Our Mission

The Tribe is a nonprofit striving to nurture diversity, equality & opportunity in rural Kenya.

 

We empower rural communities by:

 

* developing creative art initiatives
* advocating for public health
* enhancing education
* forging an international partnership with volunteers

* providing clean water
* creating vocational workshops
* preserving Luo arts, crafts and culture

Our Vision

The Tribe’s vision is to enhance health and education, and to foster the arts for the Luo people in rural Kenya; we are currently focusing on Gina, Kenya. Specifically, The Tribe’s goals include, but are not limited to: promoting the relief of the impoverished and underprivileged Luo people; eliminating tribal, cultural, and sexual prejudices and discrimination; providing clean water; improving public health and education; constructing and maintaining public infrastructure, buildings, and schools; promoting human and civil rights; combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency; documenting Luo history; preserving and promoting Kenyan culture, arts and crafts; constructing a museum to preserve Luo cultural heritage; and conducting public workshops for the betterment of the community.

Origin of The Tribe

Fredrick & Candice Nyando founded The Tribe in Reno, Nev. in the summer of 2011.  The nonprofit 501(c)(3) was a longtime dream born in rural Kenya where Candice & Freddy first met while volunteering for the same project; however, their dreams were solidified when a Swedish man presented his desire for helping in Africa.

The Luo People

The Luo tribe is most proud and perhaps best known internationally by their link to President Barack Obama as his heritage is Luo. Obama’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Obama is a Luo who lives in Siaya District—about a three-hour matatu trek from Gina. The fish-eating tribe has a reputation for coveting “smart suits” and loving  music; it is common to spot a Luo walking with a radio perched on their shoulder or to see a crowd of Luos flocking to one radio.  They are equally known for valuing academics and practicing small-scale subsistence farming. However, their region is extremely impoverished by corruption, disease, drought and a lack of resources and knowledge; as a result, their people are dying at an alarming rate. The Luo tribe’s population in Kenya is estimated over 4 million, but the ethnic group is also found in Uganda, Tanzania and Southern Sudan with their total population estimated over 8 million.  The Luos originated in Southern Sudan and the Kenyan Luos migrated to Kenyan in the 15th century. The Luo language is their mother tongue but many speak English and Swahili as well.  They are a considerably progressive tribe and extremely outgoing socially. They hunger for knowledge; they hunger for a better life.

The Gina Community Project

Gina is a subsistence farming community, located in Nyanza Province, inhabited by 8,000 Luo people.  Red dirt footpaths contrast the gorgeously green quilt of cassava, sugarcane, bananas, mangos and avocados. The rural community is approximately a seven-hour matatu (a speeding, packed van) ride northwest of Nairobi and is populated with huts made of cow dung and mud. Nyanza province is one of Kenya’s eight administrative provinces and it includes the eastern edge of Lake Victoria, the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world.

Board of Directors

freddyFredrick (Freddy) Nyando: Chief
Having grown up in Migori, Kenya, a small city in Nyanza Province, in an impoverished tribe, Freddy learned early the value of education and hard work. Two of his younger siblings’ educations were sacrificed in order to help their mother with her business selling produce at local markets in Migori, but Freddy showed academic promise and was allowed to attend school; however, his family did not have the money to finance his education.  Throughout his schooling, he was frequently kicked out for not having school fees and it was a diverse network of donors that came to his aid.  Additionally, he received a Federal scholarship & student loan to attend the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 2002 and immediately headed back to rural Kenya to volunteer as a high school teacher and vice principal at Rabondo High School for six years. His dedication and hard work helped elevate the school to a competitive level.  In 2008 during the political upheaval that paralyzed the country, the Kenyan Government recruited Freddy as a Trade Development Officer where he worked to promote growth and entrepreneurship in rural districts. He was nominated for a number of government-sponsored trainings in Kenya and abroad. He also managed a United Nations Development Program in Siaya and Bondo Districts. In 2010, he left Kenya and resettled in America to live with his wife, Candice, where he is now pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health. In America, he has developed a fondness of Mexican food, driving, documentary films, and entertaining guests.  He is an avid newsreader and also enjoys rugby, soccer, cycling and fishing.

