Alumnus Starts Nonprofit to Serve Kenyan Students

DBU Alumnus Fred Ndavi was raised in Kenya in a community subject to poverty and educational hardships. After earning an MBA in International Business, a degree many in his community have no opportunity to achieve, he went on to be the founder and executive director of Inspire Spaces—an international nonprofit organization that focuses on education in Kenya.

“Basically, what we do is look at vulnerable kids from vulnerable backgrounds,” Ndavi shared. “These are students who perform extremely well in primary school and they’re getting ready to go into high school, but they can’t afford to go to school due to the family’s economic background. This is where Inspire Spaces steps in to not only provide educational scholarships, but to mentor and invest in the leadership of the students. Our goal is to empower them and equip them to be able to pursue their dreams, pursue their education, and to be able to come back and invest in their own communities.”

Raised in a Kenyan village, Ndavi understands what it means for students to be sent away from school due to their family’s poverty. Ndavi remembers seeing his own friends, bright and full of potential, restricted from attending school due to the lack of educational funds. His past experiences, as well as his faith, inspired him to make a difference for his community.

“I arrived in the U.S. with twenty dollars in my pocket, so I know what it means to come with nothing and what it means to come from nothing,”explained Ndavi. “I wanted to make sure that it didn’t stop there for me. I wanted to give opportunity to other people. I was never just driven because of poverty, and I was never just driven because of a lack of school for students—I was driven because I wanted to see a holistic transformation in the lives of young people in the community. And part of that was driven by my faith. It was the conviction that God is calling us to the orphans, calling us to the widows, and calling us to participate in making His love known.”

Through Inspire Spaces, Kenyan students are provided with resources that will further their education, through scholarship opportunities, trainings, and mentoring programs. The nonprofit maintains a holistic approach designed to see students grow both academically and spiritually.

“They can actually discover their identity in God. They can also be comfortable in who they are, be comfortable in their story, and be comfortable in their past and everything that they’ve gone through because God will redeem every part of our lives. Our intention is to make that clear to them. There’s nothing in this world that can separate us from the love of Christ. Nothing. When people know that, when the students that we serve know that their life is fully connected to Jesus, nothing that they could ever go through or have ever gone through separates them. They can keep fighting. It builds on their resilience and it keeps them waiting and anticipating that God will transform the physical as the spiritual changes.”

Ndavi is a shining example of servant leadership and continues to project Christ’s love by serving those in need. Through Inspire Spaces, he leverages their unique opportunities to reach students in areas reflective of his childhood. It is within these communities that Ndavi believes God has called him to reach.

“I knew that I needed to be fully driven not just by what I’m able to do, but what God is able to do through me. Because there are too many orphans that I can never reach, but I don’t need to reach them all, I need to reach the people that God has sent me to.”

Written by Faith Myers

Faith Myers is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.