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The Metis Fellowship

place Kenya + 4 more

Equipping a Movement of Local Leaders to Transform Education

We find local innovators with ideas to reimagine teaching and learning. Through the Fellowship, we connect them to the tools, resources, mentors, and community they need to make those ideas come to life. We support a growing movement of leaders to collaborate and lead for transformational impact. To date we've supported 63 Fellows impacting over 1.3 million learners.

HundrED 2022


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2022

HundrED 2021

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Target group
June 2020
Metis gave me the building blocks and coaching support to create a school for the next generation of African leaders. - Dr. Utheri Kiragu-Kanayo, Founder of Children in Freedom School.

About the innovation

What is The Metis Fellowship

What do we do?

Metis equips a movement of leaders to transform education. Through our 6-month Fellowship program, Metis finds leaders with ideas to reimagine teaching and learning. We connect these local innovators to the tools, resources, mentors, and community they need to make their ideas come to life. To date, we’ve supported 63 fellows, who create high-quality learning experiences impacting 1.3 million learners across Kenya. With Metis support, Fellows start and strengthen schools, programs, policies, and technology.

The Fellowship provides:

Community of Learning: kickoff retreat + monthly virtual meet-ups: workshops, guest speakers, site visits, readings, tools, and resources linked to practical innovation project, that equip Fellows with the mindsets and skills to:

  • Reimagine Education, learning with and from other Fellows about education innovations around the world
  • Design Innovations that improve education quality and learning outcomes--particularly considering the COVID-19 crisis 
  • Lead their teams to drive change and sustain long-term impact

Coaching: individualized support to strengthen skills and overcome growth areas (such as strategy, program design, goal setting and execution, impact measurement).

Curated Connections to sources of talent, capital, and opportunities for thought leadership.

Curriculum, which guides leaders through the METIS Way, a design-thinking approach to innovation in education.

Our Impact

  1.  63 Fellows equipped through our flagship Fellowship program.
  2. 1,300,000+ youth benefitted from transformational programs/schools started and led by Metis Fellows. Fellows are guided by Metis principles of student ownership, community participation, excellence, and collaboration to lead high-quality, transformational programs--from entrepreneurship programs to life skills curriculums to digital apps to schools. 70% of Fellows serve marginalized youth. 
  3. 800+ community leaders and educationists gathered at Metis events to problem-solve and collaborate. 
  4. Launched Keep Kenya Learning in collaboration with 60 other education organizations to support caregivers with resources and guidelines to support learning during school closure. 

COVID-19 Response & Impact

The power of the collective is evident in times of crisis. Not only have Metis community members collaborated to strengthen their individual responses, but Metis Fellows have also swiftly to support learners, parents, and educators together. The Metis community co-created Home Learning Guides to support vulnerable families without e-learning, hosted webinars, distributed food, and shared online resources through a digital resource hub. 

  • 15,000 households supported with Home Learning Guides
  • 30,000+ children access fun, engaging, and relevant learning materials.
  • Children engage in self-guided learning--starting gardens, conducting science experiments, writing, and even preparing for upcoming national exams. Watch Prince, Patricia, and Piece.
  • Parents feel empowered and supported during this stressful time. Watch the parents' responses here and here.
  • 1,000+ parents and educators equipped for e-learning through Metis Educator + Parent Resource Hub
  • 100+ Parents empowered with learning strategies through 2 webinars in collaboration with Mum’s Village.

Digitization & Expansion

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in ways we never thought possible and pushed us to accelerate our digitization plans.  As highlighted above, we have decided to pilot a hybrid in-person and virtual fellowship with our incoming fourth Cohort.  Once we pilot the new model successfully over the next six months, we shall then embark on rolling out the new model of our fellowship enabling us to reach more catalytic educational leaders across Kenya and East Africa.  

By digitizing our fellowship we will:

  • Reach more local education leaders and equip them with the tools, curated connections, and a community to enable them to create innovations that will improve learning outcomes across the country. We plan to reach 200 local education leaders in the next 2 years.
  • Be able to reach a larger number of local education leaders while observation the government and self-initiated guidelines on protection against the spread of COVID-19. 

What our alumni say about their fellowship experience

"I want our youth to be proud to be Kenyan, proud of their history, and equipped to lead our continent forward. Through the Metis Fellowship, I honed my vision for a Pan-African primary school. I met other school leaders and curriculum experts in my Metis cohort, was exposed to research and other school models from around the world. Metis gave me the building blocks and coaching support to create a school for the next generation of African leaders. " -  Dr. Utheri Kiragu-Kanayo, Founder of Children in Freedom School.

"Without the METIS way curriculum, I would not have survived Covid-19 and Makini's shift to e-learning. Metis taught me the skills to continuously iterate!" 

-  Immaculate Musambi, Principal Makini School. 

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Prioritising effective educational leadership in communities has a drastic impact as seen by the Metis Fellowship. There are a lack of programs that focus on professional development for leaders and this mentor and mentee framework is powerful and an easy concept to implement.

