer sewers in CT. KHCI established Il Ngwesi Women’s Center and the Chumvi DfG Enterprise employing 16 women. KHCI funded a permanent block building with electricity, internet, electric and manual sewing machines. Instructional sewing and business education was provided by members of the Orange, CT DfG chapter and DFGI. Some members of the sewing center were also sent to DFG Uganda for additional training. The Il Ngwesi Women’s sewing enterprise has become an economic driver for the economy and continues working toward self-sufficiency.
Mukogodo Girls Empowerment (MGEP): This program, run by Josephine Ndirias, focuses on gender equity, girls empowerment, keeping girls in school, reducing early child pregnancy and marriage, transactional sex for pads, reducing domestic abuse, and eliminating ritual female circumcision, a cultural practice still widely prevalent within Maasai and Samburu communities. MGEP uses community gatherings, retreats for school students, meetings with senior elders all of which help to effect gradual changes in attitudes through consensus. The covid 19 pandemic has made many of these issues much worse because of economic deprivation, travel restrictions, isolation, resulting in reversion to prior cultural practices. KHCI is a strong supporter of MGEP.