I’m very impressed by the colorful market scenery here in Bungoma county in West Kenya: Farmers who buy and sell cattle, sometimes coming from remote places to a rural town with the hope to earn some money, sounds of all genres, thin handmade strings to take the animals along, women in colorful clothes sitting on the ground trying to sell a lot of different agricultural products, fruits, vegetables, but also pots, second hand clothing, metal pieces and firewood … it’s simply amazing to come here.
It is January, 2019, my third visit to Kenya. It is the beginning of concretising the steps to engage. Te first activities will start soon.
The idea: Together with local partners such as NGOs, business, academia, local government and most of all with the people on the ground making more health and wealth happen, Health does not mean just treatment and clinics, but much more – and it is possible only in a sustainable way if there are opportunities for the people to create more wealth, too and to empower them in a way that they decide how their future should look.
A vision? Yes. You think it is not possible? Maybe. But if we always follow old structures, even in the developmental way of doing, we will always get what we got in the past. Time to change. Time to think more in terms of bridging social and business. The work is aiming to develop together infrastructures together with the people living here, often in poor surroundings. How can isolated charity driven and old-donor behavior open real ways to change? It’s time to think differently, to build alliances and to make the people owning what will be set up. Developing together with the people on the ground, and not for them only. One of the most important elements is to understand and to listen.
The market place in a rural location is one of the many places I have started to visit together with my local partners and friends . We are talking to many people from different backgrounds, farmers, self help group women, doctors, teachers… trying to find the right starting point to engage and to build together with them small pilot projects that will empower them to create a better life for themselves – based on their culture, values and dreams. There are a lot of stories to tell. If you are interested, stay tuned – and your feedback, ideas and contributions are very welcome!