The Agatha Mawondo Foundation works to inspire a generation of trailblazers by giving them a chance to excel through scholarship opportunities.
After the Bombolulu Girls High School fire tragedy in 1997, the Government established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the cause of the fire. This commission was headed by Retired Bishop Imathiu of the Methodist Church of Kenya.
The appointed Commissioners were - the late Ambassador, Japhet Kiti; educationist, Dr. Eddah Gachukia; law maker, Samuel Ng'eny; scholar, Dr. Marangi Mbogho and other prominent Kenyans.
During an evening chat at Serena Beach Hotel in Mombasa, a heated debate between Ambassador Kiti and Dr. Gachukia arose. It was about poor academic performance in the Coast Province. Ambassador Kiti mentioned that notwithstanding the persistent poor academic performance in recent years, the first Kenyan lady in East and Central Africa to graduate with a BA from Makerere University College in 1958, was one, Agatha Susan Mawondo, from Taita Taveta District, in Coast Province.
Further, the student who scored the highest marks nationally in the 2010 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination was one, Lydia Katini Mwangasha from Taita-Taveta County. This news brought a lot of excitement among the Taita community and threw the County into a frenzy of joy and celebrations not witnessed in recent times. "The 17-year-old has not only put Taita-Taveta in the limelight, but has also jolted the region from academic slumber." The Standard, 11 March, 2011.
The phenomenal achievements of Agatha Mawondo in 1958 and Lydia Mwangasha in 2011 inspired Dr. Marangi Mbogho to establish the Agatha Mawondo Foundation, with the main objective being to create bursaries in aid of the many financially needy students in Taita Taveta County. The Foundation seeks to conclude that 1997 intense debate in Mombasa, by showing that the County is not lacking in intellectual capacity, but in opportunities that will allow students to learn without disruption. The ever crippling socio-economic hardships contribute greatly to poor performance in education.
On March 4th, 2011, Dr. Marangi Mbogho called Agatha Mawondo, introduced himself, and the idea of establishing a Foundation in her honour.
Ms. Mawondo was most humbled by this proposal and broke down momentarily, due to the joy of an unknown person honouring her achievement that late in her life and using it for the greater good.
She gave her consent and the seed of the Agatha Mawondo Foundation was planted upon the historic achievements of two humble daughters from the Taita community.
The Agatha Mawondo Foundation has already started its mission by offering a partial scholarship to its first beneficiary, John Mwachia, of Voi Boys Secondary School. We aim to benefit as many needy students as possible so they can stay in school and graduate with distinction. In partnership with school Principals, County Directors of Education and Teacher Service Commission, the AMF has identified some of the neediest students and hopes to offer partial or full scholarships.