What's your legacy?
A legacy is a powerful concept. It is also daunting when after 30-40 years of work you look back and say, “I was part of the team that made that happen, and that’s what I’ll be remembered for.”
I have just joined Business for Development as the Country Manager of the Kenyan office. I am working with three exceptionally talented local staff –Thomas, Eliud and Morris – to manage the Kwale Project and grow to positively impact 10,000 farmers by 2022.
That is 10,000 farmers who will have tripled their income.
That is 10,000 people who will no longer be subsistent farmers any more.
10,000 families who can pay school fees, improve their access to health care and ensure for years to come that they do not live in abject poverty.
Working for Business for Development and all our great partners – Base Titanium, Cotton On Group, Diageo, the Kenyan Government, Kwale County Government, and so many more – there is an opportunity to have a powerful legacy which will last generations.
When I leave Business for Development, I want to look back over my shoulder, smile and feel overwhelming joy. The team and I will see thousands of farmers who have adopted sustainable agriculture approaches and are earning strong incomes through both cash and food crops. They are empowered and they can create their own legacy for their community and family.
I am a very visual person. I picture shutting the door to my office for the last time. A young woman approaches me. I know her, she is one of the local villagers who has been attending university in Nairobi and is on holidays. She tells me that “had it not been for Business for Development’s work, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My parents are economically empowered by your interventions and now I am at university living my dream.”
I walk down the street and come across an old couple who beckon me over for a chat. They say “my son, today we hear it is your last day at work. We just want to say thank you. Through the money we made we have been able to educate our children and now they’re taking care of us. My children are alive today, through the grace of God, because whenever they fell sick I had money to take them to hospital.”
Until I exit the business, I will strive to work with dedication with this great team to change the lives of these vulnerable people for I know this will amount to my legacy.