Bill Glowka introduced our speaker this day as Catherine Omanyo who was accompanied by her husband Daron. 

Catherine is the founder and Director of the Imprezza Academy located in the western region of Kenya. Founded in 2001, Catherine's aim was to give children who could not afford school fees the chance to learn. She herself could not afford to go to school but she achieved an education by sneaking into lessons and persuading teachers to let her take exams. She was determined others would not have to do the same.   

Catherine also teaches self-sufficient and well-being skills to women, often widowed and HIV+, enabling them to live self-sufficient lives. She has developed a successful youth talent program; is a board member for various corporations and schools; and appears on TV panels to discuss political matters and gender and youth empowerment.

The Imprezza Academy’s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality, and sustainable education to poor, orphaned, and destitute children. Providing the children with equal access to education is a large step for socio-economic development and societal transformation.

Imprezza Academy offers healthcare, food, and permanent homes to students that need shelter. The Academy currently has in excess of 350 students approximately 200 of which live at the school.

Catherine, her husband Daron, and a few dedicated workers provide for these students while working with no electricity and no clean and safe access to water. The school’s performance is negatively affected in terms of time wasted fetching water, waterborne diseases from using untreated water and poor sanitation, especially for the girls. Without clean water health and life is substandard. (The above is courtesy of Dr. Bruce Underwood).

Catherine shared her personal story of trials and tribulations that led her to the creation of the Imprezza Academy.  It was a tale of her perseverance to overcome unbelievable poverty and living conditions in her small African village of Stamakhanga in the western province in Kenya.  But despite the overwhelming odds against her she managed to succeed to the point of being able to help others in her same situation not to have to endure what she went through.

Bill and Liz Glowka met Catherine and her husband Daron while traveling and became engaged in her struggle to bring clean, potable water to the 800 members of her village.  By working with the Palm Desert Rotary they are in the process of obtaining a Global Grant and District matching funds in the amount of $40,000.00 with which to install a well in their village.  We too can help this project by designating some of our District funds to this very worthy event.  To learn more about Catherine and the Imprezza Academy please check out their website