The Forgotten Kenya: Travels with the Boma Project
As trustees of an international children’s foundation, we look for small, grassroots projects that are locally run and that have a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable children. It was our privilege to spend several days traveling with the founder and staff of The Boma Project as they worked with the nomadic tribes of Northern Kenya. In this arid, harsh desert homeland, we found a poor but proud people who asked nothing more than an opportunity to help their children. The Boma Project has provided this opportunity in the form of small businesses owned and operated by groups of villagers, mostly women, carefully crafted to meet the needs of the local community. The businesses generate small profits which are used to pay for school tuition, medical care and other necessities. The success of these businesses was apparent as the owners proudly disclosed their profits to The Boma Project’s local mentors who are trained by Boma and who teach sound business practices and oversee the individual projects to ensure success. You almost have to see this interaction to fully appreciate the model that Boma has created. The look in the eyes of the business owners, pride and appreciation, is an emotional experience. They own their business. Their business is helping to raise their children out of poverty and create hope where once there was none.