40 hours of travel for 80 hours in Kenya. The trip was positive and productive. I booked the flights with 2 weeks notice and had no appointments lined up. Even with such short notice, each day was full of impactful meetings and incredible opportunities. Everyone we met were willing to help and eager to see what we will be able to build.
We met a new organization, Rizikisource, that is already collecting the resumes of people with disabilities in order to begin finding work for them. Zalego will be able to provide computer training in any area we require, basic typing, PHP, Python, or Cisco training. Friends, some new and some old, were able to share valuable insights and introductions. We were really blessed to find some of the right people with such short notice and such little time to get together.
It was also really fun being back in Nairobi. It’s been ten years, but I met with some people who assumed I still lived in Kenya. I immediately felt like I was tricking them with my Kenyan accent and nonchalant shang and Swahili, but was later told I should appreciate being able to still communicate effectively after being gone for so long. The city has changed, taller buildings with more glass, and clearer skies; the result of nicer vehicles on the road. The people are the same, hospitable and caring. The samosas are still tasty.
A business called The Final Step
Cure was the first step, hospitals to provide life saving and life changing surgeries. Education is the next step, learning and skills, often left unused without jobs. We have helped build a school for children with disabilities, but we realized there are many more organizations serving the educational needs, even of the disabled community, than there are creating jobs. So, we’re focusing instead on the final step, employment.
We understand how important and dignifying a job is, especially for a community that sees twice the unemployment rate of the often high national averages. That was the point of this trip, to begin taking strides toward testing our assumptions and getting started building a business to provide thousands of jobs.
The trip was both tiring and refreshing, exhausting hours juxtaposed with the excitement of this important work being affirmed and validated. Someone asked if I felt called to this; undoubtedly, yes.