Tenderfeet Founder – Margaret Nyabuto

Mama Margaret Nyabuto is a courageous woman who has spent over 20 years serving the children in the slums of Kibera. In a response to the devastating effects of HIV/AIDS and poverty, Margaret formed the Tenderfeet Education Center in 2000.

A most remarkable woman, small in stature but big in heart, she has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of so many children and has paved the way for them to create fulfilling lives with good education and a strong sense of self-worth.


Mama Margaret treating the eye of student Boaz Osiebe

Struggling by herself to keep the children together in the Center she has faced tremendous setbacks and obstacle including forced eviction, financial struggles, threats to her life and her school during riots, and dealing with the murder of her father in 2007.

None of these challenges breaks her resolve to create a sanctuary, a safe place of learning, for as many children as she can.

Margaret is convinced that long-term holistic projects that care for the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of the residents – especially the children – is the best hope for the slums.

She grew up in the rural countryside of the Central Province of Kenya. From an early age she had a heart for orphans and the helpless. In the early 80’s she moved to Nairobi, where she met her future husband, Daniel Nyabuto.

During the 80’s she got training and certification in electrical repair, paralegal services, and child advocacy. In 1989, she moved to Kibera. Soon thereafter she got additional training and certification in teaching.

In 1991 she started teaching at a school in Kibera where she saw firsthand the widespread problem of the poorest children being unable to attend pre-primary and primary schools. After teaching throughout the 90’s, she opened her own school in the year 2000. She called the new school Tenderfeet.

Her vision for Tenderfeet always was to reach the most vulnerable children in the slums. These are the orphans, victims of HIV/AIDS, children of prisoners, and those who faced a bleak future.

Mama Margaret has four children, ranging from ages 5 to 24. She is a proud grandmother. Now living in the Riruta Satellite area of Nairobi, Margaret cares for her own family as well as other children she has taken in who were in desperate situations.

Margaret enjoys going to church, working in the community, and spending time with her family.

Despite the many challenges she has faced, her deep faith and cheerful spirit have remained strong.

Our Founder, Mama Margaret Nyabuto

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Our Founder, Mama Margaret Nyabuto