Kenya is a Surprise!

Kenya has been a surprise, but that’s partly because I had no clear idea of what awaited me. I suppose I expected it to be less developed, less vibrant and less hopeful than it turned out to be. I was among the last to arrive to the Seasons Hotel last week, growing increasingly apprehensive after a long and rather nerve-shredding journey from Nairobi, on roads where it is believed that the blinder the corner, the greater the overtaking opportunity!

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However, despite the tailgating and bald tyres, we arrived safely and began a week of training. Although it had many elements and a large curriculum, Doug and Josh’s message ended up very clear – even with limited funding and resources a determined entrepreneur could improve his or her position in society, and we were there to facilitate this process. A combination of hands on activities (Google the Marshmallow Challenge- my personal favourite!), in depth discussions and clear guidance, Doug and Josh managed to equip us with the mindset and knowledge to begin our facilitative journeys with our local entrepreneurial groups.

Nakuru itself is buzzing during the day, full of traders and hawkers selling their wares and the sound and smell of every type of vehicle you can imagine. It was perhaps the rural excursion to Lalwet, a local village, that will remain the most clear in my memory. It offered an almost complete contrast to the vibrancy of Nakuru town, the people who we stayed with live in a close knit community in a picturesque part of Kenya. We stayed the night in the local houses and our hosts showered us with their generosity. The experience enabled us to get a feel of what it was like to live in Lalwet and get to grips with their cultural norms- which was an eye opener for sure!

I feel fortunate to be involved in a project that has a tangible potential impact on the lives of such people who deserve every opportunity.

Written By Alesandro Furlotti , 2013 Fellow

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