Volunteering with Global Angels
Looking for a way to make a difference? Twice a year, four members of staff from the Robert Walters Group are given the opportunity to support international charity Global Angels’ work in Tsavo, a remote area of Kenya in East Africa. From building a new classroom to setting up new projects and businesses, volunteers are given the chance to get stuck in with the local community to help them build a sustainable future.
Hear from Richard Pate, an onsite recruiter for our recruitment process outsourcing business, Resource Solutions, about what it’s really like to help one of the world’s poorest communities.
Why did you volunteer to take part in the Global Angels Volunteer Programme?
“It was such a unique opportunity that I felt I had to put myself forward. You see and hear a lot about life in Africa in the news and in TV documentaries, but I was really keen to experience the continent for myself rather than through a media lens. I didn’t think I’d actually be picked to volunteer, so it felt amazing when I heard that I’d be joining the volunteer group in April this year.
What were some of the challenges you faced in Tsavo?
One of our projects was to help the community move two huge water tanks into a new position. While it was a challenge to carry out heavy manual labour for the first time in 30-degree heat, the limited budget and resources of the community made the task doubly difficult.
Nonetheless, it was a really enjoyable experience and I was inspired by how positive the local people were and how they were able to make what little resources they had stretch to achieve their aim. Everyone I met was incredibly warm and welcoming and really wanted to share what they were doing and how it was going to make an impact on the wider community.
Working with Jackson, the community’s head builder and youth support worker, was a real highlight for me as he was so open and willing to explain how things work. I really loved being able to get my hands dirty and learn about things I’d never normally think about such as how to lay the foundations of a building.
Why would you recommend volunteering with Global Angels?
Volunteering with Global Angels in Tsavo is not a passing experience, it’s something that will have a lasting impact. For me, it was a unique opportunity to visit a remote part of Kenya and understand what life is really like in Tsavo and what work needs to be done to help the community achieve sustainability. For example, before going on the trip, I’d never had to think about water shortage, but seeing how essential it is for the Tsavo community to have the shade netting, which was funded by the Robert Walters Group, to protect vital crops, really gave me a whole new perspective and made me reflect on the things I take for granted at home.
While there’s no question volunteering in Tsavo is challenging both physically and emotionally, it’s also a lot of fun. You get to meet colleagues from around the business and have a really good laugh with them. In addition to working with the community in Tsavo, we also went on a half-day safari and had an amazing time seeing incredible animals in their natural habitat.
I’d tell anyone considering volunteering to just do it – it’s truly amazing to be able to get your hands dirty and make a positive impact on the whole community.
How is the Robert Walters Group making a difference in Tsavo?
I feel incredibly proud to work for a company that is genuinely invested in making a difference and giving back. Global Angels is a small charity and 100% of donations go directly to projects on the ground. It was a real privilege to be able to go to Tsavo and see how the money given by Robert Walters has been spent and be able to measure the impact it’s had on the community. For example, seeing the new classroom coming together, which will not only provide the local children with a space to learn but will also give the people in the community the opportunity to become teachers and generate an income. It’s seeing these kinds of results that really brings home the power that companies have to go that one step further and truly make a difference.”