Finding purpose and a meaningful career has always been a priority in my life. Now, at age of 33, I am happy to say that I have finally found my purpose in Kenya by founding the social enterprise Nai Nami.
The journey was long, has not been easy, and started a few years ago after my graduation in psychology. At first, listening to others instead of my inner voice, I decided to leave psychology behind to begin a career in the private sector in Switzerland. Always looking for the right position, the perfect fit, I changed roles and employers several times, moving further away from my real purpose with every step. When I eventually found myself employed as a business analyst in the metal industry, I realised that this job had nothing to do with my interests or personality anymore. I felt stuck and I wanted to change my life immediately.
In this moment, I realised that focussing on my strengths and passion will be the only way out of my current situation. But how to approach this?
People who are looking for their purpose often don’t know where to start or how to find out more about themselves. In my case it took me long hours of reflection, discussions and research to realise that I have been lacking of role models.
In each and every position I had, I was searching people who could make me aware of my strengths, coach me and guide me to the right paths to find fulfillment. As I found it hard to find such role models, I have tried to become one of them for people who were struggling with the same issue like me. Even though I was unable to see my own path in life, I became the go to person for friends and colleagues who didn’t know which direction to choose in their life. I loved doing it and got the feedback to be quite good at it. Once I realised this actually was a skill and passion I had, I tried to find my way back into the social sector.
My aim was to help disadvantaged youth who never had a real chance in life. I wanted to unlock their potential, guide them to a successful path and give them a future by building on their strengths and passion.
I left everything behind and moved to Nairobi in Kenya to make youth from the Mathare slum the beneficiaries of my new mission. This is how Nai Nami was born.
Nai Nami is a social enterprise in Nairobi with the aim to give youth from slums a future in life. We build on the street skills and life stories of school drop-outs, children who formerly lived on the streets and have a criminal past. We enable them to make use of these skills in a positive way to create value for society, earn a regular income and get exposure to people from all over the world.
The first business model Nai Nami developed is a Storytelling Tour in Nairobi Downtown, which is guided by former street children. During this unique eye-opening experience, our guests get the opportunity to visit Downtown – the local part of the city centre (not slum!) – together with their guides who raised themselves from an early age on those streets. During this 3-hours walking tour our guests will experience town through the eyes of a street child. The guides will share how they ended up on the streets, show how they survived and eventually transformed to reasonable members of society. Every guest gets his own guide and lunch at a local Kibanda is included to facilitate an inspiring exchange with the opportunity to ask a lot of personal questions.
Nai Nami officially started in March 2018, currently employing and changing the lives of 7 storyteller guides from Mathare slum. Thanks to the reviews from guests from 70 different countries, Nai Nami has become No. 1 Tour in Nairobi on both, TripAdvisor and Airbnb Experiences.
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Finding purpose in life brought me from Zurich in Switzerland to Nairobi in Kenya, where I work with disadvantaged youth from Mathare slum. I believe that every person – regardless of their background – can become successful in life, if they focus on their strengths and are given the right guidance. Making people thrive is my passion and purpose in life.