Founder & Executive Director
Shaé has years of experience in the social work field both domestically and internationally. She has worked extensively developing and implementing successful programs for youth, specifically young women, throughout the world. Domestically, Shaé's experience includes working with foster youth and their families in Indianapolis, Indiana and working with families who have been affected by abuse, domestic violence, and crisis situations. Although she has visited and worked in eight countries, the focus of her work is in Kenya. Shaé has a strong desire to provide a safe environment where young people can come and heal from their trauma. Shaé and her husband currently reside in Kenya for most of the year and enjoy outdoor activities, being around family, and finding new places to adventure both abroad and in the US. Shaé has her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Ball State University, her Master’s in Social Work from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Indiana.
Director of Community Involvement
With over a decade of experience as an educator and soccer coach, Jason has transitioned into helping create programs aimed at providing positive support systems for Kenyan youth. A strong focus for developing programs aimed at improving a youth’s ability to succeed in the community. Programs focus on economic leadership, social skill development and engagement with local community organizations to facilitate programs for youth to excel socially. Jason has a passion for sport, specifically soccer, as a means to provide mentorship for youth domestically & abroad. One of the verses that inspires his work is Isaiah 40:31, “But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Jason brings a strong community and social service background with a Master's Degree focused on Education from Defiance College.
MEET OUR STAFF
Director of Communication and Trainings
Betty Uwamahoro is privileged to be Kutoa Project first employee in Kenya. She did Social Work in her early professional training and later Theology (Biblical Studies), among other things. She has a passion for vulnerable children and women. She met Shae at a Trauma Healing Training courtesy of American Bible Society, and Trauma Healing Institute and it turned out to be a divine appointment. Shae carries a right and kind spirit, and her compassion for young people with past traumatic experiences made their connection possible. It confirmed in a way what God had been laying in her heart for many years now. She is quite excited about Kutoa Project's vision because being a blessing, especially to orphaned children, has been her passion. She understands well from experience how it feels to navigate through this world without parents. Her childhood dreams were shattered after the tragic loss of her parents and most of her family members. It was so devastating and she got hopeless until she found new hope when she received Jesus Christ Savior and Lord. It was so reassuring to know that God loves her and that he still has a wonderful plan for her despite her somber past.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?...Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”. Rom. 8:35-37. The entire 8th chapter of Romans is one of her favorite scripture, especially this particular portion comprising verses 35 through 37. She personally understands “more than a conqueror” as one who has not merely escaped from an adversity (a survivor), but he who has reached a point whereby he is able to pursue and overcome it (an overcomer) and help others overcome their own.
She finds the opportunity of working with Kutoa Project as part of God’s plan for her. It is her hope and desire that God will use what she has and grant her all that she needs to impact children and young people which Kutoa Project is reaching out to through its therapeutic services. She is open to learn and to collaborate with Shae, Jason and every member of staff who will be getting on board as she believes in the power of teamwork.
Counselor and Trainer
I am Margaret Wangui, and I am married to one Jones Muinde. I have been a teacher and a long time friend to many young people that we have interacted with at home, in and outside class. I am so thankful to God that He brought me to Kutoa Project Family. It is through the reminder of the plan that God has for my life that I have learned how important it is to encourage others just like I have been comforted in my life.
It has always been my joy to walk with my fellow young people one step at a time with the hope of a better day in their life. Listening to children by providing a safe environment is key aspect towards the path of their healing. There is also a need to keep reminding the youth that it is never too late to keep trying even when life knocks them hard at times!
I am grateful that the Lord saw it fit for me to be part of Kutoa Project first as an intern and then as a full-time employee in September 2018. I am so privileged to jpin this team even as we create awareness of trauma and walk with children and youth that God has continuously brought under our care here in Kutoa. It has also been an amazing journey so far where we are training caregivers and providing them with skills to deal with trauma. I look forward to working with the team in reaching more children, youth and even caregivers by ensuring wholistic growth of these individuals for the glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Joan A. Koi is a Counselor at Kutoa Project and is pursuing a master’s degree in Child Psychology at the Africa Nazarene University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the same institution. She got interested in studying Psychology because she was curious about Psychopathology (diseases of the brain), its manifestation and how they affect people in their day to day living. “Kutoa Project is a unique organization that I am proud to be associated with because it has created and continues to provide a safe space for children from all walks of life. Growing up, no such institution was available, most times we sought advice or guidance from relatives and that’s why I was thrilled when they asked me to be part of the team. I know Kutoa will equip me with the necessary skills and training to help children and youth affected by trauma and/or other issues in their lives.” she says.
Her greatest passion in life is to be the best in anything that she does and wants to leave a legacy. She is passionate about her family; her mum and sisters are her greatest support system and she continues to pray and encourage them to be the best versions of themselves. She loves to dance, have a good time and enjoys spending time with her niece (such a high spirit!).
