About Us

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Sarakasi Trust responds to the need for the further development and promotion of culture, performing arts and entertainment in East-Africa focusing on acrobatics, dance and music. Sarakasi, established in Nairobi in 2001, strives to empower its trainees and contracted artists (most of whom originate from slum areas around Nairobi) creatively and economically by giving them tools to manage their art, lives and careers more effectively and successfully. The Trust aims to present the best of Kenyan creativity to the widest possible audience by organizing festivals and events, cultural exchanges, local and international performance contracts and tours.  Sarakasi also provides social development, training and capacity building and cultural awareness programs, and in addition implements special programs such as the Talanta training (involving blind and deaf performing artists), the Hospital Project (bringing edutainment to hospitalized children and children in homes and remand homes), monthly musicians workshops, Artist Agency Project, and the implementation of its own cultural agenda at the ‘Sarakasi Dome’, in Nairobi, its office, rehearsal and performance venue. Regular features on this agenda is the weekly Friday evening event providing platforms to Sarakasi artists, deejays, Emcees and musicians, a monthly open mike Hip Hop event, a bi-monthly dance-circus fusion evening event and the annual Sawa Sawa multi disciplinary Festival. Sarakasi employs 35 staff on a full time basis, reaches over 1,000 young people on a weekly basis in its (training) outreach programs, trains about 100 people at the Dome every week and reaches thousands with its audience building activities. Sarakasi Trust participates in six partner networks.

Vision

Arts and Culture for a better world!

Mission

To develop, facilitate, support and promote performing arts and culture for social and economic advancement of society.

Organizational Structure

The Sarakasi Trust governance and management structure is made up of a Board of seven Trustees, a Management Team made up of a Managing Director, Finance and Operational Manager, an Event and Facilities Manager and a Creative Program Manager.  All in all Sarakasi Trust employs 35 staff on a full-time basis, including management, project managers, project assistants and support staff.

The staff under the supervision of the Management Team and under the end responsibility of the Managing Director undertakes the day-to-day operations in the office, the indoor training as well as in the ‘field’ (outreach training centers, outreach projects, etc) and project management (of the several projects). The organization promotes a team based management structure, with a view to jointly reach targets, to enhance accomplishments as well as shared objectives and accountability to the organization and its key stake holders. Other structures put in place are a 5 year strategic plan, a business plan, an artist agency plan and a sales and marketing plan. Sarakasi Trust is a registered Trust from March 2009 and also gained NGO status in December 2010.

Sarakasi Programs

  • Training and Capacity Building Program
  • International Exchanges and Performance Contracts Program
  • Audience Building Program
  • The Sarakasi Dome
  • Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project
  • Triple H Up
  • Sound in Motion Project
  • Cultural Entrepreneurship Program
  • Partner Networks

Sarakasi Trustees

The Board of Trustees governs the Trust by providing strategic direction, formulating and approving policies and decisions, providing overall leadership, supporting the management team and being publicly accountable for the activities of the organization. Furthermore the Board strengthens the organization by being actively involved in fundraising and networking in order for the Trust to become financially sustainable.  The Board of Trustees meets a minimum of four times a year.

  • Nasir Karmali (Chairman)
  • Marion van Dijck (Co-Founder, Managing Director)
  • Evans Mwaura Githua
  • Sam Mwai
  • Waringa Njonjo
  • Wouter Jan Verwiel

Sarakasi Team

  • Marion van Dijck: Managing Director
  • James Munga: Finance and Operations Manager
  • Kui Macharia: Manager Events and Facilities
  • Edwin Odhiambo: Creative Manager/ Choreographer
  • Eric Gitau: Accountant
  • Harrison Kivuti: Office Assistant/ Messenger
  • Sammy Davies: Program Officer Events
  • Jane Mbugua: Communications and Marketing Officer
  • John Washika: Acrobatic Trainer
  • Rahim Otieno: Administrator Creative Department
  • Issa Odero: Dance Trainer
  • Kenneth Wembo: Project Manager Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project
  • Fernande Verwiel: Field Manager Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project
  • Hospital Project Creative Team
  • Kevin Omolo: Financial Assistant Sarakasi Trust Hospital Project
  • James Mwangi: Care Taker (Maintenance and Sound)
  • Cleaning and Security Team