There have always been those of us who ventured out there, to see for themselves how the world works, guided at all times by the thrill of novelty and the desire to know more about more: the explorers.
For my whole life, I’ve also been driven by the same almost reckless impulse to discover new spaces and immerse myself in new environments. I was passionate about figuring out the inner workings of social systems and understanding other worldviews, trying to constantly reinvent myself and adapt to new contexts. Once I mastered something, I always moved on to the next challenge. This passion made it difficult for me to focus on a single profession, hobby or career. After getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology, I looked again for something radically different and entered the corporate world, where every year brought a change of employer, role or both.
The trouble is that most explorers often get lost. And on my journey, I also strayed further and further away from my path.
My wake-up call came at the age of 30, when I ended up as a business analyst in controlling for a metal trading company – a position which had nothing to do with my interests or personality anymore. I was stranded. Fortunately, the two things I constantly had with me, were my deep interest in human behaviour and my innate revolt against injustice. I strongly believe that everybody deserves the chance to have a future to look forward to and I can’t simply stand by when I see people not being able to fulfil their potential. And after some soul searching, I realized that everything I learned along the way brought me exactly where I was supposed to be. | MY EXPERIENCE
Although I’d lost my way, my passion to explore gave me the experience, knowledge and skills to guide others in navigating, mastering and adapting to their environments.
This conclusion brought me to Kenya, where I studied Social Innovation Management, with the aim of converting my passion and my background into my life-long purpose: reshaping the lives of young people who are challenged, disadvantaged or even lost within their respective social systems, by unlocking their potential. This is how I founded Nai Nami, a social enterprise which builds on the street skills and life stories of disadvantaged youth from slums to grant them a bright future. | WHAT I DO
With the aim to give criminal youths from slums a future in life, I went to Nairobi and founded the social enterprise Nai Nami. We build on the only thing those former street children have: Street Skills & Life Stories.
Through Nai Nami, our youths are now working as storyteller guides who make tourists experience Nairobi through the eyes of a street child on an intimate walking tour in the city centre. Because of the positive reviews Nai Nami is #1 on TripAdvisor.
All of our youth now have a job, earn a regular income and live a life free of crime. In March 2019, Nai Nami was handed over to the youths who now own and successfully run the profitable business themselves!