“When I was a child, I dreamed of a stable and empowering community.”
Felix Ochieng, Chairman, UMN
Felix Ochieng (left) and Kariuki Maina (right)
in Kongowea's Ratna Square in 2006.
Since childhood, Felix witnessed firsthand how easy it is for one’s potential to waste away due to a lack of resources, empowerment, and life coaching skills. He was a victim of this conundrum, forcing his family to emigrate from Homabay to Mombasa, Kenya. As he navigated primary and then secondary school, he saw how a lack of mentorship in Kongowea’s area youth causative of the many social ills that were affecting the area. Consequently, upon graduating from secondary school, Felix was determined to empower his community.
He met Kariuki at their mutual Kongowea SDA community church in 2006. About to embark on their University education, Felix formulated a plan in the next three years that saw him start a community-based organization (CBO) Coast Sustainable Development Youth Organization- CSDYO. The CBO was officially registered in 2011. It was CSDYO that then matured into Udhamini Mentorship Network (UMN), at which point our registration as an NGO was finalized in Jan 2018. The upgrade to NGO status implied a larger catchment area consisting of more Coastal counties, as far out as Lamu County.