I first went to work in Cameroun and Gabon in the 1990’s and as they say, the red soil of Africa was well and truly on my shoes.
I was introduced to Kenya in 2010 by my friend Tim Fox of Kogelo Tours, having agreed to raise some funds to develop a two-acre plot to feed orphan children near Mundeku village in Western Kenya. Through The Red Rubber Ball Foundation, the farm continues to provide maize to the local primary school and clean, accessible water to the villagers. We’ve also sponsored 195 children through secondary school, with many moving on to university; and now also run a cycling club for kids in the Kibera slums and a mentoring programme, matching students with business people in Nairobi.
My family has grown! I’ve since attended graduations, weddings and even climbed Kilimanjaro with our students.
My time is split between running the Foundation and working as a professional Coach, helping business people develop leadership and management skills, progress their careers and overcome the challenges they face. As well as our sponsored students in Kenya, I’ve also worked with children in the UK and students at the University of Windhoek in Namibia.
I joined the Kenya Society in 2011-12 as a way of making friends with others who have an interest in the Kenya. I’ve learned so much more about the country and its people, and been supported in everything we’ve done. That’s why I’d recommend anyone with an interest in Kenya to join – the group is welcoming, informative and you’ll make great friends.
A while back, I spoke at a Kenya Society event and a number of people came forward to sponsor children afterwards. I’ve also had great support from members who have introduced me to their friends and contacts in Kenya – one such introduction enabled one of our students to spend four months on work experience in a Nairobi business. The experience has changed her life and she has gone on to study architecture.
We have also connected with many schools and organisations in Kenya, like the Safari Simbaz cycling team and Project Elimu, the dance group based in Kibera. It’s been a fantastic experience which has enriched my life tremendously.