Joss Carruthers and Teresa Njoroge

Founded by Teresa Njoroge and Joss Carruthers in 2015, Clean Start has a unique origin story.

In 2009, Teresa, then a senior bank manager, was arrested for a crime that she did not commit and, in 2011, was sentenced to a year in Langata Women Maximum Security Prison, Nairobi.

Teresa’s first-hand experience of prison, the desperate plight of the women and girls she met behind bars and the revolving door of crime and poverty she witnessed, inspired her to devote her life to equipping and empowering female inmates to better prepare for the precarious journey of reintegration into society.

After her release, she met life coach Joss Carruthers and together they founded Clean Start with the aim of delivering impactful pre-release coaching programs for female inmates enabling them to access education, training and employment post release. Through partnerships with corporates, community and faith organisations, Clean Start aims to provide sustainable Second Chances for women and girls leaving prison.

Teresa is an Acumen Fellow and she has been awarded several fellowships including Vital Voices Lead and Metis Fund.

In 2015, Clean Start received an award from Women and Girls Lead Global for its advocacy on behalf of marginalized groups.

In November 2017, Teresa spoke about her story and Clean Start’s work at the TEDWomen 2017 Global Conference in New Orleans and at The Institute for Criminal Policy Research in the UK at the University of London for the launch of their study into Female Imprisonment Worldwide.