One thing I’ve discovered in life is that fundraising is flippin’ hard work. You have to fight every other charity for the same dollar and the loudest voice is the one that gets heard. When you have a zero marketing budget and no paid staff it takes a lot longer to get anything done.
Looking at several organisations who have work in East Africa I’ve seen there’s two ways to keep afloat:
- Have a team in your home country that are fundraising while you on foreign soil are implementing the project
- You spend a third of your time fundraising.
I would love to employ a team in Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and the US who would spread the word about our projects in East Africa. That means we could focus on developing working team here and increase our projects.
However, it’s not about to happen overnight.
So, this Sunday, we head for six weeks to the US. It’s definitely not going to be a holiday. To me a holiday is finding a beach, sitting in cafes, going to the movies, staying up late and sleeping in.
For six weeks we will be speaking in schools, universities and churches telling our story. On top of that we have one on one meetings with old friends as well as connecting with people who run projects over here to see how we can partner together.
To be honest, I think we’re all looking forward to the change in scenery.
They say ‘a change is as good as a holiday’. This year has had quite a few challenges and it will be nice to have a different focus for a few weeks.
I’ve done 7 weeks of a speaking tour before and know that after talking about the work for so long all you want to do is get back into it. Lugging suitcases, laptops, camera gear and items for sale is never fun. We often travel by buses and trains, planes only when the budget allows it.
This trip has been funded by our daughter. We get the privilege of staying at friends houses on their sofas, mattress on the floor or if we’re really lucky, in a bed. A few cities we are going to we will be staying in 2 star hotels. While I always check out the reviews, many times they scare me. I worry we’ll end up in some dive of a place that is absolutely horrific. So far we haven’t had too dodgy a deal. I figure that we are only there to sleep so how bad can it get?
Years ago some people had booked a hotel for me in New York City. Unfortunately it was directly across the road from a 24 hour mechanics bay which mainly dealt in taxis. Getting sleep was not an option.
One thing I am looking forward to is getting out and walking at night. Even after three years of being here in Nairobi I still miss the chance in getting out at night because of security. I know no place is totally safe but the thought of getting the opportunity is just awesome.
However, I’m not looking forward to the temperature drop that we will experience from 10 – 20 degrees celcius below what we are currently getting!
What I do know is that the future is in the hands of our youth. If we can inform them and then empower them to bring about positive change.
Here’s the itinerary so you can send us messages, happy thoughts and prayers. We’re leaving our work in Kenya in the hands of our very capable team and look forward to hering from them on some of the very cool things they’ve done while we’re away.
Next time you hear from us, we’ll be wazungu (foreigners) in a slightly different country.
18th Fly out of JKIA at 10.50am
19th Arrive in NYC at 2.15pm
20th Day to sort out our resources, phones and catch up on some sleep
21st Nord Anglia International School
22nd Academy of St Joseph
23rd Elizabeth Irwin High School
24th One on one meetings
25th Bridge Community Church
26th Travel by bus from NYC to Toronto, Canada
27th Meet with Canadian friends
28th Meet with Canadian friends
29th Meet with Canadian friends
30th Travel by bus from Toronto to Columbus, Ohio
31st Day off
2nd Connect with partners
3rd Connect with future partners
4th Travel by plane from Columbus to Dallas, Texas
5th Individual meetings
6th White North Rock School
7th Travel by bus from Dallas, to Houston, Texas
8th Lakewood Church
9th Individual meetings
10th Individual meetings
11th Veterans Day
12th St. John’s School
13th Individual meetings
14th Day off
15th Individual meetings
16th Travel by plane from Houston to Washington D.C
17th Blessed Sacrament School
18th Individual meetings
19th Howard University School of Law
20th Bus from Washington D.C. to NYC
21st Metro Ministries
22nd Day off
23rd Bus from NYC to Philidelphia
24th Individual meetings
25th Ride back to NYC
26th Thanksgiving day
27th Individual meetings
28th Depart NYC at 4.30pm