In cherished memory of Krystle Kabare

To find out about the Krystle Kabare Scholarship Programme, click here:


This page is a celebration of the life and work of Krystle Kabare, a very popular member of staff at Development Pathways, absolutely committed to building an effective and comprehensive social protection system in Kenya, who sadly passed away on the 28th September 2017.


Krystle, in the technical team at Development Pathways, and approached her work with great enthusiasm and energy, and left a positive impression with everyone she came into contact with. Krystle was passionate about disability rights and extending social protection coverage to persons with disabilities, and regularly volunteered for disability-focused projects around Nairobi, where she lived. To honour her memory and commitment to support those less-fortunate, Development Pathways will host a memorial event to take forward an urgent agenda for Krystle and her nation: Building a disability-inclusive social protection system for Kenya. This event will highlight findings from the research she contributed to and was passionate about, with the next steps on how we can achieve disability-inclusive social protection, which will also be a lasting legacy to her life and work.


We will use this page dedicated to her memory to share materials that Krystle authored and contributed towards on the subject of social protection, starting with her blog on the announcement that the Government of Kenya would implement a universal pension. We also share many memories, including in the speech Richard Chirchir made at Krystle’s memorial on 28th September 2018, in which he reflects on the legacy of Krystle’s work. To build on Krystle’s excellent work to support the most vulnerable, Development Pathways can announce the creation of a Krystle Kabare Scholarship to fund a postgraduate student of to start study social policy at the University of Nairobi in 2019, with applications to open in the New Year.


Krystle Kabare’s Publications


In a blog she wrote last year, Krystle underlined that global evidence shows that universal social protection schemes are “the best means of reaching older persons living in poverty” and said the Government of Kenya’s Senior Citizens’ Grant would therefore be “transformative” in its impacts on poverty. She concluded: “As a Kenyan, I am proud to see a government that cares for the elderly who have contributed to society throughout their lives, and can now live their later years with respect, dignity and security… It is my hope that the government will progressively fulfil its mandate to realise the rights of, not only older persons, but all citizens to social security.” Click here to read more.


Krystle worked on research for the UK’s Department for International Development to examine how social protection systems and schemes can be made more inclusive of persons with disabilities. She led the Kenya case study report into her nation’s social protection system and persons with disabilities and inputted into the project’s Zambia and Rwanda case studies. In the former, published in October 2018, she underlines that the vast majority of persons with disabilities have no access to formal social security, and sets out the case for a child disability benefit “to relieve the burden on households that incur opportunity costs due to their caregiving responsibilities”.


Krystle produced a paper on the Mbao Pension Plan in Kenya, published in October 2018, in which she reviews the design and implementation of the private savings scheme targeted at informal-sector workers. She argues that the plan is innovative but in its current form, the plan is more effective as a savings vehicle than a retirement scheme. Finally, she offers recommendations on how the scheme could be improved so that it can become “a best practice example for neighbouring countries that are also looking to increase savings and long-term financial planning”.




Krystle, you are greatly missed, you beautiful, vivacious child – with so much to live for… You cared immensely for those less fortunate than you and, like a lioness, you wanted to fight for them. Your love of life was infectious. You will always be in my thoughts, my sweet angel. Sandra Kidd


Krystle was a great colleague – tenacious, curious, cooperative – with a promising and exciting career ahead of her. But more than that, Krystle was a wonderful person. She filled the room with energy and joy. Being around her I often felt that I had been invited into the middle of some kind of fabulous, exciting adventure. She was vivacious and playful, but also thoughtful and kind. She was a deeply connected person with a huge heart and a sincere and infectious smile. Juliet Attenborough


I worked with Krystle during a number of visits to Kenya. She was always patient, always looked after me, was very bright and as the very touching text on your website says, had a wonderful future ahead of her. One comfort is that Krystle achieved an awful lot in a short time. We have been so privileged to know her and work with her.


Words are limiting and can’t describe this tragedy; extremely difficult to comprehend Krystle is gone. I mourn a great colleague and friend. David Kamau


I was so pleased that I managed to persuade her to join Development Pathways and she was just at the beginning of what would have been a great career. I spent some wonderful times travelling with Krystle who was a great companion with a very kind heart. Every time I pass by certain areas in Nairobi where we spent time together, I am reminded about her and sadness fills me. I’ll miss her as a great colleague and a very good friend. But, at least, before she left us, she knew she’d played an important role in achieving one of her ambitions: building better lives for all Kenyans in old age, through the Inua Jamii Senior Citizens’ scheme. Stephen Kidd


Krystle’s presence and warmth is still dearly missed. Memories grow more precious as the years go by and though time has passed, you are and will never be forgotten. Talah Omran


Krystle was more than a work colleague, she was a dear friend. As a colleague, I was struck by the energy and enthusiasm with which she approached her work. As a friend, I will remember her being the focal person that everyone gravitated towards. Leigh Crowley


Krystle was the kindest of souls and a pleasure to be around with. She was the very first person I worked with closely when I joined DP, and I will always cherish the experiences we shared in Kenya. We miss her dearly! Alexandra Barrantes


Young with a promising career – truly a sad loss for the family, friends and entire Social Protection fraternity. Will miss you, rest in peace. Helen Magutu Amakobe


This is heartbreaking. A young beautiful soul gone too soon. In God’s hands you rest. Fly with the angels. Bosibori O’Momanyi


