The Tembo Team

"Our entire mission is to enable independence, not dependence. We want to work ourselves out of a job. That's success." - Founders Debra & Jeana


Debra and Jeana were co-founders of Project Education, Inc., which created a secondary school in Ngomano, Kenya. The school succeeded in scoring as the number one school in the district since its inception. Debra and Jeana both resigned from Project Education Inc. when governance was turned over to the Board and local community after the successful graduation of the first class. From there, Tembo Trading was established, and since 2007 they have been working in Kenya. A book about the success and challenges of their work in Kenya was published in May 2013, title “Beneath The Baobob Tree – Where Poverty Dies and Hope Begins.”

Debra Akre, MBA, PhD

Chair and CEO of Tembo Trading

Debra is Board Chair and CEO of Tembo Trading Education Project.

Debra has thirty-five years’ experience in a variety of industries and has also owned her own retail and manufacturing businesses. Her experience includes international and domestic business development, human resources and education. She currently serves as the Director of Recruiting for a national organization. She holds an MBA in Asia Pacific Management and a Doctorate in Organization Behavior and Management Psychology.

Debra lives in Bellingham, WA and divides her time between her home and her work in Kenya.

Jeana King

Vice Chair & COO of Tembo Trading

Jeana is Vice Chair and COO of Tembo Trading Education Project.

Jeana has thirty years’ experience in administrative and leadership roles in a variety of businesses, including her own. This work has included human resource management, marketing, sales and general management. Her initial degree was in fashion merchandising. She has served on numerous boards, notably rising to President of the Northwest Human Resource Management Association, and serving with the NAACP.

Jeana lives in Bellingham, WA and travels frequently to Kenya.

Encouraging Change

Learning about world events in the classroom allows students to study the past in order to change the future. Tembo gives access to education not normally available.

Connecting Cultures

As technology makes our world more accessible, and because classrooms are increasingly diverse, we need to understand our connectivity to other cultures.

Creating Global Citizens

Through education, students become better global citizens. They consider their impact across the world, understand we are all connected, and learn to give back.

Building Leaders

Global learning encourages awareness and critical thinking about issues such as poverty, climate change, religious differences, and politics.

Don't Be Shy. Get In Touch.

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!