When I was leaving my last accounting job (in what I refer to as my old life) my manager gave me a piece of advice at my exit interview. I was told that I needed to “stop acting like a rabbit in the headlights whenever people ask for an opinion”, have the confidence to share what is in my head because I usually have something very sensible to say.

Over the last 13 years, I’ve continually reminded myself of that advice and now speak up. This has become particularly relevant in my new role at Tin Roof Foundation which involves Partner Relations. Now, I get the chance to speak up on behalf of our partner organisations that are doing life-changing work.

Recently, we were at a meeting to discuss a training opportunity at a local hotel in Nairobi called Acacia Tree Lodge. Looking at the walls, I noticed they were bare. Knowing that the hotel is a social enterprise that supports projects in Kibera, I asked the manager if he would be interested in sourcing some artwork from our partners Uweza Foundation. Uweza works with children and young people to nurture their talents and as part of this programme they train artists who sell their work to raise funds for their education.

Within a few days, some of the Uweza team met with the manager who selected a few pieces to display in the hotel. The very next day, one of the pieces sold!! To add to the story, it was the young artist’s first sale and the hotel went on to commission another two pieces from Uweza artists.

Who can YOU speak up for? What connections can YOU make that will make a difference?

Have the confidence and GO FOR IT!!!

Post by Kirsty Gichimu (Partner Relations and Programme Development)