Project Baobab was founded by Gee Gee Williams, a women from Palo Alto, California who went to Kenya for a safari trip in 1996. She noticed, amidst this beautiful country, a people who struggled to meet daily needs and women who were taken advantage of. She was determined to help, and returned a year later to teach for two weeks in an elementary school. It was a rewarding experience, but she wanted to have a bigger and longer-lasting impact.
In Project Baobab's first year, the program was launched in four schools. Six teachers were trained with an entrepreneurship curriculum developed by GEP and it was mostly successful. However, girls would present their business plans while staring at their feet and mumbling. They lacked confidence and self-esteem, even though they had great ideas. This led to the development of a Life Skills course, where girls receive training on gender empowerment, decision making, assertiveness, communications, and AIDS awareness. This model proved to be successful, and since 2001, both Life and Entrepreneurial Skills have been taught to over 1000 students.
Project Baobab is currently operational in 5 communities: Meru, Githunguri, Naivasha, Mai, Mahiu and Olooseos.
Short Video about Project Baobab
Board of Directors
Zain Khan (Chair)
Gee Gee Williams
What is "Baobab"?
In Africa, the Baobab tree
is known as the "tree of life" because it is self-sustaining through periods of drought, endures the weight of its far reaching branches, and provides shelter for many creatures great and small. The Baobab tree is an apt symbol for this nonprofit organization, for we aim to provide free education and a means to escape an otherwise endless cycle of poverty. Women often do not perceive or acknowledge their tremendous value. We want this understanding to take "root" so that they too can become a source of strength for their families and communities.