Friday, June 19, 2009

Kenya Series - 2

I climbed a mountain in the Great Rift Valley today, but I don't want to blog it until I can upload the pictures, i.e. when I return to the States.

In the meantime, we're heading back to Nairobi tonight. Next week will be very busy, as we meet with partners, make great plans, and work on implementing our recent grant.

I'm in great health, sleeping wonderfully, and I miss everyone and most things. I'll be in touch.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

JAMBO - Kenya Living

Hello all. I feel strange for not being able to blog this excursion up, but my connections have been a bit slow. Oh well. It's nice to be able to touch base here.

I'm sure I'll tweet this when we hit the road again, but if I had two words to describe the Kenyan countryside, they would be: "carelessly verdant." Seriously, everything is either a strange mass of strange trees or a field of plants. Lots of farmers around here. We drove out to Western Kenya last week, almost to Lake Victoria, and slept under bed nets in an orphanage where one of our partners works.

In case you don't know, I'm here with The 1010 Project, a Denver-based humanitarian organization that partners with social entrepreneurs in the developing world to break the cycle of poverty. Aside from two organizations that are based in the rural west, we have a number scattered across the slums of Nairobi. I'll be heading to Korogocho and Kibera and Kayole and Matopeni in the coming days.

It's amazing here, it really is, and I'm super-glad to be with The 1010 Project. I'm our Fundraising Coordinator, and part of our trip involves me implementing a grant that I wrote a few months back. Our partners are VERY happy to work with us on some specific income-generating projects.

Some highlights: Helped a 4 year old Luhya girl carry a 20-liter jerrycan of water through a cornfield to her home. She smiled. I addressed a crowd of what looked to be 40,000 street children in Matopeni, singing songs and dancing and telling stories. I thanked a baboon for laying the groundwork for the internet and Twitter. Got bit by a mosquito, which means a LOT more here than it does in America (check out previous posts, which I can't link to now, about my work with the Interfaith Youth Core and Tony Blair Faith Foundation).

I'm likely to spend the first week of July writing a bunch of impassioned posts about these and other things and putting them up, but for now, I just wanted to check in and thank you all for following along with my work. You folks are a big part of the work I do - I see it in the congratulatory tweets as much as I see it in the smiling faces of orphans and entrepreneurs that we work with in Kenya. See you all soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tim's Going to Kenya

OK. So I take off on Monday morning for Kenya. That's in 3 days. Got a few things to do.

I'm traveling with a team from The 1010 Project, a humanitarian organization here in Denver. We partner with creative and innovative social entrepreneurs in the developing world to break the cycle of poverty. As the Fundraising Coordinator, a big part of my job is writing the grants that help keep us trucking along. But to write good grants, and to keep our international development work running smoothly, we need DATA.

We're going to Kenya to meet with partners and friends in our community-based organizations. They're mostly in Nairobi, scattered across the various slums and estates, but we do have a few rural partners as well. We'll be going all the way out to Kisumu near Lake Victoria. We're collecting boatloads of photos, lots of video and audio, and most importantly, stories. We view ourselves as storytellers - our tagline is "Join the Story" - and we're going to talk with the people that our income-generation activities benefit. We'll be visiting schools, orphanges, microfinance institutions, women's empowerment groups, and HIV/AIDS support groups.

I've never been to Africa, but I hear good things. Our team is super-talented and super-cool, so I don't expect any problems. I'll be tweeting along with our Director of Communications, Mark Mann. With luck, we'll be tweeting like mad by next Wednesday morning, or for those of you in Denver, late Tuesday night (there is a 10-hour time difference). So stay sharp, keep up with us, and we'll see you when we get back!

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