Village Hopecore International was founded in 1982 by Dr Kajira K. Mugambi nineteen years after he left his birthplace in the foothills of Mt. Kenya to attend high school, college and law school in the United States. A graduate of UCLA School of Law, later a Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University, and a member of the California State Bar, Dr. Mugambi shared his time between his law practice in California and trips to Kenya to determine the feasibility of a microfinance organization in his home village and build community support. In 1993, he was able to realize his dream of giving back to the community the valuable benefits of the education and experience he received in the west, and transitioned from practicing law to full-time management of Village Hopecore International.
After a rigorous and extensive planning period, the pilot program was implemented in 2001. The 12 women of the Ruanchege Group agreed to be the first group to receive loan and quickly exceeded expectations. To support the program, Dr. Mugambi and his team formed a corps of volunteers, established relationships with community based organizations and government agencies, and opened offices in Chogoria, Nairobi, and Culver City, California. The Culver City office moved to Healdsburg, California, when Dr. Mugambi moved back to Kenya with his family in 2005. He now directs all operations in the Chogoria office.