Located in Kiambu District, between Kiambaa and Tigoni, Kimlea is surrounded by tea estates with villages of tea pickers, as well as families living off small holdings at subsistence level. In an effort to promote the women living under these difficult conditions, Kianda Foundation started Kimlea in 1986, in a prefabricated building where informal classes were held. The next step was to offer technical skills that would enable the girls to start their own businesses (small income-generating ventures) or find employment. With the help of the European Community, Kimlea Technical Training Centre was built and registered in 1992 under the Ministry of Social Services.
Kimlea offers a competitive course in hospitality that will equip students with the necessary technical skills and other relevant competencies required for food and beverage service, techniques on taking -processing-serving orders, basic aspects of housekeeping and laundry services needed by hotels, resorts, guest houses, and office blocks. The institution offers students an opportunity to explore career(s) in Hospitality and Tourism that will help them develop the skills, attitudes, and expertise that will assist them in their future workplace.
The Training Centre runs outreach programmes in three surrounding villages, where members of staff run literacy and technical training courses to upgrade the women. More than 20,000 people have benefited from these programmes.