The Mission of Empowering Minds International "EMI" is to provide mental health services and empower women, individuals, families and communities escape poverty and live meaningful, sustainable and independent lives by providing comprehensive mental health services, shelter including safe homes for victims of sexual and domestic violence, education and economic well-being. EMI strives to heal, enrich and enhance the quality of life for the most vulnerable and marginalized population within Kenyan communities. The individuals that we serve today become tomorrow's advocates and sponsors creating social change and breaking down stigmas and stereotypes.
Empowering Minds International envisions a just, humane and healthy society in which all people are accorded respect, dignity and the opportunity to escape poverty and achieve their full potential through meaningful social inclusion that is free from ignorance, discrimination, stigma and violence. We envision helping individuals live a mentally healthy and happy life.
About Our Founder
Nyakio Kaniu-Lakegrew up in Naivasha, Kenya and now lives in Leawood, KS. She moved to the United States to attend college and has a BS in Business Management and a MS in Counseling Psychology. Nyakio is the Founder and Executive Director of Empowering Minds International and the Founding Director of Agatha Amani House, a shelter for women and girls and their children who are victims of sexual and domestic violence. She is the Gender Equality coordinator for Kansas2Kenya and together with her husband has been team leaders for Kansas2Kenya since 2010. K2K is a mission initiative that travels each year to Kenya focusing on the Sustainable Development Goals. Nyakio was among the few members of the 2015 Global Leaders of the world Class and is an alumni of the Global Women Leadership Network.
She currently serves on the Avila University Advisory Board for the International Advocacy Program. Having observed for many years the need for expanding mental health services in Kenya and having a passion for making a difference she has founded Empowering Minds International (EMI) to pursue that social goal. Nyakio is a Mental Health Therapist providing therapy to low income families in the Kansas City Area and spends half of her time in the US and the other half in Kenya.
All photos and/or videos of survivors used throughout Empowering Minds International's website/promotional materials are used with the permission of said survivors. No survivor from the shelter will be shown or mentioned by name without explicit permission.