Meet our Board - Kenya

In 2023, CMETrust reached an essential milestone in our growth as an organization, with the appointment of our inaugural Kenyan Board of Directors. A group of passionate advocates for education who bring to CMETrust years of expertise in education, community services, social justice, environmental science and legal expertise.

This new board will bring governance from a Kenyan perspective to the organization, helping us secure our future, and introducing our mission and mandate to the next generation of scholars and supporters.


Board Bios 


Benedict Kiage is one of the founding leaders of CMETrust. He lives in Mathare Valley with his family and has a good understanding of life in the slum. Benedict is the coordinator of Mathare Community Educational and Development Organization in Mathare, which was formed in 2001 and registered by the government. It runs a community school called MCEDO-Beijing School which caters for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. The projects undertaken in this organisation include: education, talent promotion i.e. soccer, performing arts, theater, and art galleries, among others.

Benedict is also responsible for managing the School Feeding Program at MCEDO. The School Feeding Program ensures safe and secure storage of dry food stuffs, manages cooks, organizes proper preparation and daily distribution, and keeps accurate books and records. Benedict also works with Lifting The Bar Foundation, a project which works with MCEDO School to help educate girls through football, for development, education and change. Benedict coordinates all of the activities at MCEDO by networking with relevant organizations to secure funds, and mobilize resources for the effective running of the programs.



Silvia is a social entrepreneur who is  passionate about the Deaf community and partners with the public and private sectors to champion Deaf rights. After spending over a decade in the Deaf community, Silvia is learning how to collaborate, change conversations, and disrupt the status quo. Her advocacy is in the mainstreaming of services, inclusiveness, and empathy for persons with disabilities. 

She brings to the  board perspective of inclusion and diversity. With over 5 years of experience in providing research, data collection, and analysis, the expertise that designed the program CMETrust is currently running. 

Silvia has published articles on best practices regarding the Deaf in the justice, social media, and transport sectors. In addition to her extensive PR and marketing experience, Silvia is a mentor to marginalized youths.

Silvia lives in Muranga County with her teenage son and loves nothing better than to dance, listen to music, read a good book, and travel.



Ruth Nashipae Muigai, a highly qualified legal professional with 12 years experience. She holds a LLB (Hons) Bachelor of Laws and a LLM (Merit) Master of Laws in International Law and Human Rights from the University of East London, under the Commonwealth Scholarship. Currently, she serves as a lecturer at the prestigious Kenya School of Government and is enrolled in a Ph.D. in Law at Middlesex University. Ruth has recently been awarded the Mandela Washington Fellow and a Transform Norms Fellow by Apolitical Foundation. She sits on the board of various organizations and has certifications on Board management and Public financial management.

Ruth is also recognized as an African climate expert listed by AGNES, UNCC certified climate negotiator, and a graduate of the International School of Climate Migration & Oxford School of Climate. She serves as a Knowledge Co-lead for the YOUNGO - Women and Gender Working Group. Ruth passionately advocates for climate justice and policies, holding membership in the Green Leaders Academy. Connect with Ruth on 



Faith would describe herself as a dedicated, innovative, and results-oriented project/program management professional with over a decade of experience in the development sector. 

She is driven by the desire to empower communities to be at the forefront and agents of positive change and strengthen stakeholder relationships partnerships that reinforce and sustain the execution of a social mission and realization of the community vision that contribute to building the capacity and resilience of rights holders, communities, institutions, and systems.

She has built dependable professional experience in strategic planning; project/program cycle, grant, and budget management; and program reporting; and in coordinating humanitarian programs of substantial scale, especially in volatile, rural, ASAL regions, refugees, and informal and vulnerable community setups. 

She possesses a great understanding and experience of inter-sectoral programming in a partnership model; and managing large and complex donor grants in line with international humanitarian standards and donor compliance. 

She currently works as a Country Programs Coordinator with the Kenya Red Cross Society. Initially, she worked with the ActionAid Secretariat in a global role supporting 15 countries implementing the Transformative Impact Fund. She has largely worked on implementing projects with the youth, girls, and women.

She possesses a Master of Arts degree in Sociology with other relevant certifications. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time on the farm, with family, or watching documentaries.