candiceCandice Nyando: Assistant Chief
Candice is a documentary photographer passionate about chronicling the human condition. In 1999 she graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a BA in Art with an emphasis on Photography and a minor in Journalism.  She began her career working as a staff photographer at the Reno Gazette-Journal and teaching b&w photography at UNR.  She made her first trip to Kenya in 2003 to document the plight of the Luo tribe in Rabondo, which is where she met Freddy.  The experience had a profound impact on her life resulting in several return trips.  She considers herself fortunate to have been in Kenya during the political, economic and humanitarian crisis that unfolded in 2007-2008; baring witness to the complexities of the Luo tribes’ struggles has connected her more deeply to the people and fortified her desire to help. Candice has freelanced for several international press agencies and non-governmental organizations, and her photographs have appeared in hundreds of publications including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, USA Today and Stern Magazine. Her images have garnered a number of awards ranging from the William Hearst Organization, the National Press Photographers Association and the Associated Press.

Her extensive coverage in East Africa won numerous awards with the NPPA and was part of the NPPA’s Women in Photojournalism International traveling exhibit; Candice’s images were purchased by the McKenna Museum of Art for their permanent collection. She looks forward to launching a community-based, multi-media documentary project in Gina. Candice finds solace in her yoga practice and is inspired by culture and travel.  She enjoys drawing with her daughter and watching documentary films with Freddy, and is a giant fan of massage, whole grains and red wine.   http://www.candicenyandophotography.com www.ctowellphotos.com.

dominiqueDominque Etchegoyhen:  Storyteller
Dominique is an environmental attorney and activist who graduated from the Golden Gate University School of Law, J.D. in 2004.  He co-founded Legacy Land and Water in 2010, and joined Terra Firma Associates as a Principal in 2006. Over the past five years, he has obtained tens of millions of dollars of state and federal conservation funding, negotiated several federal and private conservation easements, and led an effort to develop comprehensive federal legislation to preserve the cultural, historic, and natural resources of Douglas County, Nevada. Prior to his work in the conservation business, Dominique served two years as a Law Clerk for Judge Howard D. McKibben in the U.S. District Court, District of Nevada. Dominique also formerly worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Richard H. Bryan (D-NV), where he gained a keen understanding of the legislative process and a keen interest in the Lithuanian culture—Washington D.C. is where he met his wife Laima, a Lithuanian.  Dominique spent the summer of 2003 in Nice, France studying international and comparative law at the La Faculté de Droit de l’Univsité.  His heritage is Basque, which is evident in his loyalty to his bota bag, and love for mountaineering; he is an avid climber, hiker and skier–he medaled in the World Synchronized Skiing Championships in 1995 and 1996. Dom looks forward to volunteering in Gina and to climbing the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. As a social being to his core, Dominique enjoys philosophy, making friends, and traveling.

hardeepHardeep Dhinsda:  Healer
Hardeep is a medical doctor–an eye specialist–who sub specializes in the retina, which transforms light into images.  He trained at the University of Maryland, University of Virginia, and Baylor University.  He has helped develop surgical treatments for macular degeneration and is very experienced in complex third world ophthalmologic conditions.  His international focus was shaped by eight years as a senior consultant in ophthalmology in the world’s largest teaching eye hospital in the Middle East.  Upon returning to the States eight years ago, he has maintained his interest in international ophthalmology, with mission trips to Africa, the Far East, and South America.  Hardeep considers it a blessing to be given the opportunity to serve others not only in helping people see better, but in any other capacity as well.  Locally he serves on the Board of Trustees for Sageridge School, is a member of the Medical Advisory Board to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and is developing a vision-screening program for children in Northern Nevada. His other interests include red wine (even better when shared with the Chief and Assistant Chief), guitar, photography, travel and good company.

