Julie Weche: Meet the Kenyan Woman Who Left the Country to Teach Swahili in the US

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Julie Weche, a passionate educator from Kenya, has been making waves in the United States through her inspiring work.

She founded and owns Elimu Tutoring Centre in Baltimore, Maryland, a center that not only offers tutoring services but also fosters a sense of community among the black population, including the approximately 15,000 Kenyans residing in the city.

Weche studied  at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, where she pursued her undergraduate studies.

Her academic path then led her to the University of Maryland and Alberto University in Canada, where she further honed her skills.

Upon completing her education, Weche started her career as a high school teacher in Kenya.

She then moved to Botswana, where she served as the director of the University of Botswana Early Childhood Learning Centre.

Driven by a strong desire to work with children and her extensive experience in education, Weche chose Baltimore as her next destination.

In June 2016, she expanded her efforts by establishing Elimu Driving School under the umbrella of Elimu Tutoring and Training Center.

The COVID-19 pandemic posed a substantial challenge to Weche’s endeavors. In 2020, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan ordered the closure of many small businesses, including Elimu Tutoring Center, to conserve revenue.

This forced Weche to pivot her business model. To stay afloat, she began making masks and announced a community effort to counter the pandemic’s adverse effects.

The Kenyan community in Baltimore rallied around Weche and her center. Together with her husband, Tom Mwaura, she launched the Okoa Elimu Programme, a fundraising initiative. Within two weeks, the community raised over Ksh 3.5 million, helping the center get back on its feet.

Adapting to the new normal, Elimu Tutoring Center began offering online programs during the pandemic.

Once restrictions eased in June 2021, the center resumed full operations and started hosting low-budget events, such as weddings and fundraising activities for the Kenyan community in Baltimore.

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