I completed my MBA dissertation in December 2011 went to Kenya as a volunteer for the children’s charity CBSM Kimilili. There I joined a team of management consultants from Accenture, Deloitte and PWC in helping the charity. My areas of responsibility were managing the build, procurement and implementing the social media strategy. You can follow the blog of my and the team’s ongoing work @ http://blog.cbsm-kimilili.org/ .
CBSM Kimilili runs a school for 300 orphans and vulnerable children, many of whose parents have died from HIV/AIDS. CBSM is a registered Kenyan NGO (Registration no. 21 323) and is based in the town of Kimilili in western Kenya on the borders of Uganda. It’s aim is to provide a primary school education and valuable life skills to the poorest in society. It is supported by a network of friends and supporters from Europe, in particular CBSM Kimilili (Switzerland) which is a registered charitable trust under the umbrella of the Rutli foundation in Luzern, Switzerland.
This year’s main focus was starting the build of the new school; replacing the existing mud and wood structure with a permanent building of stone. One of my first activities on arriving in Kimilili was to assist Agnes Kuhne (co-founder of the swiss charitable trust) in securing the purchase of the additional 10 plots of land which were needed for building the school. This purchase would also ensure the school would meet the government land requirements. Following 4 days of extensive negotiations the purchase was finally completed on the 2nd January 2012.
At the same time the team was being assembled for the build, we hired Engineer Masika Bernard as construction manager and following numerous interviews, Lenard Simuyu as site foreman. The site was cleared and the trenching was completed in 5 days with a local workforce of between 30 and 45 on site each day.
I was heavily involved in the procurement process and ensuring that the procedures were in place for the build to progress smoothly once we left . We are currently on track to complete the foundations and slab and then, subject to available funds, we are ready to begin the construction of the classrooms.
I currently receive weekly reports from site from the engineer, the site director and the foreman. We are working closely with our Kenyan team to ensure that the building work progresses smoothly and that proper oversight is maintained.
Since returning to Zurich I’ve been working on the charity’s social media strategy and fundraising route map. We need to raise a further €30,000 to fully furnish the 7 classrooms for Phase I and another €50,000 to complete the whole of the ground floor Phase II.
If you would like to join our team or perhaps volunteer, then please get in touch, it would be lovely to hear from you. I can promise you a life changing experience and a chance to meet some of the most wonderful, generous, warm-hearted people I have ever met.
You can follow the blog and learn more about the charity on the links below:
University of Southampton press release on my work: http://t.co/XrLRa2Pi