1 December 2022

Making a long-term impact with Global Angels

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In Tsavo, Kenya, the Itinyi Valley community is working with Global Angels and the Robert Walters Group to develop new, sustainable methods of farming, adapting to an environment that’s changing due to climate change and drought. 

As a Group, our purpose is to power people and organisations to fulfil their unique potential, not only when it comes to careers but also within the global community in which we do business. This year Izabelli Alves, Marketing Executive for Robert Walters based in Sao Paulo, travelled as a volunteer to Kenya to work on key Global Angels projects that the Robert Walters Group funds in Tsavo, and saw our purpose in action.

“One of the reasons why I love working for Robert Walters is because of our commitment to social responsibility, and how we are always finding ways to give back,” said Izabelli.

“I applied to be a Global Angels volunteer because I wanted to see with my own eyes how one of the biggest charity projects that we support works, how we’ve impacted the lives of the people in the community, and to personally contribute to the delivery of day-to-day activities of the partnership.”

Developing innovative and regenerative practices

The Robert Walters Group has partnered with the Global Angels Foundation to support the community in Tsavo for over five years, a long-standing commitment that delivers long-term impact and outcomes for the community in Tsavo. We’ve already seen in five years how the project has matured and adapted in response to the changing needs of the community and demands of the environment.

“I hope the Global Angels project in Kenya continues to evolve, bringing more resources and opportunities to the local community and building on the success so far,” Iza continued, “keeping a focus on providing access to food and clean water, while continuing to create jobs for locals and giving them access to a better quality of life.”

Over the last five years, the Global Angels community farm, funded by the Robert Walters Group, has developed from a modest initiative into an innovative and growing endeavour. Expanding in size as more land has been purchased to support food production for the local community, it also provides a space to explore and test new regenerative and sustainable farming practices.

“It’s amazing to see the structure the farm has, and everything that the farm can supply to the local community,” said Izabelli. “We were taken around by Molly Bedingfield, the founder of Global Angels, who told us about how the farm has progressed through the projects we have financed. For me, providing the community with access to water was the most special project.”

Hard but rewarding work

The team of volunteers worked hard while they were in Kenya, getting involved with many of the projects the Global Angels team and local community are currently working on.

“The farm crew would guide us every day and explain in detail what we had to do – and I feel every activity had some digging involved!” said Izabelli.

“It was very hard work, but I felt very proud that I didn’t give up and literally pushed myself as much as I could (even though in some moments I was d-y-i-n-g inside!)”

“We helped to build a fence from scratch to keep animals out of the planting area. It was so rewarding to see it done and to know that I contributed to something that is going to be there for a long time. We also helped in the gardens – I was part of the #LimeTeam (as we called ourselves) planting lime trees. I hope to go back someday and see how beautifully they have grown.”

“I hope Global Angels can get more people involved to help them the way we do, to ensure they can keep taking people there to help as we did, taking donations such as toys, clothing, school supplies and most importantly donating their time, which is so valuable and special.”

Building a sustainable future for the next generation

The team also spent time with the local community, getting to know the people actively building a sustainable future for the next generation. One of Izabelli’s most meaningful memories was meeting a family in the village. As one of the little boys played with a balloon, some of the material differences between the lives of the volunteers and those of the community were striking.

“As one of the little boys was playing, I noticed his bare feet, and it hit me really hard. I wondered when he was last able to have a bath, or wear clothing that fit him properly. His joy in playing with a single balloon was so touching. When we were about go, he said ‘Asante Sana’ to me, which means thank you very much. Those words touched me very deeply and my eyes teared up, and I had to quickly put my sunglasses on as I didn’t want him to see me crying.”

Working on the project as part of our long-term commitment to Tsavo has had a significant impact on Izabelli. “It is a life-changing experience,” she said. “It might sound like a cliché, but this is the best way to describe it. We are used to seeing and hearing about life in poor communities on TV and online but when you see it for yourself, it hits differently. It makes you want to save the world with your own hands and share this feeling with the people around you.”