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Seeing Africa Through New Eyes – My Trip to St.Martin’s Kenya

December 20, 2016

I arrived in Nairobi on September 16th with an open mind and a hope that I could help and advise the organisations, schools and people I was about to meet in any way possible. Little did I know that I would learn so much from this experience myself and how much it would lift a veil on both the issues facing people across Africa, and the myriad of ways that I can support – sometimes the smallest actions can have such a profound impact.

 

Salesforce and Salesforce.org have been supporting St.Martin’s School in Kenya for many years and I too have become involved in these programs as a student sponsor and also in other programs supported by Salesforce.org and Salesforce volunteers, like Camara, Sanergy and the Karibu Centre.

Over the past year, my colleague and friend, Elena Rossi, Strategic Programs Manager at Salesforce.org, had been encouraging me to visit Africa to see these programs first hand, and this was a great opportunity to finally make that trip.

 

The volunteering team was made up of an eclectic mix of Senior Salesforce Executives, and Executives and Leaders from our Sales, Employee Success, Business Development and Sales Engineering teams. Salesforce.org’s VP of EMEA Programs, Charlotte Finn, Elena and some of our extended Ohana family members also came to support the volunteers; better understand how we can grow our programs in Africa to make an important impact to those most in need.

 

One Hearty Meal – St. Martin’s Saturday Feeding Program

On day two we met with Alfred, the Accountant and Admin lead at St.Martin’s School and got our first insight into the complex challenges that Africa faces. Salesforce and Salesforce.org has been supporting St.Martins with running costs for the school since 2003 and over the years helped provide two computer labs via nonprofit organisation Camara. Salesforce employees also sponsor nearly 100 children in the school, covering the total cost of their education.