14 April 2023

Rolling up our sleeves and bringing change in Itinyi Valley

Darragh O'Boyle - Global Angels volunteer

Each year, the Robert Walters Group sends volunteers to work on our Global Angels volunteer programme as part of our long-running partnership with the Global Angels Foundation.

Together with the local community in Tsavo, Kenya, we help to build a sustainable future through key projects to improve access to clean water, develop sustainable farming and business practices and provide education and training opportunities.

Darragh O’Boyle, a business director at Walters People in Dublin decided that he wanted to make his contribution to the Tsavo community after hearing about one of his senior colleague’s experiences on the Global Angels trip to Kenya.

Louise Campbell, formerly Managing Director of our Dublin office and now Head of Learning and Development for EMEA, visited Kenya on a previous trip. "I remember how Louise just lit up speaking about her week-long visit to Kenya,” said Darragh, “and knew it would be an incredible experience. From doing my own research on the projects we were running in the community I could just see how vital the work we are doing there is and I was honoured to be chosen to be able to see it and make a difference myself."

Hard but rewarding work

Darragh quickly immersed himself in Itinyi Valley during his time there. "It was amazing to work on so many of the different projects they are running on the Global Angels Farm and in the community. I helped to dig trenches and build fences, as well as plaster walls, made bricks, planted trees, and carried water,” he said. Despite the physical demands of being so heavily involved during the trip, he was always conscious of the need to raise awareness about the challenges that local communities face through his first-hand experience. 

Putting the building blocks in place

Our partnership with Global Angels has had a profound impact on the Tsavo community. From improvement to key buildings and the development of climate-change resistant crops on the farm, to the employment opportunities provided to residents, the work of Global Angels is making a real difference. We are proud to help children and families in need, no matter how far away they are. Darragh was inspired to volunteer in Africa. He was struck by the impact of climate change on the Itinyi Valley and the importance of water in this region. “I witnessed the effects of global warming first hand, and it was heartbreaking,” he said. 

Leadership and accountability

The role of impactful leadership is also a strong contributor towards the success of the Robert Walters Group and Global Angels partnership. “The organisation's leader, Molly, is an inspiration and her enthusiasm is contagious,” Darragh said. The power of collaboration is evident in the success of our projects in Kenya, and our aim for the Tsavo community to continue to prosper and thrive in the face of the challenges their environment presents. Overall, the experience taught Darragh gratitude for his community and for others.

Even after getting home from the trip, Darragh still reflects on the life-long lessons that his visit to Kenya imparted on him. “You may be on a high for a while, but eventually you have to get back to normal. When you feel down, remember how people who are in real hardship continue to smile and are kind,” he said. Darragh encouraged more people to apply for the volunteer program. “It will leave a lasting positive mark on you, and it will push you out of your comfort zone and inspire you,” he said. Working with Global Angels is a profoundly meaningful endeavour that requires dedication and commitment – yet the rewards are truly remarkable.