Samburu Kenya

Mwaka Mpya - Happy New Year in Swahili!

Happy New Year!

We’re in Samburu, Kenya co-leading a service learning trip for students at Colorado State University until January 14th with extremely limited internet and no phone access (hallelujah for disconnecting…and scheduled emails!).

This trip is possible because of the phenomenal organizations we partner with, and I am blown away by the tenacity, resourcefulness, and enormous hearts that make them what they are.

Unity Women’s Village – Established in 2011, Unity Village is a collective of women and their families who make and sell traditional beaded jewelry and provide an immersive tourism experience for visitors. Most of these women left abusive or arranged marriages with the goal to create a safe environment and make independent income to send their children to school. Read their stories and find out how you can visit here.

unity-womens-village-samburu-kenya-conversketch

The Samburu Youth Education Fund (SYEF) – A non-profit organization with a mission to provide equitable opportunities for Samburu youth to enhance their leadership development and problem-solving skills through educational scholarships and civic involvement opportunities. I am proud to be a Board Member of this organization — find out how when you work with ConverSketch you’re supporting women’s rights and education!

Students from Colorado State University and recent high school graduates share advice for success to new scholarship recipients to help them as they begin as freshmen.

Students from Colorado State University and recent high school graduates share advice for success to new scholarship recipients to help them as they begin as freshmen.

And, if you’re curious what our students are doing and thinking about on this service learning trip (or are in need of some fodder for procrastination), here’s the link to the blog they have been posting to somewhat regularly to share our activities and adventures.

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

 

When You Work with ConverSketch, Here’s How You Support Education and Women’s Rights

Jambo rafikis - hello friends!

After two weeks in Kenya, a little Swahili feels good to share!

You know that when you work with ConverSketch, you’re going to get a creative, organized thought partner that will help you make your meetings and storytelling strategies come alive. You know that you’ll get one-of-a-kind, high-quality work and custom solutions tailored to your group’s goals to continue leveraging the charts after the meeting.

But did you know that when you work with me, you’re also investing in the future of some of the most vulnerable (and resilient) populations in the world?

You may have seen I was recently in Samburu, Kenya for a couple of weeks. Each year, I have the honor of co-leading a volunteer trip for students at Colorado State University to the town of Archer’s Post. The students help with service projects selected by our community partners such as building traditional homes or clean water infrastructure. The biggest thing we do is build relationships, especially with Unity Women’s Village and students pursuing secondary education through the Samburu Youth Education Fund (SYEF).

What I’ve learned from these women and youth have is not something I can easily summarize in a few sentences in an email/blog. They are generous, tenacious, ridiculously hard-working, hilarious, compassionate and the strongest humans I’ve ever met. They have shared perspective, instilled appreciation, and ignited a drive to do the best I can with what I was lucky enough to be born into.

If you want to talk in depth about this community and these experiences, let’s get coffee or a beer.

As a business owner, and more importantly a citizen of this planet, it’s always been important to me to give back. That’s why I choose to make contributions through ConverSketch and serve on the SYEF advisory board to support this phenomenal leadership and scholarship non-profit. That’s why I purchase the hand-made beaded jewelry to support the entrepreneurship of the women at Unity Village who are truly making their children’s lives better through their work.

Over the course of seven years, I’ve seen first-hand the positive changes happening in Archer’s Post. The words Monica, of one of the 2017 SYEF graduates at a celebration and knowledge sharing event we had, distill it better than I ever could:

In my culture, it is not allowed for a woman to stand up and speak in front of men. Yet here I am, a woman, standing here in front of you, sharing my ideas.
Here are the SYEF 2017 graduates and the CSU students in front of a hut they all helped build for an elderly woman. This project was organized by the SYEF graduates, who want to continue to give back to their community. 

Here are the SYEF 2017 graduates and the CSU students in front of a hut they all helped build for an elderly woman. This project was organized by the SYEF graduates, who want to continue to give back to their community. 

Monica is the woman in the center of the photo wearing the white head scarf. You can imagine the deafening applause that followed from all of her peers and the CSU students.  

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support of education and women's rights, your great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.

Cheers, Karina

Stoked on supporting a woman-owned business that gives back to the global community? Let’s talk about your project.

Where in the World is ConverSketch?

Of course, I’ve been in Kenya! Here are a couple of photos of this year's trip including a graphic recording of tips for freshman year at high school in Kenya:

DaVita International Leadership Meeting in Denver  Although I can’t share the full charts I created over the two-day retreat with leaders from around the globe, here’s one nugget that struck me as particularly poignant.

DaVita International Leadership Meeting in Denver

Although I can’t share the full charts I created over the two-day retreat with leaders from around the globe, here’s one nugget that struck me as particularly poignant.

CSU One Health Datasets Workshop   Today is the second day of the gathering of an interdisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners, veterinarians and doctors figuring out how to most effectively share data

CSU One Health Datasets Workshop

Today is the second day of the gathering of an interdisciplinary group of researchers, practitioners, veterinarians and doctors figuring out how to most effectively share data