Students for Education, Empowerment and Development (SEED) is a registered charity that was created by a group of nine university students in 2005 who were passionate about the barriers that existed in Lusaka for those who wished to access education.
Initially an organization that focused solely on the provision of scholarships to students who could not afford to go to elementary school, SEED has now evolved into a grassroots community of people in all corners of the world. Members of this group work not only to gather funds, but also to engage themselves and others in continual discussion about ‘development’, as well as promote individual and collective empowerment as one of the many tools necessary to create sustained social change.
We welcome all questions, comments, ideas, concerns, and feedback, so please feel free to contact us.
Meghan has been involved with SEED since she travelled to Kenya and Zambia in 2006. A school teacher in Toronto with a Masters degree in International Development, Meghan is passionate about the role of education in driving social change. Meghan initiated SEED’s Kenyan chapter in 2006 and re-visited in 2010, where she conducted field research on the impact of SEED’s programs on individuals and the community, and again in 2013 to re-vamp the scholarship program. Meghan continues to be involved with fundraising initiatives, administrative duties, and visits to Kenya. Her conviction that every child in the world has the right to a free education, and recognition of SEED’s notable impact, keeps her passionate about the cause.
Steve has been our Scholarship Program Manager in Ukwala, Kenya since 2006. His responsibilities include meeting with current and potential beneficiaries of the scholarship program, collecting and organizing student profiles and databases, assessing the impact of our work, and communicating with locals schools. Besides his role with SEED, Steve is a recently graduated nurse who is passionate about community health. He volunteers at Matibabu Clinic, a community health centre in Ukwala, and lives with his wife and three children. Steve appreciates SEED’s positive influence in his community, and is proud to be a part of our team.
Patrick Aouki has been the School Administrator of SEED Junior Academy since it began in 2007. Patrick is an intelligent, compassionate and dedicated individual who understands community development in Kibera slums. Through his role as School Administrator, Patrick works with our teachers and cook to provide a daily education and feeding program to over 80 students. He seeks funding opportunities for the school with ambition, and recently had uniforms donated by a local private school. In the evenings, Patrick is completing a course in community development and journalism, which he hopes to use to teach people about SJA. He lives in Kibera with his wife and three children.
Nina is a co-founder of SEED. She is currently a lawyer in Ontario and devotes her time to several charities that focus on poverty, human trafficking, and community development. When asked to describe her experience with SEED, she states:
“I traveled to Zambia, alongside several other volunteers, in 2005 and was present at the inception of SEED. SEED was born from the desire to not leave the stories of the children we met behind, meanwhile coming back to our comfortable lives and feeling satisfied about the work conducted overseas. The reality is that the impact we had while in Zambia was inconsequential, and we knew we could use our resources in Canada to do something more significant. The prospect of creating an organization that held education as the primary way of empowering individuals to create social change was exciting. Since its conception, SEED has grappled with ideas of social development and aid assistance, and has consistently adapted in order to find ways of contributing in a meaningful manner. By doing so, we have grown individually and as an organization. My work with SEED has been, and will continue to be, an enriching and rewarding experience.”
Eileen has been with SEED since it’s inception in 2005. During her years at SEED she has taken on many different roles including Executive Director, Board Member, SEED Agent, Advisor and others. SEED came to being because of Eileen’s vision and energy and still exists thanks to the commitment and determination of its founding members and volunteers, new and old.
When asked which words made her think, Eileen shared these:
“Because Mother Nature can teach us so much; because my travels and friends have taught me that identity and wisdom are rooted in places…Because you can find beauty and curious wonder, compassion, empathy, understanding, strength, resilience, and love anywhere, anytime, and in anyone; Because sometimes laughter can be the best remedy. Two individuals laughing together can break all barriers and in so doing, create a community. “
Lauren Rock is trial lawyer in Ottawa, currently practising in the area of criminal law. Human rights and equality have long been a central focus for Lauren. When Lauren met Meghan Bruni, one of SEED’s founders, while both working in Kenya, a common commitment to global social justice and equality was evident. Ever since, Lauren has been fortunate enough to support SEED’s work as a sponsorship agent. She is grateful to be a part of the efforts to create an educated civil society in Kenya, one that is accessible and broad based. This is a crucial ingredient in any free and democratic society where equal rights for all citizens, men and women alike, are real and can be enforced.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors share a wealth of involvement in SEED and a significant grasp of the organizational history; as such, their task revolves around discussing and making a variety of organizational decisions, as well as executing organizational tasks such as finances, website design, internship coordination, etc.. Most board members have travelled to either Kenya or Zambia with SEED, and bring a variety of educational experience to the table. To maximize accountability and an equitable relationship, the Board also includes members from communities overseas.
The Directors do not get an honorarium for their participation on the Board.
Board of Directors