Mission Statement

The mission of Tamu Orphans Support Fund (TOSF) is to provide a comprehensive early life support system for HIV/AIDS orphaned children living in Tamu, Kenya.  TOSF works to provide

  • a safe and nurturing environment for children
  • access to education and or vocational training
  • sustainable financial support for our sponsored children

Our mission is grounded in the belief that a safe environment that nurtures good living practices, the value of education and the importance of community are essential to a child’s growth and development. We believe that a nurturing environment and access to education and/or vocational training will result in long-term sustainable success in the social and economic development of the individual and by extension, their families and the Tamu community.



TOSF is a non-profit charitable corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code.  We are passionate about bringing forth a nurturing environment coupled with the gift of education. Our philosophy is to place children in a home-based environment rather than an orphanage in the belief that a family environment with community support best provides for the child’s growth and development. Our vision is to expand our support of sponsored children beyond Tamu, Kenya into neighboring communities in need.


Board of Directors


Selpha Odero, President

Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya our home was constantly filled with extended family members or village folk that my father supported financially for their education or job search efforts. I remember my father telling me that by teaching one child from each family you uplift the entire community. In keeping with that tradition, I founded Tamu Orphans Support Fund (TOSF) with a few close friends to support orphaned and vulnerable children in Tamu, Kenya. Tamu is a small farming community located in western Kenya, not far from Lake Victoria. Our vision is to expand our support of sponsored children beyond Tamu into other communities in need.


Ariadne (Vida) Prater, Senior Vice President

I was intrigued by the idea of working with Selpha and the other TOSF Directors because I saw an opportunity to really make a difference. Sans the bureaucracy of large assistance organizations, I felt TOSF was a way that every effort could be channeled into bringing stability, good health, and education to children who deserved a chance to develop into successful adults. The model of placing orphaned children with local families rather than in an orphanage/institutional setting strongly appealed to me. As a life-long supporter of education and advocate for children, I saw this as a way of demonstrating how small scale alternative methods of orphan support can be as successful, if not a better means of insuring their needs are met. I am delighted to be a part of this grass-root non-profit and look forward to many years of successful programs.

Vida is the Chief Financial Officer and Co-Owner of Left Coast Press, Inc., a scholarly and professional publisher in the social sciences and related disciplines. Prior to her work with Left Coast Press, she worked 28 years as a Director in International and Area Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. During that time she managed the administrative, financial, and curricular affairs for nine interdisciplinary and internationally focused degree programs. In her spare time, she volunteers as a certified Medicare counselor for the State of California assisting senior citizens and the disabled to obtain needed medical and support services. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Mindspring Foundation. She was educated at the University of California at Berkeley and holds a BA and MA in Anthropology and Archaeology.


Toni Whittle-Ciprazo, Treasurer

I’ve always had a deep passion and desire to help those less fortunate, and when I was asked by the President of TOSF (Tamu Orphan Support Fund) to become a member of the board, I was very excited and jumped at the opportunity. I take my commitment to TOSF very seriously as I deeply believe the TOSF mission and efforts will make an incredible and meaningful difference for the orphaned children in Tamu, Kenya.


Myrna Flores, Assistant Treasurer




Patricia Orr, Emeritus Treasurer

After retiring from UC, I went to work at San Francisco State University as an Administrator for the Whirlwind Wheelchair Program. During my work, I had the fortunate chance to meet Selpha Odero. When she told me of the Tamu Orphans Support Fund and her desire to help children I was not only interested, but ready. For most of my adult life I have been in the not-for-profit business arena. As such, I would like to see that whatever I do, I would like to do it well and to leave a legacy of a better place.

Sue Thur, Vice President for Fundraising

I was first asked to join TAMU by the President, Selpha Odero, when she was in the initial stages of putting together this wonderful nonprofit organization in 2009. I felt extremely honored to be asked and willingly accepted. I am totally committed to helping the children in Tamu and continue to believe strongly in our cause. It is extremely inspirational to hear success stories directly from the children we are helping in Tamu and I feel very driven to work hard with the goal of continuing to help many more children in the future.

Monica Odero-Winegar RN, Director

During my medical mission trips with the Tiba Foundation, I encountered many orphans whose parents died from AIDs and were left to fend for themselves. Without a support system, these children would likely have a bleak future. The mission of Tamu Orphans Support Fund is to provide a family environment for these children and to provide for tuition and other school costs. The idea is to provide a less institutional alternative to orphanages and to promote self-reliance through education.

Carol Robinson, Secretary

Carol has been a special education teacher for 33 years, teaching preschool to adults. She also has 11 years of experience as a small business owner. This is her retirement year and she hopes to be able to further serve TOSF with her time and energies. Carol's interest in Kenya began with meeting the Odero sisters and hearing about the great need to educate orphaned children in the village of Tamu. In February 2014, it was her pleasure to travel to Kenya on a medical mission for Prevention International No Cervical Cancer (PINCC) and to screen women in Nyabondo's Hospital-Medical School and in Muhoroni's St. Vincent Hospital, not far from Tamu. Monica introduced Carol to the Odero family in Nairobi, Kisumu and Tamu. They visited two TOSF-supported students at their boarding schools and an employed former student.

Bruce Winegar PhD, Vice President for Communications

Tamu Orphans Support Fund has been an important lifeline for needy children in Tamu, Kenya. I have visited Kenya several times and it has been instructive and inspiring to see how TOSF has made it possible for a number of orphaned children to enter a supportive family environment.




Advisory Board Members

Pat Hull

Pat Hull is retired and lives in Hayward, California. She is married to her partner of more than 40 years, Carol Younglove, a retired teacher. Pat worked for about 8 years in community-based programs serving the disabled before beginning her work at the University of California in 1982. Her work in the community-based programs was centered on general administration, program development and resource development. At UC, she worked in many departments, including work at the Office of the President. She spent 10 years as the Business Manager of the Political Science Department before transferring to Anthropology, where she spent the final 4 years of her UC work before retiring in 2008. Pat enjoys traveling and doing genealogy research, among other things. Pat officially joined TOSF as an advisor to the Board in 2012.


Laura Nathan PhD




Copyright Tamu Orphans Support Fund © 2014. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN 27-254477. No part of this website may reproduced or retransmitted without express written permission. All rights reserved.