mosesMoses Onyango: Warrior & Cook
Moses is admired and respected for his warm, contagious smile:  meet him and you will concur and find yourself smiling.  He graduated in the top 15% of his class from St. Joseph’s Rapogi High School, a public boarding school, about a one-hour drive from Gina where his parents live as subsistence farmers. Moses is studying engineering at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. At a young age, Moses revealed his natural entrepreneur skills and strong will to attend school when he started his own sugarcane farm at 15.  He used the proceeds to help support his education.  His older brother has also contributed but Moses often struggles to remain in school due to a lack of money.  Consequently, he has had to beg for help a number of times and is extremely grateful to the friends and relatives who have assisted him. Contrary to his Luo culture, Moses’ mother taught him to cook at a young age and he is an accomplished cook who enjoys cooking.  Moses also loves basketball, music and dancing—a gift he in inherited from his mother. He is a reliable, focused and jovial young man.

cathy as fam ctCathy Fitzgerald: Clan Elder
Cathy is a civil and environmental engineer that has been working to bring clean water to progressing nations since 1996. She has traveled extensively in Central and South America and has taken more than 20 trips to Africa but has yet to make it out of an airport in Europe; she has been affectionately nicknamed:  Mama Africa. Working with Lifewater International to drill water wells in southern Sudan during the civil war in 1996, and a trip to Haiti in the spring of 1999 to repair hand pumps on water wells, inspired her to take a two-year leave of absence from her job and join the Peace Corps in 1999. Designing and installing gravity flow water systems at 15,000 feet in the mountains of Bolivia beside the hard-working campesinos was a lifetime experience. After returning to Reno in 2001, she has been involved with the UNR campus group SAIWI (Student Association for International Water Issues) and has led well drilling trips to Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, and Guatemala. After the tsunami in 2004, she had the opportunity to travel with the founder of Water for All International (Terry Waller) to drill low-cost ($25) wells in Sri Lanka, using a manual method that can be easily replicated throughout the world. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and running marathons.

gunillaGunilla Banke: Clan Elder
Over the past 30 years, as a trained nurse and midwife Gunilla has delivered thousands of babies in the southern region of Sweden. Currently, she runs nine antenatal care clinics in Skåne, Sweden and is also actively engaged in developing her profession in the region. In Sweden the working field title is, Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Specialist, which means that her broad field of work includes prenatal care, deliveries, postnatal care, family planning, pap smears and general healthcare. She is very inspired by her work and looks forward to taking her skills to assist in Gina. For the past eight years, she has been a member of the National Board of the Swedish Association of Midwives and for the past five years, she has been a member of the Nordic Association of Midwives. Gunilla’s husband, Lars, also shares a love of medicine and worked as a general practitioner in Skåne for 30 years; together, they have four children, three grandchildren. Gunilla met The Tribe’s co-founder Candice in 1993 when she hosted Candice as an exchange student in Sweden where they forged a very tight familial bond and it has been a joy for Gunilla to learn about Kenya through Candice’s experiences.  Gunilla is drawn to the arts and enjoys working with her hands.  In her free time you will find her making lingerie, furniture, formal attire, and clothing for her grandchildren.  She appreciates design and fashion (and shopping) and is very happy when she is traveling, cooking, decorating, and spending time with her family.

johanJohan Månsson:  Warrior

Coming from the small village of Gards Kopinge outside of the town of Kristianstad in southern Sweden, Johan has always been passionate about development. After having studied three years of political science at Lund University in Sweden as well as a year of French at Sorbonne University in Paris, France, Johan felt the need to broaden his horizons and deepen his understanding of the world of development. It was this decision, as well as his desire to encounter other cultures, that brought him into contact with the founders of The Tribe. Sent to Gina in rural Kenya as the very first intern, Johan helped the organization to establish a foothold and started up some of its first projects. Upon returning to Europe, Johan became the Permanent Representation of Sweden to the European Union.  Johan returned to Kenya in 2013 to accept a position at the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi where he is employed as a Political and Trade Policy Officer. He continues working with The Tribe to further their humanitarian efforts in Gina. Known for his enthusiasm and sense of humor, Johan’s greatest interests include literature, cinema and the company of friends.