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Moses Pulei – Co-founder and Chairman

Moses was born in a mud-and-stick hut in Namanga, a Kenyan village near Amboseli National Park. For most of his youth, Moses Pulei envisioned that he would spend his life as his father and grandfather spent theirs: raising and herding cattle across East Africa. Growing up in the shadow of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro – which he has climbed more than 20 times – Pulei saw himself as a good herdsman. This work, along with being a good warrior, is the source of life and pride for Pulei’s Maasai tribe.

But Pulei also had an interest in education, despite his father’s concern: “Is it possible to hold a spear in one hand and a book in the other?” he asked his son.  Like others from Namanga, he attended a school operated by the Roman Catholic Church and later became a Christian after meeting Americans from Young Life and World Vision, a Christian relief and development agency. They told him about Whitworth and Spokane.  He received a scholarship from the private liberal arts school and sponsorship from Christian missionaries in Florida.  As a student at Whitworth, Moses became so popular on campus that he was elected student body president and chosen to be the school’s homecoming king.

After graduation, he worked as a safari guide for the Kenyan government and also worked with Young Life.  He continued to travel to the United States, where he earned a master of divinity degree and a doctorate in intercultural studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. His dissertation was titled, “Preachers of a Different Gospel: The Emergence of the Word-Faith Movement in Kenya and a Trans-National Religious Culture.”

Moses is particularly passionate about empowering the women who live there. He has since left World Vision to co-found Better Harvest Agricultural Company, a nonprofit that works with small-scale farmers in Tanzania to produce crops and sell at a profit. The groundwork that Pulei laid at Whitworth in establishing partnerships with East Africa continues to influence students’ lives and futures.

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