Karim Ajania, Editor-in-Chief
Karim is a former teacher and school principal of a Massachusetts state charter middle school.
He also taught at Boston and New York inner-city schools in Roxbury, Harlem and the South Bronx and taught at schools in Zimbabwe, England, Lithuania, India and several other countries.
Karim is Executive Director of The Educationalist which is an international speaker series.
He is also the Founder and Editor of The Brick Project, a multicultural forum for teachers and students, which was the subject of his doctoral thesis at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is also the Founder and Director of a middle school program in the San Francisco Bay Area which builds community with children in Africa called Pencils for Africa.
He is also the Co-Founder, together with Noble Peace Prize Recipient Desmond Tutu, and the Editor-in-Chief of the African Peace Journal which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
African Peace Journal is currently working on a series on the plight of African land and boat refugees with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva.
Together with his Harvard classmate, His Royal Highness the Maharajah Jayasinhji Jhala of Halvad, Karim is Director of The Halvad Revitalization Initiative, which works to reinvigorate a 15th Century citadel in Gujarat, India, making it a global hub for the Arts and the Humanities, including indigenous storytelling, classical dance, craft artisanship, and scholarship of Pali and Sanskrit.
He was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was sent off to school at age 7 to London, England where he attended Chiswick and Bedford Park Preparatory School. After moving back to Africa for several years he returned to London at age 12 to attended Drayton Manor Grammar School in Hanwell.
He is fluent or conversant in 7 languages.
Karim holds advanced graduate degrees from MIT and from Harvard University.
Yema Khalif, Managing Editor
Yema Khalif, the founder of YEMA, grew up in Kibera slums (the largest slum in Africa), in Nairobi, Kenya. He knows what it is like to live without clean running water, good schools and job opportunities, much less TV or online shopping.
Born in a family of 8, his parents could barely afford school fees, so Yema had to drop out of high school on several occasions even though he was getting good grades. After struggling to graduate from high school, he was stuck in the slum with no money to go to college, no job and no opportunities to make something of himself.
Six years later, Yema was given a chance to come to the US to study Communications and Media at Dominican University of California through Road to Freedom scholarships, an organization that empowers and educates children living in extreme poverty.
At Dominican University Yema was on the deans list for all four years of college and graduated a valedictorian. He gave the senior class commencement speech (click here to watch Yema’s commencement speech). He graduated as an outstanding student and Dominican University gave him a full ride scholarship to study his masters degree in business which he did in a year.
Knowing what a difference the scholarship made in his life, Yema vowed to give vulnerable African kids a chance at life, just like he was given.
Yema created the apparel company YEMA, LLC in Tiburon California with a mission to support the education of orphaned and vulnerable kids in African slums. So far, he has taken 13 orphaned kids to school in Kibera slums in Kenya and Ethiopia.