PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A former Portland nanny, now living in Kenya, is helping kids there get a quality educational experience. She’s raising money for the school she’s running with her husband –a native Kenyan– to make sure they can continue their mission.

KOIN 6 News caught up with Sacha Chabaga in southeast Portland where she was working as a nanny. It was just before she returned to Kenya to run the school that she says, she and her husband, “accidentally” inherited.

Looking at the other schooling options in the area, Chabaga says they knew they had to go for it.

“We wanted to offer them something that would put them on an equal playing field with their peers around the world,” Chabaga said.

Naming it the Tender Herbs School, they are in their third year and adding first and second grade. The school year officially starts in two weeks and they’re trying to add things that are not offered at the public schools in the rural community.

In those schools, class sizes are around 55 students, and corporal punishment is used.

“We want to have a library and a computer lab, a clinic and a swimming pool because swimming is an integral part of the curriculum, but almost nobody actually swims in a pool,” Chabaga explained.

Usually, kids learn the theory of swimming on grass, Chabaga says, adding that technology is also way behind, with students not touching computers until their senior year of high school.

But Chabaga says they need financial help to keep Tender Herbs running — including money for firewood for cooking and ensuring they can pay the staff.  

“We owe about $17,000 to pay off the land, ideally by the end of this year. And then, as we’re building up the school population, our plan is to be self-sustaining, but we’re not quite there yet,” Chabaga said.

It’s especially important to Chabaga that there be an option like Tender Herbs in the future, as she’s expecting her first child in 2023.

Chabaga added, “Yes, we want to offer a better education, more opportunities to children in our community but also, the community at large, we want the school to be a hub of upliftment.”