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The motto of the Mawingu Project is Engage. Educate. Empower. We believe that through access to quality education poverty can be eradicated. It is up to all of us to Engage those in need, Educate where necessary and thus Empower all.

About Us: Inner_about


The Mawingu Project was created in an effort to enrich minds through education, exploration and innovation. By providing a variety of resources to individuals, the Project helps them to build a foundation for a better tomorrow through language courses, after-school programs, and pre-primary education. Through the creation of opportunities for the underprivileged, we foster our founding principles of compassion, honesty, integrity, and perseverance; all essential to create a better world for the future.

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Co-Founder of the Mawingu Project

Tyler attended Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African Studies. He has spent more than 10 years living and working in east and central Africa. Throughout his experiences, Tyler has seen the desperation of Africa but also the hope and perseverance of its people, most notably the youth. He has acquired a body of knowledge of how to effectively and efficiently run a non-profit in Africa while working for several different organizations and is excited about the opportunity to put his experience to work through the mission of the Mawingu Project.


Co-Founder of the Mawingu Project

A native of Arusha, Tanzania, Neema was trained as a teacher at Grand Technology College in Bradford, England.  She worked for the Kituo Cha Elimu (KCM) in Meserani, Tanzania as a teacher and administrator for six years.  During her time at KCM, she taught Kindergarten, English, and computer courses to local Maasai children and young adults.  She brings a wide variety of expertise in curriculum development, teacher training, and also a creative approach to income generating activities.  Neema has seen first-hand how providing educational resources to rural communities can offer them opportunities to improve their future.



Chris has been a part of the bookselling community for thirty years in two capacities- as a front line bookseller and book buyer for two independent stores; one which she co-owned. She knows the challenges and joys that small, independent business can bring by having experienced all aspects from customer care to accounting. She has joined the Mawingu Project with the belief that if people are given the opportunity to learn and develop literacy skills they will be more likely to strengthen problem solving skills and go on to develop a larger view of themselves in their world and the world at large, where we all take responsibility for positive change.


Board Member

Leigh has worked for more than 30 years as a health care professional in a variety of health care organizations ranging from critical access hospitals to academic medical centers in a variety of leadership roles. Her clinical background includes oncology, risk management and healthcare quality. Her passion is leading safety efforts and developing the organizational infrastructure to support clinically effective care. As a member of the American board of the Mawingu Project, Leigh brings her experience in leadership and organizational effectiveness to strengthen our strategic planning and initial development.



Kay Martin graduated with a B.S. in Accounting from Central Washington University, but spent most of her working years in Human Resources. She retired from her position as Director of Human Resources for a local manufacturing business at the end of 2014. During retirement, Kay worked as the Faith in Action Coordinator for the First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon; it was at this time that she met Tyler and became interested in helping the Mawingu Project.


Board Member

Michael is a university educator and program evaluation consultant with a longstanding interest in East Africa and education. Michael received his PhD from Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, and in addition to teaching and conducting research in the field of Arabic language education, his years of residence in Washington, DC resulted in a sustained interest in issues related to Amharic, Ethiopia, and the African diaspora in the United States.


Board Member

As the son of an Air Force veteran, Chris spent his growing up years in Japan, Alabama, Maryland and Costa Rica. These experiences fostered his interest in people from all walks of life and all nationalities. He graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. Chris became interested in supporting the Mawingu Project after hearing about it from Tyler & Neema. Chris is currently retired and living in Skagit Valley with his wife, Lori and youngest daughter, Shauna.  He hopes to one day get to travel to Tanzania to do hands on work at the Education Center.

About Us: TeamMember




An experienced banker, Laura is currently Senior Vice President of Retail Banking for Coastal Community Bank in Everett, Washington. She is actively involved in her local community serving on the boards of the Stanwood Camano Area Foundation, Design Stanwood, and the YMCA Organizing Committee. She is a past president of the Stanwood Chamber of Commerce and the Stanwood Camano Rotary club. In 2011, she travelled with a Rotary team delivering Polio immunizations in Ethiopia.

About Us: TeamMember
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