Friday, July 29, 2011

about ken


I don't know Ken, but I totally dig him.  

Here's what I do know: Ken is English.  He quit his high-stress job in London to do something good.  The good he decided on involved one bicycle and one continent (Africa).  He started in Egypt and cycled south, through Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.  And he helped out along the way: setting up I.T. centers for nonprofits, installing an oven at an orphanage bakery, registering NGOs, putting in clean water systems, purchasing and donating computers, providing business management direction, and much more.  I met Ken a couple of thousand miles into his journey, in Lake Naivasha, Kenya.  But just to clarify, I didn't actually meet him.  We did, however, build a website together.  OK, so he did most of the work.  

The website was for Life Beads Kenya, an exceptional organization that helps women, street children and the poorest of the poor.  Ken stopped there for five months and purchased computers for them, set up WiFi, installed a water purification system, built a website, and moved this small nonprofit forward by leaps and bounds.  Good helping good.  

Then, just as quickly as he arrived, Ken left.  He loaded up his bicycle, his laptop and all his other gear, and cycled to Uganda.  I'd say that I'm missing Ken, but as I mentioned above, I've never actually seen him. And so, our seamless working relationship continues, Kampala to California, as if he were in the very next room.  

Read about Ken's journey at betterlifecycle.com, and about Life Beads at lifebeadskenya.org.  The photo above is Ken's bike, with Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance.