Everything in kenya happens under the acacia.
Or atleast that is what founder, Jess Teutonico, realized after years of spending time in the remote off-the-grid areas of Kenya. No matter how little infrastructure or actual phsyical buildings, so many remote communities in Kenya revolve around life under an acacia tree. School classes, elder meetings, social gatherings - just about everything in the heart of nomadic areas center under the shelter and shade of this infamous tree.
A chance drive from Kichwa airstrip to Kilgoris one day back in 2008, Jess met Joseph Koyie, a Maasai from Loita. A fast friendship developed and everytime Jess came to Kenya, she visited with Joseph. He told her of his community back home. How his children were not receiving an education - there were little options, and only those of great distance. His dream was to have his kids attend school in Loita. If you know Joseph you know he is the most dynamic and charismatic, honest, loyal, and incredible human being you will ever encounter. He asked if there was a way for us to work together to build Loita a school. Primary education in Kenya is free. So its not good enough to build a school - there needs to be a way to sustain it. And there our sustainable model was born. See, it all started with a classroom. Education is at the heart of our model. But unless all your basic human needs are met, what good is a school if there is no water. What good is a school if there is no clinic. And what good is any of it if it can't be sustained by the people using it. So let's build an entire community from the ground up, so the community can thrive rather than spend their days working to survive. And then our plan grew bigger. It's bigger than Loita. So we took our model to neighboring community, Esoit. While both communities are currently in development, Under the Acacia is busy gathering metrics and data so once our investments in both communities are complete, these case studies can be replicated. It's a game-changer.
Under the Acacia is a registered 501(c)(3) based out of New York City. It is run only by Jess Teutonico on the operational side and Joseph Koyie on the community side. Neither take compensation for their work. All fundraising, other than covering governance, goes to the field and our investments.