KENYA Care Regional Director Tragically Killed in Nairobi

Geoffrey Chege, 1950 - 2007

KENYA (January 28, 2007) – Geoffrey Chege, a 25-year veteran of CARE, was killed on 28 January in Nairobi during a car jacking attempt. Chege directed CARE USA's programmes in East and Central Africa. He would have turned 57 in March.

"We are deeply saddened and stunned by this senseless death," said President and CEO of CARE USA, Dr Helene Gayle. "No one was more committed than Geoffrey to uplifting the poor and vulnerable; no one was a greater champion for women's equality. Everyone who knew Geoffrey held him in the highest regard. The CARE family sends our heartfelt condolences to Geoffrey's wife and daughters and to his extended family."

Born in Nairobi, Chege began working for CARE as a Project Manager for Primary Education and Youth Polytechnics. Over the years, he held various positions at CARE in Kenya, Egypt, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, where he was Country Director. In 2003, he was appointed Regional Director, based in Nairobi.

"Geoffrey was a warm, engaging man, passionate about his commitment to the poor and vulnerable and thoroughly loyal to CARE and its mission," said Denis Caillaux, CARE International Secretary General. "With his intelligence and talent, he could have succeeded in any other professional field, but decided to remain true to his lifelong ideal. In his soul, Geoffrey was a teacher, an educator. His way was to convene and to convince; always open to listen and to find common ground. CARE has lost a great leader."

Paul Barker, CARE's Country Director in Sudan, shared similar memories, adding, "Perhaps I shall remember him best as a proponent of gender equity and equality. As the father of three daughters he was most sensitive to the injustices that most cultures heap on women and girls. As we struggle to bring dignity and hope for a better tomorrow to the world's downtrodden, Chege's life and sacrifices help me remember what our work means."

CARE's regional office in Nairobi was closed on Monday, January 29, as staff cope with their grief. More information will be available concerning services and how the family wants well-wishers to express their sympathies. CARE staff around the world have expressed deep sorrow over this great loss.