HundrED Academy Reviews
A movement coming from within a community and empowering both the "mentors" and the "mentees" to become active agents, while being mindful of and profiting from first-hand knowledge of local circumstances, is the most powerful means to strengthen said community.
This is a great ripple effect model. Investing in potential leaders that can make a bigger impact is a highly effective strategy. The power of networks/resources and access to likeminded people can really inspire change. The focus on empowering local leaders allows for local approach to be taken.
- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process


The 21st century skills we build
We support our Fellows to start and scale initiatives that build the following 21st-century skills: critical thinking, consciousness, creativity, communication, collaboration, compassion, curiosity, and courage.  Model created by Kids Education Revolution. 
Meet a Fellow: Mercy, Senior Leadership Coach, Dignitas
Mercy is a former teacher and currently supports teacher development at Dignitas. Mercy's bold question is “How might we support teachers to collaborate for personal and professional growth?” Her Metis fellowship experience has guided her to design and implement a Professional Learning Community (PLC) structure to support ongoing teacher development. "I want teachers to continue to learn and improve even when Dignitas no longer formally coaches them. They need to drive their own learning and growth, and that's what I'm learning to do at Metis. I'm also collaborating with a KICD leader who will implement PLCs at a national government level." Learn more about Mercy by reading her Metis blog: "What Happens We Leave? : Systems To Sustain Long-Term Impact In Schools"
An essential part of the Fellowship is the Metis retreat! During these 3 days that kickstart our fellowship, our community builds a foundation of trust from which we do our best and boldest work. The retreat is an opportunity for Fellows to get to know each other and each other’s work in an intentional and serene setting. Our learning goals for the weekend are: to connect with self, others, the challenge we hope to solve, and a sense of possibility. Like all Metis gatherings, the learning is fun, relevant, and experiential!
We have structured our fellowship around our METIS way curriculum, a design-thinking approach to innovation in education. The curriculum steps are: Make Meaning, Empathize, Tackle, Iterate, and Share. It allows Fellows to strengthen their ideas and make them come to life!
Coaching is essential to our Fellow's efficacy! We connect Fellows to an international network of over 90 experts. These coaches provide ndividualized support to strengthen skills and overcome challenges in growth areas (such as strategy, program design, goal setting and execution, impact measurement). 
We connect our fellows to sources of talent, capital, and opportunities for thought leadership. “Before Metis, I honestly thought I might have to give up on my dream of girls’ leadership programming. However, Metis introduced me to key funders and thought partners to grow our work serving Nairobi’s most marginalized girls with quality life skills program”  Rukia Sebit, Co-founder of Sunflower Global.
Community of Learning
Our fellows have access to a community of like-minded leaders and are able to interact and learn from them through our monthly communities of learning which incorporate; workshops, guest speakers, site visits, readings, tools, and resources linked to a practical innovation project, that equips Fellows with the mindsets and skills to reimagine education, design innovations, and lead their teams to drive change and sustain a longterm impact. 
Ecosystem Building Events
We have held ecosystem building events, both in-person (before Covid-19) and virtually, that have brought together education leaders from the government, civil society, and the private sector. To date, we have convened 1000+ people through these events to collaborate, poblem-solve and co-create. 
COVID-19 Response: Home Learning Guides
Following school closure due to COVID-19, the Metis community came together to create a home learning guide, a booklet that helps students from marginalized areas such as urban informal settlements and far-flung rural counties in Kenya continue learning from home. Filled with fun activities, exercises, and experiments, it is a joy-filled guide enabling families to learn even while schools ae shut.
COVID-19 Response: Partnerships
We have partnered with other education support organizations, such as Food4Education, to distribute food together with our Home Learning Guides to support vulnerable families. 
Meet a Fellow: Dr. Susan Utheri Kanayo, Founder, Children in Freedom School
“If we are going to flourish as a country, our kids and our teachers need different schools that foster their critical thinking. Through the Metis Fellowship, I honed my vision for a PanAfrican primary school. I met other school leaders and curriculum experts in my Metis cohort, exposure to research, and school models around the world. Coaching from Metis helped me to launch Children in Freedom school in 2018. Without Metis—there would be no school! Now, we serve over 350 students and host leaders across the world to learn from our Afrocentric approach. I am proud to be a Metis mentor, supporting other founders to grow and improve their schools. Metis is truly a movement, and through it, we will enable youth across Africa to shape the future of a more peaceful and prosperous future!” Watch these amazing learners at Children in Freedom School. 
Meet a Fellow: Clifford Oluoch, Headteacher, Premier Academy, and Founder, Homeless of Nairobi
The journey to the streets has seen Cliff teach and mentor students and teachers from prestigious schools such as Strathmore School, The Aga Khan Academy, Oshwal Academy, and most recently, Premier Academy where he heads the Prep School. A dynamic, fun-filled, and creative teacher, with a mentoring and writing career path spanning almost 30 years in the local and international curriculum is what defines the “Odijo”, as fondly referred to by his street children. Through his Metis Fellowship, Cliff launched a new program in Deep Sea Slum providing 300 vulnerable and out-of-school youth with dance, music, chess, and academic enrichment activities. He also piloted a successful vocational training and apprenticeship program for 20 previously homeless youth. See Clifford's work with Homeless of Nairobi. 
Meet a Fellow: Maria Omare, Founder and Executive Director, The Action Foundation
Maria believes that children with disabilities deserve to be included in all aspects of society and access high-quality education. Maria grew up with a visually impaired cousin and while attending Kenyatta University, she volunteered with Special Olympics Kenya, a sporting event for children with disabilities. These experiences opened her eyes to the challenges they faced and inspired her to co-found The Action Foundation in her second year of university. The Foundation equips teachers with skills to support students with disabilities, runs extracurricular activities in schools to promote inclusion, provides counseling and occupational therapy for children with disabilities, and equips them with strategies for self-advocacy. "Metis equipped me to think about systems change and now we are on track to impact 100,000 youth over the next 10 years by supporting other community-based organizations. Through Metis, I've gained a network of changemakers and a coach who has helped me navigate change and improve our model in ways I never could have alone." 

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