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Estimate Historical Cost: $4,100
June 22 - July 6


Kenya holds a special place in Youthlinc’s history. It was our very first international site! In 2000, a small group of 20 participants worked in a village near Mombasa, Kenya and we have been traveling in Kenya ever since.

This year, the team will be opening a new site on the outskirts of Nakuru, Kenya. Nakuru is a beautiful area known for its farming, wildlife, and national park. The team will be working with the wonderful school community at Muriundu Primary to complete their committee projects, including building a water trench and catchment system to help eliminate classroom flooding. The team will be lodged at Wendo Retreat, an amazing outdoor residential facility that promotes learning, cooperation, responsibility, environmental-awareness, community and resourcefulness through experiential education and adventure challenges.

The team will end their stay at the Sweetwaters Serena Tented Camp where they experience elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, impalas, buffaloes, lions, and more on guided safaris.

David Muiru, a Rotarian in the Nairobi Utumishi Rotary Club, is our In-Country Coordinator. Fun fact: He actually met the very first Youthlinc team way back in 2000 and has been helping Youthlinc in one way or another since then. We are grateful for his oversight and continued support over the years!

Read the details about our 2019 Team Projects

In-country Coordinator

David Muiru

My name is David Muiru a Kenyan real estate consultant with thirty four  years experience in the real estate with a wide range of exposure in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda and a good part of East and Central Africa Regions.

I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in (Land Economics) Upper Second Class Honors obtained from the University of Nairobi in 1985, in addition I earned a Diploma Certificate of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya and honored as a Senior Valuer in Kenya through the award of a Fellowship Certificate of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya.

My involvement in charity began in early 1977 when I joined the first Interact Club of Starehe Boys Centre & School in Nairobi under the initiation of Senior Rotarians Rtn. Prem Patel and Rtn. Ramlal Sharma. In 1989 long after graduating from University of Nairobi, I became a charter Member of the Nairobi Utumishi Rotaract Club and in the same year I joined Nairobi Utumishi Rotary Club.

In 1996, I was requested by now Past District Governor Peter Mbui of Rotary International District 9212, if I could help the late Shirley Michel of Salt Lake City to manage a charitable project on her behalf at the Ngala School for the Deaf in Nakuru through regular visits on and off my way to my home in Nakuru. At the time of my acceptance little did I know what I had gotten myself in.

In the year 2000 a gentleman and a missionary Dr. Vanderhoof of Salt Lake City had contacted me and requested if I could meet and take him to Ngala School for the Deaf on behalf of Shirley Michel and obviously, the answer was yes and so we went.

In the summer of 2001, I participated at the 2001 Rotary International Convention in San Antonio, Texas and during my visit I visited Salt Lake City courteously hosted by Rtn. Dr. Vanderhoof and Rtn. Sue Vanderhoof and the Rotary Club of Holladay in Salt Lake City.

During this visit I was hosted for dinner by Rtn. Judy Zone , the founder of Youthlinc. It was there in her home where I met for the first time the Youthlinc team that would be joining me in Kenya. That began my long journey with Youthlinc. At that time, I did not realize I was going to be its Country Coordinator, my engagement as a volunteer has been to help it with local logistics while in Kenya.

We did five years in Ngala School for the Deaf until 2005; then another five years in Kaaga Special School in Meru from 2006 to 2011. Part of our many achievements in Meru was chartering of the Rotary Club of Meru in 2006. In the year 2012 Judy Zone identified a new site in Kajuki in Tharaka which endured eight years to 2019 of continued Youthlinc support.

It’s a milestone achievement that from 2020, Youthlinc will be hosted in a new site/s in Nakuru under my coordination and the story goes on to infinitum.

I am a family man married to Jane Muiru an Insurance Underwriter at ICEA-LION Company Limited, a father of two boys one of whom is a graduate of Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) at University of Nairobi in 2016 and working for a local insurance company. The second boy is attending university education at Daystar University.

Alyssa Smoot

Kenya Team Leaders

Hi friends! My name is Alyssa Smoot and I’m thrilled to be the Team Leader to Kenya this year! I’ve got to be honest; Kenya stole my heart in 2013 when I first went as a student for Youthlinc’s international service year and was completely hooked. Not to sound dramatic, but it changed my life! I’ve been involved with Youthlinc ever since with a few other experiences in between.. In 2016 I was an Alum Leader for the Thailand Team, I worked in the office as the International Service Assistant Director in 2017 as I finished up my Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies & Global Health from the University of Utah, and then in 2018 I was a Mentor for the Global Community Leadership team to Vietnam. Most recently in 2020 I was a Country Director for a refugee crisis team in Greece and have an insane love for other communities around the world (and ours in Utah!). I’m extremely excited to not only be a Team Leader for an organization I care deeply about but to be going back to Kenya where my life trajectory was incredibly impacted.

I’m so excited to meet my team, cultivate incredible relationships, and work together with this Kenyan community to create GOOD in the world together. 

Hi guys! My name is Gretchen Loader and I’m the 2020/2021 Kenya ATL! I have been with Youthlinc since 2015 when I went on my first trip to Cambodia. I loved it so much I returned the following year as an Alum Leader to the site opening of Madagascar. After that in 2018 I went back to Cambodia as the medical Alum Leader with a main focus on sustainable women’s health.
Both my first and second year with youthlinc I did my local service hours with the Real Life program. I enjoyed my time there so much that this year I am a Real Life intern!
I am a geology major at Salt Lake Community College and part of their planned parenthood club. I love all things outdoors, especially trail running the shoreline by the natural history museum.
I am so excited for this service year and can’t wait to meet my team!

Gretchen Loader

Kenya ATL
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On the youthlinc Service Year!