Kerby McKinnell is excited for the opportunity to work with The Kutoa Project! Having interacted with Kutoa while living and working for another organization in Kenya, Kerby was drawn to its holistic approach in advocating for at-risk youth. While enjoying all components of Kutoa, she is most eager to be a part of the trauma trainings for caregivers and to gain more experience in individual and group counseling. She believes that we are called to rise up against social injustices and help others realize their own capacity to heal and become their greatest version of themselves.
Kerby is originally from North Carolina and graduated from the UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and Global Studies. Within one year of graduating, Kerby moved to Kenya and worked for an international nonprofit working with business, secondary girls education, and discipleship. She then worked for a church plant in Nairobi for two years as operations manager with a focus on student ministries. She is currently completing her final year in her Masters of Social Work from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and will be with Kutoa over the course of her MSW practicum. Kerby is passionate about youth, social justice, community involvement, and women's empowerment. Though she misses friends, family, and North Carolina, she considers it a true privilege and honor to live in Kenya and has learned so much about shared humanity and living cross-culturally.
Community Involvement Intern
Peter Gathogo or "Sudi" is an International Relations practitioner. Soaking himself in the field of development studies, especially in Africa, is one of the doors he desires to walk in every moment. He received his B.S. from USIU and Diploma in the Leadership and Missions Track from MAP School Isiolo and eventually went into full-time ministry. He currently resides in Nairobi and works with Kutoa Project in community involvement. He can be contacted at email@example.com
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cody has served in ministry for the past 6 years. An Indiana native, Cody now lives with his wife in Atlanta, Georgia, where he works as the Director of Executive Initiatives at Orange, a Christian non-profit that equips and trains leaders to impact the next generation. Cody considers Kenya a second home, having worked for an organization that had him living and working out of the capital, Nairobi. If you don’t find him working or cheering on IU, you can find Cody outside enjoying sunshine or spending time with the people he loves most. Cody has a BS in Life Science Education from Indiana University.
Colton and his wife, Cassie, live in the Winona Lake, Indiana. He serves a wide variety of Non-Profit clients assisting them in auditing and consulting services. Outside of work Colton enjoys spending time outdoors, riding motorcycles, cooking, and roasting coffee. Colton has a BS in Accounting and Business Administration from Grace College and is a CPA.
Sharon resides in Indianapolis, Indiana and is originally from Kenya. She started her career as a Sociologist in Kenya and later transitioned to become a Mental health Consultant and Stake holder for Ideal Consultancy Firm. She is a Licensed School Counselor, Certified in Family Centered Treatment, Certified Sexual Abusive Youth Counselor, Nurturing Parent Program, Kenyan sign language and Voluntary Counseling and Testing services. Sharon currently works as a Regional Clinical Trainer and Support Specialist at Centerpointe Community Based Services and Resolute Treatment Center. She is also a committee member of "Stand up Speak up Networking to Success", “STARS Prevent Child Abuse Indiana” and is involved in Real Estate and catering businesses in Kenya. Sharon is passionate about serving the community through creating awareness, program development and providing supportive services that foster growth and resilience in families and their communities.
Michael has nearly 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and orthopaedic industries in roles including research, sales, training, marketing and health care compliance. During this time, Michael was awarded four U.S. patents related to shoulder implant design, instrumentation and surgical technique. He has also received numerous awards for his ability to bring teams together, think strategically and for his integrity and passion to be results driven and customer focused. Michael has his BS in Zoology (Pre-Med) from Butler University and his MBA from Indiana University.
Christine has twenty-five years of experience in various roles of public education as a teacher and volunteer with several non-profit organizations focused on youth development. As a counselor, she focused on pre-marital, marriage and women’s counseling at Warsaw Community Church Counseling Center. She served many years on the Women’s Ministry Team at WCC and served as the Children’s Ministry Director at another local church. Christine previously served as executive officer on the board of directors for the Greater Warsaw Cooperative Preschool and has had several opportunities to teach bible studies and lecture at events and conferences focused on marriage and women’s issues. Recently, she was an adjunct professor for Behavioral Science at Grace College. Christine has her BA in Elementary Education from Purdue University and her Masters in Counseling from Grace College.
Nicole resides in Warsaw, Indiana with her husband of 19 years, Mike Wallick, and their children, Ian and Jillian. A graduate of The Ohio State University's College of Social Work in 1997, she has worked with treatment foster children and in addictions, and has been employed with the Kosciusko County Alcohol & Drug Program since 2007. Nicole discovered Kutoa Project through a Missions special during a service at WCC and was struck by this very special Mission, to address the trauma experienced by women and children in Kenya. Since most missions seek to help spread the Gospel through acts of service, Nicole recognized how different Kutoa serves women and children, by ministering to them not only from a spiritual perspective, but also a mental health approach. Nicole's history of both personal and professional experience with mental illness has enabled her to lean closer to our God in both realms. She has a deep desire to share her faith and experiences with involvement in Kutoa Project, and hopes to be a humble servant in this way.