Kirsti in Kenya – My Last Update from Kenya

Saturday was the second day of leading a “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” workshop in Nairobi.  The workshop was made up of working class women, many of which are entrepreneurs, looking grow their businesses.  We worked again, on the normal foundation of a strong business, including defining their core values.  Many of which included:

  • Hard work
  • Respect
  • Trustworthiness
  • Fear of God

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Kirsti in Kenya – A Day for the Entrepreneurs

Today was a day for me to dig in and work hard. Part of the work I am doing in Nairobi is with two small non-profits, eMentor and Youth Banner.  Both programs support entrepreneur’s by giving them training and mentoring to start their own businesses.  I am working with individuals, who have gone through the training programs and have already been running their own businesses for a period of time.  The workshops focus on how they can build a solid foundation for their businesses and how to grow them.

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Kirsti in Kenya – Day Two of Visiting Schools

Today we visited three more schools, all of which are public, government run institutions. What struck me the most, was that every single school had their mission, vision and core values posted all around the school.  It was amazing!

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I spoke with Alice Watakah, the Deputy at Kileleshwa Primary School, and asked why it was that all of the public schools had this.  Her answer was simple. “Because we must!  How else would people know what we do and why we are here?”   Such a simple answer to a tough question.

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Kirsti In Kenya – A Cultural Consciousness

The first time I traveled to Kenya, I was taught that it was important to not force my Western standards on a country whose culture is quite different than mine.  The lesson has been a difficult one to learn, and today I found myself really questioning my own assumptions of how “things should be.”

Kirsti with Teacher Alfred, Volunteer Josh and three students.

Kirsti with three of the students, Teacher Alfred (center) and Josh (left), another volunteer.

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Kirsti in Kenya – They Say, “It Takes A Village!”

Today, we spent the day in what could be considered a small village.  Four small classrooms with nearly 100 children crammed inside of them.  And teaching them are two teachers who have done an amazing job of not only teaching the basics for school, but the basics of life.

Evelyn Waneloba and Alfred Gatimu are two remarkable teachers in this tiny learning center in the heart of Kawangware, Kenya. Kawangware is the second largest slum outside of Nairobi, home to over 400,000 people.  In this small learning center called, “Ray of Hope” and “Little Ray of Hope”, Evelyn and Alfred and a small group of others, make sure the children are clothed and fed each day before they go to school.  The older group of children, all go to public schools during the day, and get their breakfast and tutoring at the Ray of Hope.  The Little Ray of Hope is home to over 50 children from ages 2 – 7, who are being taught the basics before they can go to public school.

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Options4Growth is More Than Just an HR Company

When we (Kirsti Tcherkoyan and Jill Pappenheimer, co-founders) started Options4Growth two years ago, we began with the shared vision to support small to mid-sized companies with their growth thoughtfully, and to build our own great company for career parents to be a part of. In keeping with that vision today, we continue to successfully support starts-up’s and growing organizations with attentive, strategic pursuit of growth. We love the work that we do, the companies and people we are able to support in the process.

Just as important to us, is our desire and aspiration to support women and children through our efforts with non-profit organizations. Kirsti will be traveling to Kenya this week to work with the Ray of Hope Foundation, eMentoring Africa and Youth Banner, to provide training to 50 women on much needed business skills and ensure a small group of children are receiving the best possible education available.

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