Founder and Chief Executive Director
In 2007, the founder of Coins for Change, Kathleen McIntire, sponsored a young Kenyan girl so that she could attend a good boarding school. In 2008, she agreed to help another foundation raise funds by walking 100 kilometers across the Kenyan savanna ending up in a place just under Mt. Kilimanjaro called Amboseli.
Each person on the walk had a Maasai Warrior for protection. Kathy's warrior lived in Amboseli and showed her the part of Amboseli that tourists do not see. She found few schools, and very poor and hungry children. She also found a deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against girls and women.
Kathleen returned to Amboseli three months later to meet with the Maasai leadership to see how she could help. A Maasai Advisory Board was formed to give her guidance, and Coins for Change was established.
Linda first traveled to Kenya in 2008, where she met Kathy, as she also sponsored the education of a Maasai girl and was a participant in the 100 km walkathon. The trip was “life changing” and she has been returning and working in the Amboseli region since 2009.
Linda, now retired, worked in the family construction business (Sullivan Building and Design Group) founded by her husband Neil 30 years ago. Her construction background, along with the experience and knowledge acquired coordinating, fundraising, and managing the construction of classrooms at the Osoit Primary School in Amboseli for another foundation, made her a welcome addition to the Coins for Change team. At Coins for Change, Linda has managed the construction of our teacher house at the Osoit Primary School and the construction of the Safe House and latrines, together with her husband Neil who acted in an advisory capacity. All projects have been run in close partnership with the Coins for Change Maasai Advisory Board Members, so as to ensure the Maasai feel ownership of the projects and to ensure the sustainability of the projects in the long term.
Communications and Media Specialist
Paula is responsible for the communication and media strategy of Coins for Change, including developing the Coins for Change website, advising on media opportunities, strengthening awareness of the nonprofit, reaching a greater audience through social media channels and driving stronger engagement.
Board of Directors
Ronald G. McIntire PhD, Chairperson
Dr. McIntire has had a lifelong passion for education and learning, and has been widely recognized for his success as a teacher and as an administrator of schools and school districts in the USA and abroad. His career culminated in his position as Superintendent of the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Europe where he supervised schools in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Bahrain.
It is this love of learning, desire to make a difference in the lives of young people, strongly held belief that an education can change a life, and expertise in program design and evaluation that Dr. McIntire brings to Coins for Change. As Board Member and Treasurer for Coins for Change, Dr. McIntire has worked closely with the Maasai Advisory Board to ensure that the nonprofit's programs and initiatives are targeted and effective, alleviating poverty in a sustainable manner and contributing to the long-term improvement of social and living conditions.
Tamara is a retired School Counselor from the Department of Defense Dependent School in Lakenheath, England and now resides in Bellingham, Washington. She has been active with Coins for Change for six years and has visited Amboseli twice. She sponsors many students including a family of five children, and was the major donor for the safe house.
Andrea is a Teacher with the Department of Defense Dependents School in Feltwell, England. She has been actively involved with Coins for Change for six years and has been to Amboseli twice. She sponsors several students and presently sponsors Jackson Sinyok to a University in Nairobi.
Maasai Advisory Board Members in Amboseli, Kenya
At Coins for Change, we fundamentally believe that the Maasai must be in control of their destiny and future. If not, initiatives put in place by nonprofits may see short term results but will have only limited impact in the long term. The Maasai Board is therefore more than simply Advisory. They give direction and advice to the Coins for Change management team concerning initiatives and decisions in the Maasai Amboseli region, and they are the ones who implement the projects, ensuring that things are being done in a manner which will have the most impact and that will be sustainable over time.
Chief Joseph Sankale, Director
Chief Mary Kahingo, Director
Chief Patrick Papatiti
Midwife Kasana Ntukai
Advisory Board Members
Coins for Change also relies on the commitment and contributions of their Advisory Board. Advisory Board members come from different backgrounds and nations and bring a diversity of experience, perspectives and skills that enrich the way we work and the impact we have. They are passionate about the mission of the organization, and dedicate themselves to seeing it fulfilled.
Mayra Seitz - Brunssum, Netherlands
Emile Vann - Dallas, Texas
Sharon Coufal - Katy, Texas
Megan Sweeney - San Antonio, Texas
Jennifer Fields Hawkins
Claire Picknell - Mahlatini Travel
University Student Advisors
University students are important fundraisers for critical programs like Poverty Alleviation, donating many goats to families in need, and the Gregoire SafeHouse, helping fund a water well that allows food to be grown for the girls and women staying at the safe house. These students are passionate about making a difference in the lives of Maasai girls, and have demonstrated the year-on-year potential of organizing innovative fundraising events like Running With The Goats.