Meet the Fellows
This blog is well overdue, but better late than never! Here’s a quick introduction to the amazing young people working with us in Kenya.
Felicity, or Flexity as her Kenyan friends like to call her, has a law degree from Bristol but doesn’t really want to be a lawyer. The only thing is she hasn’t decided what to do yet. Felicity has been desperate to return Africa since travelling in 2010 from Nairobi to Cape Town. Drawn by the opportunity to live and work within a Kenyan community while working directly with budding Kenyan entrepreneurs from the absolute beginning of the business process she applied to Balloon Kenya. Since arriving in Nakuru Felicity has had the honour of a having a baby named after her!
Jeremy is a graduate of Design from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a champion downhill skier. He has always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and started a company in his last year of school called greenhomeplanet.com, an eco alternative for products within the home. Jeremy is always coming up with business ideas and is positive that the experience and knowledge he gains from Balloon Kenya will allow him to turn one of these ideas into a successful venture when he returns to the UK.
Leah has just finished her second year at Sheffield University where she studies Economics. During her time there she has become convinced that developing countries do not need money thrown at them in the form of short term aid; instead, they need to be supported to utilise their resources and skills. She wants to be a part of making this happen and this programme provides her with the unique opportunity to begin this. She is also a Brand Ambassador, which really means she sells shots to already drunk people in Sheffield nightclubs. One day Leah hopes to work for a major global body like the International Monetary Fund or the World Trade Organisation. Working in Kenya on an innovative microfinance project will look great on her CV. Let’s hope she gets the job!
Youkang studies Geography and Economics at St Andrews. He is South Korean but grew up in the US and France. He joined the programme because he aspires to be an entrepreneur and has already tested his skills by selling healthy snacks at university, albeit with mixed success! Youkang also strongly believes that the younger generations must step us, take the lead, create their own models of business, their own institutions and their own values and Balloon Kenya enables this by bringing young people from different countries together and supporting them to achieve remarkable feats. Youkang is a keen poet and won the Grand Poetry Slam at St Andrews in his first year. He also has a love of very hot chillies.
Suraj is born and raised in Kenya but currently studies Accounting and Finance at LSE in London. He is an aspiring social entrepreneur and in 2011 hosted a big music and dance night to raise funds to support and transform a nursery school in Kibera, Nairobi. Suraj has an immense passion to give back to Kenyan society because Kenyan society has given his family so much since their immigration from India. He joined Balloon Kenya because it gives him the chance to work with and support local Kenyan communities while developing his entrepreneurial skills and learning more about the challenges that fellow Kenyans face.
Nick moved from Germany to the UK 2 years ago to study International Relations at Exeter University. He is a seasoned entrepreneur having started a previous venture organising travel to German festivals! He enjoys taking on big challenges and last year, frustrated with the amount of waste paper produced by his university, joined with a small group of friends and lobbied the administration to change their essay submission and printing policies, even receiving funding from the Npower “Future Leaders Challenge.” Now many essays at Exeter are handed in electronically and all printers are set to double sided, saving 8.6million of sheets annually, the equivalent of 1600 trees.