Krystle, you would come to ESP in Uganda and make things easy around you. Your warm personality paved way for you to achieve your goals and objectives for the day. Your smiles so captivating that one who is moody will smile back and be at peace. Your dimple was cute and deep with affection for people around you. That was the unique feature you had I would say. I love the questions you presented to me about Karamoja districts and the uniqueness of implementation of the SCG in that complex area. We had planned to go to Karamoja and get to Kidepo after passing my district of Abim to see the Rock English men refer to as the Sugar Lump but in my local language it is called Kidi Rwot, which means the King of the Rocks. Unfortunately death left a heartache that no one can heal, and your love left a memory no one can steal. Rest in peace and let your shining personality be reflected on the green grass that will grow around your grave. Ocero Ogola


She was such a shining presence – a jewel sparkling in the sun,

Full of joy and brightness and a wonderful sense of fun.

An incredible human being, filled with kindness and with good,

Her spirit was unwavering and her message understood.

A dedicated colleague, who devoted her whole life,

To those in need who suffer most from poverty and from strife.

A friend transcending boundaries of nationhood or race,

She welcomed all who crossed her path with sympathy and with grace.

And how we all will miss her – the bright smile and gentle voice,

Her cheery being in itself gave us reason to rejoice.

We thank her now together as on wings of angels she departs,

Knowing that we hold her ever close, embedded in our hearts. Carol Watson


Memorial Speech, Richard Chirchir, 28th September 2018


Mama Krystle, the larger Kabare family, other relatives, colleagues and friends, all protocols observed. We congregate  here today, on this hallowed ground, to commemorate the life of Krystle, a colleague and a friend who cared for many in Kenya.  Although a  year has passed, my recollections of the Krystle are still very vivid. At Development Pathways, we thank God for the time we spent together. And, we don’t say this because they are standard words we would utter at any forum. Krystle was a special member of the Development Pathways family. So, we remember her passion for the vulnerable especially persons with disabilities, her infectious smile, her hard work, her quick thinking, her strong organisation skills and her love for nature.


I personally still hold dear ‘Our Daily Bread’, this small religious book with inspiring biblical verses juxtaposed by strong personal experiences, that Krystle gave me as a Secret Santa. Ideally, the Secret Santa is meant to be secret. But, in a small team like Development Pathways Kenya Office, it was very difficult to keep these Christmas presents secret. So, we ended up knowing each other’s Secret Santa.   With our busy schedules, I cannot claim that I have read every story in the book bequeathed to me by Krystle. But, I have one powerful story to share with all of us.


While I was skimming through ‘Our Daily Bread’, one story that struck me when I opened it randomly was titled: “When things don’t go well”.  I am sharing it today, because the story spoke to be so powerfully. The story is based on Romans 8:28-30, a popular verses often cited by Christians in times of difficulty and I quote: “We know in all things God works for good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Of course, these words ring hollow in difficult times.  The author, Lawrence Darmani, recounts sitting with someone who had lost his third son in a row. And, the person was very distressed and wondered how such a tragedy of monstrous proportion could be his good.


It is indeed difficult to imagine that anything good can come out of any tragedy.  I know that Romans 8.28 -30 is difficult, and I cannot claim to be a biblical scholar to make good  ecclesiastical interpretations.  But, God has good purposes and remains with us as Christians. Let me encourage Mama Krystle today and the entire Kabare family. May God give you strength and inner peace. May the Lord, God, who encouraged Fanny Crosby, who despite being blinded at the age of 5, started writing hymns, and by the age of  8  ended up writing 8, 000 sacred hymns.  Today, we sing popular gospel hymns such as, ‘Blessed assurance’ and ‘Pass me not, o gentle saviour’, born out of her own personal tragedy.


As we seek comfort in the almighty, from these sacred and powerful words, I would like to encourage all of us that the good works that Krystle did and issues she passionately cared shall not be in vain. As a company, our Deputy CEO, Talah Omran, on behalf of the CEO, made a commitment, a year ago, to create a memorial in Krystle’s name. First, I am glad to report that we are running an international conference on disability on the 16th of October 2018 in memory of Krystle. We know from family and what she told us that she was zealous about disability issues. The conference, will therefore, bring together many policy makers with the aim of having a constructive dialogue on how to address disability issues in Kenya. We hope through the conference, Krystle will touch many in Kenya. Secondly, we are at an advanced stage of setting up a graduate scholarship programme and will announce this in the coming weeks..


As we express our gratitude for the life of Krystle, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. Let me end with a word of encouragement directed to all of us. Krystle lived and accomplished so much over a short period of time. She was 30 years when she went to be with the angels. Yet,  she made many friends, travelled to many countries and worked on issues she passionately cared for. And, issues that mattered to her including her legacy are already being nurtured  by colleagues and friends. I personally believe that her legacy will certainly flourish, like the trees we are symbolically planting by her graveside, today.  We hope the initiatives we are establishing in Krystle’s memory will touch millions of lives as the trees we plant today will form tiny droplets that will flow into the mighty Ndakaini dam that quenches the thirst of millions of Nairobi residents, daily.


The rhetorical question to each one of us is: “what will be your legacy?” When the time comes, to bid good bye to this planet, which is not our home, as  will certainly happen, what will your friends, colleagues, family say, about you?  Will they say, ‘He/she was born, he got married and died?’ What is it that that you are doing for humanity that will make a difference? What legacy will you leave behind?


Thank you. And, God bless you all!