Meet the Rafikis

RafikiHome has been fortunate to have committed friends (Rafiki) to take lead and coordinate the service on a volunteer basis.


Rafiki Home was started by Angelina Jalonen who was born and grew up in Nyeri before moving to the UK where she qualified as a human rights advocate and a psychological therapist. For the last two decades she has worked at a large refugee charity, setting up projects around the country, delivering training to government bodies and other NGOs and running the therapy service. During this period as well as bringing up two daughters she fostered three asylum seeking children who had come to the UK without their families. Angelina was inspired to start Rafiki Home as a way of recognising and supporting the expertise of local people to find ways to empower themselves to change their lives.


Tanya Spain

Tanya Spain came to the UK from Canada to teach in East London where she is a Deputy Headteacher in a local primary school. She is actively engaged in forging links between children in the UK and Kenya and she brings many years’ experience of community engagement, fundraising and project management to the board.

Wallee McDonald

Wallee McDonald is a peace activist and music promoter in London. He has great interpersonal skills and ability to mobilise and bring communities together. He has visited Kenya and was highly inspired by the children’s resilience and willingness to transform their lives. He will support the project
through social engagement and communication.

Wallee pic in Atsitsa 2018

Andrew Kamau

Operations Manager

Andrew Kamau is a qualified Nurse specializing in critical care. He grew up in Nyeri, Kenya; in the same community where the RafikiHome is based. He is involved in the project as a way of giving back to the community and takes lead in service delivery, policies and overall management.

“My interest in humanitarian work is inspired by Angelina Nyachinga through her various efforts to improve people’s livelihoods in our community. These efforts include supporting women’s groups, Our church choir, sponsoring children’s education and my own University education.”

Mark La Corte

Mark La Corte, a British/Maltese citizen, graduated from the University of West of England in Business and Marketing.
He pursued a 30 year, International career with German, French, Italian and American, market-leading organisations, including Bayer, Danone, Proctor & Gamble and Mars. His responsibilities included senior positions in Marketing, Sales, Business Development and General Management in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America.

An avid traveller and photographer, he has been actively involved in supporting charities in both Malta and Kenya which aim to improve the life of physically, intellectually and visually challenged children and adults.

In 2012, following a fundraising activity, he went to Nyabondo, Kenya for a month to help with the completion of a dormitory for several hundred, mainly special needs, children In 2013 he contributed to the setting up of a Multi Sensory Room for disabled people at Dar Tal Providenza in Malta

Since 2014 he has been a founder member of the Association to Assist Visually Impaired People (AAVIP) in Malta and helped set up ADVICE, the assistive device resource centre, providing a wide range of innovative, technological solutions for visually impaired people. During ADVICE’s first fund raising activity, Mark walked the 800km Camino de Santiago and is still an active board member.

In 2019 he started to collaborate on different projects with Rafiki Home/ Sunshine Building Bridges in Nyeri, Kenya and visited the Home in December during which he was requested to become a trustee.

Mark is married to Charmaine, a Veterinary Surgeon, and they have 2 dogs and 5 cats.

Mark La Corte

RafikiHome Staff

Project Manager

David Kariuki

Coming from a poor and humble beginning, David was brought up by his single mother alongside his 3 other siblings, they often struggled to meet their basic needs, as a result he did not do well in school as he also had to do hard labour from his teenage years to help his mother fend for the family. David joined Rafiki three years ago as a beneficiary with a desire to return to school, he is now doing a diploma in project management and since then his life has transformed. His passion is to create opportunities for the youth and young generation through leadership and being a role model. He established the Sharks talent youth Academy which focuses on engaging the youth to address social challenges through creative activities which help to keep them from the streets.

David is the project manager and ensure we are meeting our objectives and outcomes.



Matron / Mum

Coming from a humble background in a family of 7 , Margaret married at a young age, her husband was the main bread winner doing labourer jobs while Margaret stayed home to care for their three children. Sadly her husband died from an accident after 9 years of marriage leaving Margaret with 3 children with no means to care for themselves. Margaret actively engaged in small scale trading with no fixed home. She was however an active community member supporting children especially during Sundays church activities. She is warm, loving and has great motherly and interpersonal skills which fits perfectly for our home mother. She has transformed RafikiHome into a loving and warm environment where children feel safe and stabilised.

Our Aims

RafikiHome aims and goals is to support and empower children and families to live a more improved and nourished life where they can attain their desired goals in life. We will work collaboratively through:

  • Local Engagement; Working with the local resources and structures to build a safe community setting
  • Foster Home; To provide respite care and foster home to children without a condusive family setting
  • Services Access; Working with other services; Education, Health, Employers and Wellbeing to ensure we link people with the appropriate services and
  • Participation; Training, workshop and skills sharing to share good practice in enhancing community development work.

Our Goals

  • To identify, support and empower vulnerable children and families through collaboratively developed projects and targeted healthcare and social programmes
  • To initiate community based youth development creative arts and mentoring programmes and support targeted education around drugs and substance abuse
  • To provide practical and emotional support for women, particularly lone parents and young mothers without family assistance in developing sustainable self-help groups and setting up cottage industries and market-oriented farming projects
  • To initiate and facilitate existing community-based primary health projects for both physical and mental health and well-being

Our Objectives

  • To provide a safe and nurturing environment where children can gain confidence, self-esteem and their basic needs met to those children who are at risk or have no families.
  • To engage the youth and offer them creative opportunities and vocational skills where they can find a belonging and protect them from the streets.
  • To empower women to have a voice and help discover their own potential so that they are able to contribute in the family income to reduce dependency and risk of being a victim of domestic violence.
  • To foster a spirit of partnership and cooperation between the project and individuals through networking and collaboration, as well as with other organizations relevant to the CBO including other CBOs, NGOs and government agencies.