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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work

About the Rafiki Foundation

Rafiki Means Friend

The vision of The Rafiki Foundation is to cultivate a multitude of godly contributors in ten African countries.

To accomplish this,  Rafiki established ten Rafiki Training Villages within the African countries of Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. These Villages provide living and educational facilities through Rafiki’s five programs: Bible Study, Education, Teacher Training, Orphan Care, and Widows.

Rafiki’s strategy is to equip Africans to cultivate a multitude of godly contributors by: caring for and educating orphans, providing Bible study and Classical Christian education to the African church, giving help to widows, and equipping thousands of church schools with high quality education and well trained teachers.

Read about our Founder

Read our full Statement of Faith here

Bible Study Program

The most important and foundational goal of The Rafiki Foundation is to help the people of Africa know God. Therefore, the Foundation's main mission is to provide a Bible study suited for men, women, and children in Africa and to make it available free of charge to those who want to know God. Our aim is to see the Rafiki Bible Study used by all participants in The Rafiki Foundation, in Rafiki Village schools, and in Partner Denominations' schools and colleges when possible.

Education Program

The purpose of the Education Program is to cultivate minds and hearts that love God, their neighbor, and all that is true, good, and beautiful. Each Rafiki Village includes an accredited school from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. All students are instructed with the Rafiki School Curriculum—a quality, academic curriculum written by Rafiki that integrates a biblical worldview into a traditional liberal arts core of arts, letters, sciences, and mathematics.

Teachers College

The Rafiki Institute of Classical Education seeks to raise the level of education across Africa by training African teachers to teach African students a rich and fully developed classical education.

Orphan Care Program

The Orphan Care Program provides a loving home for up to 100 orphans in the Rafiki Training Villages. The goal of the Orphan Care Program is to rescue these children from physical death through medical care and nutrition and to rescue them from spiritual darkness by teaching them to know God.

Training Villages

Training Villages provide living and educational facilities for orphans and vulnerable children in ten of Africa’s most impoverished nations. They also train African church partners in education, help them improve their schools, and support their widows.

Rafiki Exchange

Located at the Home Office, the Rafiki Exchange sells unique handcrafts from ten African countries that are fashioned by African women through the Widows Program. Proceeds from the sales provide much needed income to the widows and impoverished women of the African churches.
Shop At Our Online Store

Rafiki Home Office

The Home Office is located in Eustis, Florida on a fifty-seven acre plot of land. The complex of buildings replicates the design of a Rafiki Training Village in Africa. The Home Office houses the administrative, training, printing, and outreach facilities of the ministry.

Rafiki Board of Directors

The Foundation is overseen by a board of directors comprised of individuals who are united by a commitment to the vision and mission of the Foundation. Rosemary Jensen (President and Founder), Karen Elliott (Executive Director), John Chunn, Rev. Dr. Tim Hoke, Rev. Dr. Dennis Johnson, Mayhoward Johnston, Lanny Nixon, Carla Northington, Tom Shoquist, and Dr. Guy Waters.


Karen J. Elliott – Rafiki Executive Director

Karen has served with Rafiki since 1990, including twelve years on the mission field, primarily in Nigeria. Upon returning to the U.S., she became the Director of Africa Operations responsible for managing the ChildCare and Education Programs for all ten Rafiki Villages as well as curriculum development. In 2012 she was named Rafiki's Executive Director. Prior to joining Rafiki, she worked ten years in the banking industry as a commercial lender, Management trainer, and Vice President. She holds a BBA in finance/accounting and music minor from Southern Methodist University, Masters degree in Education from UTA and is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Faulkner University. Karen is a member of St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, FL, and served for many years as a teaching leader for Bible Study Fellowship while in Texas and in Africa. Karen served as a founding board member for LifeHouse, a home for unwed mothers in Houston, Texas which is still in operation today
Steve Kranz
Director of Facilities and Services
Steve joined Rafiki in 1998, serving six years as a missionary in Kenya where he was a Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader; currently he oversees Rafiki’s printing, procurement, shipping and logistics for the United States and Africa.  Steve has a BS in Business Administration and a BS in Economics from the University of California Riverside and with his wife Carol founded and operated a ministry to adults with developmental disabilities between 1980 and 1998.
Karen Gobert
Director of Communications
Karen joined Rafiki in 1998, and oversees the production of Rafiki’s publications, website, and promotional materials. In addition, Karen manages Rafiki’s Widows Program which helps impoverished women in Africa by marketing and selling their hand crafts. She previously worked for 16 years in the advertising industry as an Art Director as well as serving as a missionary in both Romania and Ecuador. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts.
Tom Kreamer
Director of Finance

Tom joined Rafiki in 2001 serving, along with his family, as a missionary in Kenya for nine years. During that time, he handled the finances for the Village and served in the school. He has an MBA from Belhaven University and is pursuing a designation as Certified Management Accountant. He previously worked as a Senior Information Specialist at Electronic Data Systems in Troy, Michigan.
Erica Robertson
Director of Africa Operations

Erica oversees the operation of Rafiki’s ten PreK-12 classical Christian schools and orphan homes. She joined Rafiki in 2010 as a missionary and served as the headmaster of the Rafiki School in Rwanda, and moved to Nigeria to serve as headmaster from 2013-2017. She has a masters degree in education and will soon compete a masters degree in classical and Christian studies.
Rob Sullivan
Information Technology Manager
Rob, along with his wife, joined Rafiki in 2010 as missionaries in Nigeria, and then later to join the Home Office staff in 2014 to assume his current responsibility.  Before Rafiki, Rob was an engineer and a senior manager for a well-known tech company for decades, planning and evolving the technology we depend on today. Rob oversees Rafiki’s cybersecurity and technological innovation for the Home Office and the ten African Rafiki Villages. He’s also a Bible teacher and Elder, serving his local church.
Cathy Brown
RICE Program Administrator

As the RICE Program Administrator Cathy oversees the operations of Rafiki’s seven teacher training colleges in Africa. She has a Bachelor’s and master’s degree in education. She also is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and has over 30 years’ experience in teacher training and education in Florida. Cathy holds certifications in:

  • IDEA (Exceptional Student Education) Compliance Coordinator
  • Professional Learning Specialist
  • Guidance Counselor
Anne Burguet
Curriculum Manager
Anne oversees the development of Rafiki’s Prek-12 Classical Christian School Curriculum  and has interfaced with over 60 curriculum writers in the last 11 years in this process. She joined Rafiki in 2011 and serves as general editor of our school curriculum, collaborating with authors of Pre-K-12 grade classical Christian curricula to insure accurate content, biblical worldview, intentional classical pedagogy, and teacher-friendly lesson plans.  She has a BS in Education from Belhaven University, 11 years of classroom teaching experience in classical Christian education, and 11 years classical, Christian curriculum development experience.
Carol Kranz
RICE Program Developer
Dr. Carol Kranz is an educational consultant with research interests in curriculum, instruction, and educational systems in Africa. She presently oversees the curriculum development for Rafiki’s Institute for Classical Education (RICE) or classical Christian teacher’s colleges in Africa. Carol started with Rafiki in 1998 serving, along with her family, as a missionary in East Africa. Carol served as  as a teaching leader for Bible Study 

Financial Accountability

The Rafiki Foundation is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. See the ECFA’s profile on The Rafiki Foundation.

Rafiki has received a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. See Charity Navigator’s evaluation of The Rafiki Foundation.

Rafiki's 2021 990 Form
Rafiki's 2021 Audited Financial Statements

Malawi Village Ministries