In 2023, Daniel Kirui became a part of the CMETrust, and he is an alumnus of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission* which earned  him MSc. in Development Management.* With a career spanning 30 years in development management, he has made significant contributions in the public service and education sector in Kenya. Presently, he serves as the Regional Coordinator for Youth Development in the Nairobi Region within the State Department for Youth Affairs and Creative Economy.

Kirui's expertise lies in the strategic planning process, focusing on enhancing the scope and capacity to deliver development programs and humanitarian initiatives that foster the empowerment of children and youth. Additionally, he has been actively involved in volunteership in high schools and colleges in Kenya, chairing their Board of Management. Embracing multicultural diversity, Kirui is a passionate advocate for children and youth empowerment, viewing it as a potent means to cultivate agents of positive change within society.

Kirui’s social media handles are dj kirui on X platform and Daniel Kirui on LinkedIn.



Patrick is  an enthusiast in Gender and Development issues with skills in both public and private sectors at management levels. He is a policy, education and gender empowerment analyst. As a creative thinker, self-driven and motivated individual, he actively seeks professionally accredited ways of improving programmes and services. 

He has experience in leading community empowerment projects in NGO & Government agencies for a period of 10 years in areas of gender equality, access to education, economic empowerment and child protection. This has enabled him to participate in empowering communities and contribute to social economic development. His passion in working with individuals and institutions to strengthen their capacities through informed research and enable them reach their full potential and be agents of social change is greatly notable. 

He  aspires to take leadership roles and work with teams  as an advocate for children, youths and women rights to access education scholarships and have in place gender sensitive policies. His interest and focus is creating a mass of educated and empowered youth and women who can spearhead change in their communities. He takes specialization in Gender Policy development,Gender analysis in development and gendered aspects of education and development.



Titus Kuria helps young people from Nairobi’s underserved communities achieve their greatest potential. He was raised in Mathare, the 2nd largest slum in Nairobi, Kenya and he is one of our Co-Founders and currently serving as the inaugural Executive Director.

Fondly known as Tito, he is also the founder and lead facilitator for PaaMoja Initiative; an organisation that equips children and youth in underserved communities in Nairobi with life skills, resources, and most significantly, the opportunity to design and execute programs that transform their lives, families and communities.

His coaching experience has seen him engaged as a facilitator with JUMP! Foundation, an international social enterprise based in East Asia that envisions a world where young people fulfill their true potential as individuals, community leaders and global citizens. Titus is the first African JUMP!er.

He recently graduated at UPEACE Centre for Executive Education with a Diploma in Social Innovation. Before, he attended The Amani Institute and graduated with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management.

Throughout his life, Titus feels that he has been privileged to have been involved in a myriad of amazing organizations and life-changing experiences including receiving the UNEP-Bayer Young Environmental Envoy award, a focal point at UN ‘Play for Peace, Play for the Planet’ tournament, an alumnus of InWent, a member of Action Beyond Limits Network, a facilitator with Sambaza Peace initiative, a convener with RUKA! Leadership Program, co-founder Viongozi Leadership Summit, convener with Nairobi-Hamburg Social Youth Fora, Judge for the Social Shifters’ Global Innovation Challenge 2022 and most recently served as a panelist for the CMD Kenya’s People Dialogue Festival 2023 amongst others.

In his free time, he enjoys playing and watching football, reading and writing self-development articles, swimming, disc jockeying and spending quality time with his family and close friends.



Meet our Board - Canada 

Meet the volunteer Canadian board of CMETrust (bios below)

Board Bios 

Heather Arnold, President 

Heather Arnold is a founding member of the Board, and the President of CMETrust. She became involved in the Trust in 2006 after returning from Nairobi where she participated in a CIDA internship at the United Nations Environment Programme. She was inspired by her time in Nairobi to give back to the community there.

Heather now lives in Toronto and works in environmental policy.


Jimena Eyzaguirre, Vice-President

Jimena became a CMETrust volunteer in 2007 and has contributed to the Ottawa chapter in several ways since then. She was elected to the Board in April 2014 and took on the Vice-President role in 2016.

Jimena is a climate change adaptation specialist with over 12 years’ experience in providing research, analysis and advice to inform policy and program decisions by the Canadian federal government. After seven years in government, she transitioned to the private sector and works with a small firm as a consultant.

Jimena is passionate about strengthening institutions as a way to help people make better, more equitable decisions. When she isn’t working on this in her day job, she pursues that passion by volunteering. Intrigued by the promise of social tipping points and cross-scale change, she recently completed a graduate diploma in social innovation at the University of Waterloo.


