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EQUITY GROUP FOUNDATION APPOINTS DR. HELEN GICHOHI AS MANAGING DIRECTOR
Dr. Gichohi brings over 25 years international experience in managing social impact programs
Nairobi, 10th December 2012…Dr. James Mwangi, Equity Bank Group CEO and Chairman of Equity Group Foundation has announced the appointment of Dr. Helen Gichohi as the Managing Director of Equity Group Foundation, the social arm of Equity Bank Group. Dr. Gichohi joins the Foundation from the African World Life Foundation where she served as the President. She has also been serving as a member of Board of Equity Bank Group for several years.
Speaking when announcing the appointment, Dr. Mwangi said, “Helen will add value to the Equity Group Foundation team which has been implementing high impact social programs in six thematic areas which include education and leadership training, financial literacy training, entrepreneurship, agriculture, environmental conservation and health. Her international exposure in managing one of the most successful foundations in Africa will help Equity Group Foundation’s strategy to scale its social impact programs in Kenya and replicate the same across the region where the Bank operates.” Equity Bank has operations in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.
Upon taking up the appointment, Dr. Gichohi said, “I am delighted to be joining the Equity Group Foundation, an organization whose mission is to champion the social and economic transformation of lives and livelihoods of Africans. This is what I have been doing for the last 15 years but from the conservation and environment sector. The programs that the Foundation supports, such as the Wings to Fly, are transforming the lives of the next generation of Kenyans and I wanted to help develop and grow this support and be a part of that transformation and be part of an enduring legacy”.
About Dr. Helen Gichohi
Dr. Helen Gichohi has joined Equity Group Foundation as the Managing Director.
She joins from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) where she served since February 2001 as Director of the African Heartlands Program and was appointed Vice President for Program in February 2002. In 2007, she was appointed the first AWF President and she led the move of AWF's Headquarters to Nairobi, Kenya from Washington D.C. in the USA. In that capacity, she provided overall strategic leadership to AWF's Conservation Program spanning 14 countries in Africa.
She led a multi-disciplinary team of scientists, economists, business and community development specialists working in globally important wildlife landscapes, including forest landscapes across Africa.
Dr. Gichohi holds a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of Leicester, as well as an MSc in Biology of Conservation and a BSc in Zoology from the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University respectively.
She was named a Catto Fellow by the Aspen Institute, is the recipient of many awards and honours, including the Charlotte Wyman Trust’s Women in Conservation Program, as well as the Order of Great Warrior and the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear awarded by the Kenyan President. She recently won the Giai Environmental Award for 2012 at TheWIFTs Foundation International Visionary Awards.
She serves as a member of many regional boards and committees. Until recently, she served as a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Kenya Wildlife Service in Kenya. Dr. Gichohi has been serving as a member of Equity Bank Board of Directors for several years.
About Equity Group Foundation
Equity Group Foundation was established by Equity Bank to create the financial and operational infrastructure for social program aimed at low income population. This innovation and creative vehicle has fully transformed the concept of philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. While Equity Group Foundation champions the socio economic transformation of the people of Africa and seeks partnerships along 6 cluster thematic areas, Equity Bank provides the infrastructure of delivery hence reducing the operational cost of the Foundation and increasing the rate of return on any social investment.
Under the Wings To Fly Program, Equity Group Foundation has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation with support from UKAID, USAID and KFW to benefit 10,000 scholars with comprehensive secondary education scholarships. The Bank through the Foundation has also extended university sponsorship to over 1,300 university scholars with over 70 attending world leading universities including the Ivy League Schools. Under the Financial literacy focus area, the Foundation, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation is training 1 million youth and women in financial education and has been instrumental in agricultural transformation under the green revolution for Africa under its Kilimo Biashara initiative in partnership with AGRA, GOK, IFAD. The six key areas of focus by the Foundation include of education and leadership development, financial literacy, access and entrepreneurship, agriculture, health, innovation and environmental protection.