Looking Forward & Giving Back: Kenya
Jan 19, 2015
This past November, we had the good fortune of being able to meet and work with citizens of Kenya while filming an IBM z Systems “Engines of Progress” video in the Nairobi area. In the span of four days, we interviewed seven different people, all of whom were generous and accommodating. They welcomed us into their lives and told us their stories. We returned to the States with a better understanding of the difficult socio-economic challenges that face Kenyans every day.
It is estimated that only 32-35% of Kenyans have access to electricity. For those that have been connected to the grid, power outages have been a regular hindrance, and high electric bills continue to prevent many of those with electricity from being able to use it to the extent that they need it.
One interviewee, in particular, moved us with her story: Rosemary Cava, headmistress at Kamandura Primary School, in charge of 1,000 students in the poor, rural region of Limura. She runs a tight ship and is dedicated to the education of her students. They start early, 7 am every day, when it is often cold, dark and foggy. The school is connected to the grid, and power outages there have been addressed to great success recently—but increased reliability has run parallel with an increasing cost of electricity.
We were struck by the hopeful, dedicated work that is taking place at the school. Grateful for the time that Rosemary and her students gave us when we showed up out of the blue hoping for an interview, we wanted to do something to give back. Both the 100+100 initiative and the z Systems Engines of Progress campaign are about bettering the world in which we live and work – so it felt natural to marry our content-gathering trip to Kenya with a contribution to the work of someone who assisted us with ours. With this in mind, we’ve extended the 100+100 program to incorporate communities across the globe that Centerliner’s visit through their work and where we can make a real difference in people’s lives.
We are grateful for opportunity to give back to these communities that welcome us so enthusiastically, and that enable us to do what we do and make it even better because of their involvement.
Centerline has made a financial donation to Rosemary and the Kamandura Primary School to help with ground repairs. It’s our hope that this donation will allow Rosemary to re-allocate funds to assist in necessary school purchase for students and teachers. Centerline has also provided financial vouchers to a neighborhood family to buy clothing and groceries.
I started my career in technology and consumer public relations. For years, I managed global PR and sales teams, from Mexico City to Milan. I like to think I’m a good problem solver — I’m also a kickass speed-reader and I play a mean game of catch. I transitioned to marketing because I wanted to be more involved in the strategy behind the content, creative and messaging. At Centerline, I work with incredibly smart, fun, talented and all-around-rad people that make me want to be MORE awesome every day. I work side-by-side with strategy, creative and project management teams to help define our clients’ short- and long-term needs and develop and execute communication strategies that support those business objectives and marketing goals.