Stephen Machua’s growth is attributable to years of volunteerism, community organizing, youth mobilization and leadership. He started as a student union leader at the age of 20, became a Rotaract Club President at 21 and continues to grow.
The 2007 / 2008 post-election violence in Kenya largely affected women and children. As an intervention, various organizations joined hands to champion peace campaigns across the country. Umeclick was one of those campaigns.
Being a Rotary and Rotaract affiliated campaign, Stephen Machua was invited to join the planning and implementation team of this campaign. His core role was to champion online mobilization of signatures and conduct university sensitization campaigns because young people were largely the catalyzers of previous violence.
His efforts and that of the team led to the mobilization of over 400,000 signatures across Kenya. The campaign caught the attention of the then British High Commissioner, Christian Turner and Kenyan Industrialist, Dr Manu Chandaria.
This campaign positively influenced Kenyans to conduct elections peacefully and set a precedence for subsequent elections under the new constitution.
While serving as a Student Leader and a Rotaract Club secretary, Stephen Machua was approached by his friend Calvin Jodisi to form a non-governmental organization. Together, they formed the Change Mind Change Future (CMCF) organization.
The goal was to inspire youth in schools and colleges to unlock their talents and use their ideas to change communities. The organization created a platform for young people to serve as peer mentors and for professionals to give back to schools through mentorship.
As fate would have it, his colleague secured a fellowship in the US and he was away for a long time. Stephen Machua had a huge task to steer CMCF through its infant years as the chief executive.
He took the bull by its horns and formed organization structures with the knowledge gained from his degree course. He recruited over 300 volunteers who championed the organization activities actively for 2 years.
When his colleague came back, Stephen took an inactive role to concentrate on studies and his newly found interests in entrepreneurship.
At the age of 22, Stephen Machua joined the organizing committee for the first-ever African Youth Charter Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The committee comprised of young leaders from different regions in Africa.
Most of the summit preparations took place virtually but Stephen was tasked to travel a week before to facilitate final event preparations. He took up the challenge despite being unfamiliar with the city of Dar es Salaam.
The summit brought together 45 delegates from 14 African countries and Africans in the diaspora. The summit formed the foundation for continental-wide and country-specific dialogues on the need for the ratification of the African Youth Charter.
In Kenya, Stephen, through his organization (Change Mind Change Future) convened monthly dialogues on the African Youth Charter post-summit.
The conversations pressured the Kenyan Government to ratify the Charter and deposit the instruments of ratification at the African Union Heads of States summit in January 2014.
When Stephen joined college, he was keen to grow within a network of community changemakers. His first week in school saw him join the Rotaract Club of Kenya Polytechnic University College.
Calvin Jodisi who was the club's Founding President entrusted him with leadership roles from the onset. First, he served as an Assistant Secretary to the outgoing Secretary, Lilian Obul. The following months were busy for Lilian, therefore, Stephen handled most of the club's activities, including reporting to the Rotaract Kenya country office and the sponsoring Rotary Club of Hurlingham.
In July 2011, he assumed the Club Secretary position officially and served under President Pritchard Kiliswa. It is during this period that he pushed for the official recognition of the Club by Rotary International. His efforts and those of the team bore fruits. The club received a charter on 14 April 2012. Stephen went on to become the third President of the Club in 2012 / 2013 and had a big task of steering the newly chartered club.
His greatest achievements as a club President include pairing up 37 Rotaractors with direct life and career mentors, championing Umeclick Peace Campaign ahead of March 2013 general elections in Kenya and providing leadership in disaster response and volunteer coordination during West-Gate terror attack in Nairobi.
Stephen Machua joined college politics at the age of 20. He run his campaign through a team of volunteers both on social media and offline activities. His popularity grew across the Nairobi city-based university, because of his young age and convincing tone during campaigns.
He was part of a camp, sort of political party, that comprised 16 candidates all vying for different positions in the Student Union of Kenya Polytechnic University College (SUKPUC) which was named Student Association of Technical University of Kenya (SATUK) after the University charter.
He represented the interests of students with special needs and facilitated the establishment of working relationships between external partners and the university.