42 Change Makers FOUNDER Story

Shaban Varajab is the Founder and Team Leader of 42 Change Makers, a youth-led non-profit organization that serves the underprivileged youth in Kenya. Shaban is passionate about social change and has driven countless campaigns to bring awareness to issues concerning peace building, conflict transformation, youth development, gender equality, education, and civic engagement.

Shaban was born in Kakamega, Kenya. He was raised by his late beloved grandmother after the untimely death of his parents when he was just a young boy; 11 years old. Shaban grew up in the depths of poverty. There were countless nights where his stomach ached from the indescribable hurt that accompanies starvation. There were nights where his unprotected skin hurt due to a lack of adequate clothing. There were seasons where getting education presented insurmountable challenges because of a lack of financial resources. 

Through tremendous sacrifices, prayer and hard work, Shaban was able to complete high school and earn his way to Moi university in Eldoret Kenya where he got a B.A degree in Education (Mathematics and Economics). At times, he had to work multiple jobs while maintaining his studies just to be able to pay for his education. Through all of these hardships, Shaban never lost hope. He eventually had scholarship opportunities to study and work abroad, (Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, USA and the Philippines). In 2016, Shaban got his M.A. degree in International Peace Studies (policy analysis) from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA. His enthusiasm for civic innovation and data for impactful investment secured him a one-year fellowship with enFocus, a nonprofit dedicated to building better communities through talent attraction, innovation and entrepreneurship in Indiana, USA. 

When you meet Shaban he will tell you that his university and work experiences in Kenya and abroad helped him access invaluable experiences and knowledge and he wants to see more of the struggling Kenya youth exposed to the same opportunities and become resilient community change agents through 42 Change Makers. 

Shaban now works as a Project Data and Accounting Manager in the United States while also running 42 Changemakers. He credits God with providing people in his path who helped him on his journey, keeping him in good health, and blessing him with a good mind that allowed him to overcome all odds.