A funeral service will be held Tuesday, June 19 at her parents’ farm in Maragua, Kenya. More information on the service can be found here.
A member of the school’s second class and a 2008 graduate, Ngugi was working with Fursa-Opportunity, a community-based organization committed to supporting youth-led and youth-based projects and initiatives in Kenya.
Ngugi entered the Clinton School in 2007 as a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga. She completed field service projects with the Boys and Girls Club of Phillips County, Break the Chains in Baltimore, Md., and Century Close in Nairobi, Kenya.
Her classmates have been in contact with one another and are coordinating efforts to support Ngugi’s family.
Rina Meutia and Julie Gehrki are collecting money to help the family with funeral costs. Meutia is collecting the funds through her Venmo account. For more information, contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are a few words and memories of Ngugi from her Clinton School classmates.
“When I headed to Rwanda for my IPSP, I had an overnight layover in Kenya. Wambui arranged for her family to pick me up at the airport and host me overnight. I was so grateful for her hospitality and am thinking of her family in this time.” – Elizabeth Brill
“Wambui and I are BFF. We studied, cooked, danced, braided each other’s hair and laughed together. I was once very sick when I was at the Clinton School – had to stay on bed for a month. Everyone sent me flowers and food, etc. But Wambui … she was something else. She came to my dorm every single day to check whether I ate properly. She cleaned up my apartment, washed the dishes, and prepared food for me. She also brought home all school notes I missed. I once asked her, ‘Sister, I can be contagious, aren’t you afraid coming to see me every day?’ Her answer I will never forget: ‘Sister, what are you talking about? I am from Africa, I got it all, nothing scares me.’ Your soul is with God now, my dear sister, but your life will be with me forever. You taught me so much about life in your short life. How I wish we could grow old together. I will forever miss you. Your sister, Rina.” – Rina Meutia
“Many happy memories of conversation, laughter, and language lessons with Wambui and our other teammate, Rina, driving back and forth between Little Rock and Helena-West Helena. Whenever I arrived at Wambui’s dorm, she was always quick to fix me a cup of Wambui-style tea with plenty milk and sugar. Her unbridled honesty and commitment to improving her spot in the world wherever that was at the time will be missed.” – Christin Harper
“Wambui’s spirit deeply impacted the lives of everyone who knew her. It didn’t matter if you just met her for the first time or were a close classmate, Wambui had a way of making everyone feel like her best friend. From UACS classmates to their families, from volunteers to guest speakers, Wambui made a lasting impact on everyone! To me, she was the true embodiment of service to others and the world. A sincere desire to serve, a feisty and effective way of questioning problems that needed answers, a deep yearning for justice for all people, and a joy that flowed out of her when helping others. She made a huge impact on the world during her years on earth, and her spirit of love and service will live on forever in me and everyone who knew her!!!” – Mollie Merry Campbell
“I still remember my first phone conversation with Wambui during which she was on the back of a pickup truck in the middle of a political campaign in rural Kenya. Seriously dedicated to public service.” – Bob Torvestad, former Director of International Programs
“Visiting Wambui and her family in Nairobi, I saw the roots of her character. I also saw her influence at home from writing the new Kenyan constitution to building programs for young women to going door to door to promote reform candidates to tending the family farm. She was a volcano of public service.“ – Gary Wheeler