Victoria Sheppard, Director of Program Management, Co-Founder, Past President

Victoria co-founded CMETrust in 2006 along with then Kenyan Field Representatives Benedict Kiage, Titus Kuria and Charles Omondi. She was CMETrust's President from 2006 to 2016, when she stepped down to take on the exciting role of CMETrust's 10th Anniversary Campaign Co-Chair. During Victoria's early years with the organization, she also established CMETrust's Toronto and Ottawa chapters. Victoria is now the Director of Programs for the Canadian Board and in her role meets monthly with the Kenyan team on program implementation and policy.

Since 2006, Victoria has returned to Mathare in 2007, 2010, 2014, 2016 to celebrate CMETrust's 10th birthday, 2018, and will visit again later this year. Victoria is thrilled to have these opportunities to meet and talk with the scholars, alumni and their families, who are always filled with such gratitude, inspire such hope, and offer such innovative ideas for ways to make our program even better.

Victoria lives in Ottawa with her partner, Jonathan, and her daughter, Nia. Victoria works in environmental protection and Indigenous-led conservation with the Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to joining Pew, Victoria spent nearly 15 years as a federal public servant at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and Natural Resources in Canada (where she met fellow Canadian CMETrust Board members Consuelo van Beek and Jimena Eyzaguirre back in 2006!). Victoria has a Master of Environment Studies degree from Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Science, Marine & Freshwater Biology, from the University of Guelph. When not volunteering with CMETrust, Victoria enjoys being outdoors with family, dining with friends, gardening, travelling, and her 24-year yoga practice.


Beth Levander, Secretary 

Beth joined the board in 2020, but has been an admirer the work of CMETrust from afar for several years.

Beth has worked in the environmental management field for over 20 years, and has specialized in climate change adaptation for most of those.  Through her various jobs at Natural Resources Canada, Global Affairs Canada and the Treasury Board Secretariat, her work has been both domestic and international.

After many years of contributing at the multilateral level through her membership on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Least Developed Countries Expert Group, and coming from a family of educators, she is now thrilled to be contributing to an organization that empowers individuals through education.


Melanie MacDonald, Director of Outreach

Melanie brings over a decade of international development and education experience to the board. She first visited Mathare in 2005 as an undergraduate and returned a year later to live and work in the Eastlands of Nairobi as a CIDA intern. Later, her graduate work at McGill University examined the community perception of a pilot project of the Kenyan Slum Upgrading Programme (KENSUP) and, in tandem to that research, she worked with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to help conduct an impact-assessment of the same project. She has also worked with the Canadian Field Studies in Africa (CFSIA) programme – providing technical and academic support in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania – and helped connect CMETrust to CFSIA during that time. Melanie will be formally elected to the Board in 2017.

Melanie has a strong understanding of how issues of poverty, education, and health intersect, and is committed to using her experience in East Africa and knowledge of innovative education and outreach strategies to help CMETrust grow and thrive.


Consuelo van Beek, Director of Fundraising & Donor Relations

Consuelo started volunteering with CMETrust in 2007 and joined the Board in 2008. Over the years Consuelo has provided leadership to CMETrust by taking on various Board and executive roles such as the Ottawa Chapter co-chair and Vice President.

In 2014, Consuelo had the opportunity to visit CMETrust operations in Mathare and met CMETrust scholars, their parents and guardians, alumni and CMETrust partners. Seeing first-hand the impact of CMETrust's efforts in helping kids and their families break the cycle of poverty through education was highly motivating and has significantly added to her enthusiasm for the important work of CMETrust!

Consuelo lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children and is a Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at Natural Resources Canada. She has a Master's degree in Local Economic Development (M.A.E.S) and a Bachelor degree Economics & Geography (B.Sc).


Sonya Katrycz, Director of Risk and Legal 

Bio Coming Soon


Kerry Kelly, Director of Communications

Kerry Kelly (she/her) previously volunteered for CMETrust during the Bright Futures 10th Anniversary Campaign, and had been a long time supporter of the organization. 

Kerry lives in Toronto and is a communications professional who has worked at a variety of nonprofit, education and media organizations during her career. She is also a writer, and has written two published novels. Kerry holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University, and a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto. 

Roma Kojima, Director 

Bio coming soon

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