Sarah Kahando

Hamjamboni. Jina langu ni Sarah. I am from Kenya, born and raised in Nairobi, the capital city with customary annual visits to the rural areas to visit my grandparents and to acquire the Kikuyu culture that my mother felt was not in the city. The village life was always an adventure and so different from what I knew. There were fewer classes and books and my cousins had to walk long distances to school and rely on handed down textbooks. I sometimes wonder whether that or often being made to repeat classes was a reason for so many did not finish school.


As I grew up I wanted to become many things, from a teacher, to an engineer, to a pilot and even a doctor. I ended up graduated with a B.ED in education, English and literature. After college, I knew I didn’t want to go back and teach in the city, I wanted to have an adventure away from the city. I wanted to experience how it was learning with few resources and how this can be made better.


I started off as a student advisor and volunteer counselor for college students in a small town in Eldoret and later went to Norway for a cross-cultural experience. This finally led me to the Kakuma refugee camp where I taught English as a second language to women from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Congo and Burundi. Kakuma was my first school in International Education and I knew I was hooked. It was there that I learned that teaching was more than just standing in front of a class, setting and marking papers or finishing the set syllabus. From Kakuma, I was called to go work in Southern Sudan as an adult literacy teacher for women with Save the Children UK. This was my first experience in a conflict situation and in a real hardship area. After the program I worked with UMass in the Sudan Basic Education program (SBEP), a USAID-funded program. In SBEP, I worked as a trainer developing English language programs and training NFE teachers.


Over the years, I have developed an interest in the role education plays in development of people’s lives. I am interested in nonformal education and having systems that not only work but also are meaningful to people. Am really excited to be at CIE as it offers me not only the opportunity to pursue my graduate degree in International Education but also the chance to meet, interact and learn from others who are from diverse nations and bring a whole range of enriching experience. It’s just humbling and I look forward to the rest of my stay here. Asanteni Sana.


Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
CIE Graduate