General

In June I am leaving for Kenya

So this is a travel blog right? And I figured that so long as I am not technically travelling, then it’s hard to find the words to fill these pages. Ha, check me – all retro. I still love books. And to me this will always be my electronic book. Fnar to blogs!

It’s been a long standing desire of mine to spend some more quality time in Africa. 10 years ago – in June – I embarked naively but open heartedly on a trip to Tanzania that launched a decade long journey of self discovery. I spent six weeks there volunteering on a community development project. And then after I went off on my own attempting to get down to Cape Town by public transport and via off the beaten path routes, despite being seriously advised not to, and had an adventure that saw me see and experience things that have been part of my dinner party patter since.

My yearning to go back was temporarily satiated by a 2 week affair with Malawi for my 30th birthday. My friend Gen and I went to Lake of Stars Festival and it was one of the best trips i’ve ever done for a multitude of different reasons, but mainly because I just love Africa.

I laugh lots when i’m in Africa. The people there are a joy to be around. And I love the kids, a lot.

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Two brothers I met in Tofo, Mozambique 2004. One was shy and the other super loud and funny. Can you tell which? Hah.

With career progression on my mind, and my conscious efforts to move in a particular direction, I am going to do another community project – this time in Kenya, and for 3 months. It’s really interesting work – about empowerment and skills/knowledge sharing.

I’ll be taking out around 40 young people from the UK, not just any old kids but graduates and early 20s types who have a spark in their eyes to want to do something different.

At the flip side we have recruited a large bunch of young entrepreneurs in rural Kenya – anything from young lads trying to make a quick buck selling their wares in the market through to more well thought through business ideas that require support and funding to get them off the ground.

I’ll be matching up the two groups – and setting them various challenges with the goal of them creating some rather exciting outcomes. Mainly a solid business plan, a strong brand and identity, marketing strategy and then getting them ready to pitch for funding. The idea (and hope) is that the Kenyan entrepreneurs feel fired up, inspired and innovative after the process – effectively to go away and put their business plans into action. And the UK young people come back inspired, motivation and having learned heaps in the process about cultural differences, thinking outside the box and I suppose well, just not always looking at the world through the same lenses.

So if you’re interested in hearing more, make sure you are following me on twitter @andreagamson and have signed up to receive post updates via email.

Thanks!

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