About Rafiki Thabo

About Rafiki Thabo

Rafiki Thabo is a UK registered charity, based in Oxfordshire but working in Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho.

Our vision is that young people, including those living with disabilities, will be empowered through education to enable them to reach their full potential and initiate positive change in their communities. We do this by enabling access to education, working through local committees made up of community leaders known personally to the trustees. Our programmes centre around the Taita Taveta region and Thika town in Kenya, Teyateyaneng area in Lesotho and Kabale district in Uganda.

Rafiki Thabo was set up in 2006 by Jon Uglow who, after having spent 8 months living in a rural community in Kenya, realised that while he and his gap year peers all headed home to their university education and safe futures, his Kenyan friends just did not share the same opportunities, no matter how bright or driven they were. For the majority, affording an education and all the social and economic opportunities that it would bring was a remote possibility; their parents were subsistence farmers, they would be subsistence farmers. It was Jon’s passion to help change the outcome and break the poverty cycle – even for just a few – that resulted in Rafiki Thabo being set up, working closely with people he and his fellow trustees had lived with and gotten to know extremely well in Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho. These trusted friends and contacts subsequently became the in-country committees and remain so today.

Our programmes

We work with our committees in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda to identify those scholars who most need our support and to identify particular education projects that fill gaps in the communities in which we work. Our work falls into four main areas: our scholars programme, ‘Eat Well to Learn’, school infrastructure development, and projects specifically aimed at reducing barriers to education faced by children living with disabilities.

View programmes

Our Impact

We may be small but we have an incredible impact on the lives of the scholars we support through our programmes. We impact so many lives by improving their educational outcomes, preventing them from dropping out of school, providing them with a better learning environment, and improving their future life opportunities. These impacts are felt by their households and have a ripple effect out to their local communities and wider societies.

See our impact

Our Team

Rafiki Thabo’s work is delivered by a small team in the UK, working closely with a volunteer committee in each country in which we operate. The work is overseen by our board of trustees.

Meet our team
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