Throughout our lives, we put people into little boxes, often deciding in advance in which box people belong. In the past, I would have described myself as a product of the eighties. We valued large salaries, big cars, even larger homes and a fantastic career path. We gave no thought to philanthropy, the environment, doing business sustainably or giving back in any way whatsoever. Anyone that knows me today however, will know that the box that I fit into today is quite different from when I started my career many years ago.
I made the same incorrect assumption of an ex-colleague, Niels Hovestad. Niels is driven by marketing, ensuring that the company’s he works for are successful, profitable and represented well in the market. Whilst this is probably a correct description of Niels as a businessman, he is also driven by doing good and giving back.
Four years ago Niels worked on a project in Ethiopia with AMREF. This year, Niels has entered the Kenya Classic, to collect money for AMREF Flying Doctors (African Medical and Research Foundation). AMREF’s vision is for long lasting health change in Africa. They believe in the inherent power within African communities – that the power for lasting transformation of Africa’s health lies within its communities. They work with some of the poorest and most marginalised people in Africa; those living in remote rural areas, urban slums, nomadic populations and areas affected by conflict.
Niels has rallied 11 of his colleagues to cycle the 375 kilometers along with him, through the Kenyan heat. I fear he’ll encounter much more than just “Dutch mountains” in Kenya (since the Netherlands is flat, a Dutch mountain is any slight inclination e.g. a bridge), much like when he cycled for charity through Ethiopia a year ago. “The things I saw in Ethiopia four years ago, made me realise just how privileged I am. That’s why I decided to cycle along with 11 of my colleagues through Kenya this year, to collect money for AMREF”, said Niels.
Niels and his colleagues only want to collect a meager €60,000. Let’s help him. Every penny collected will go directly to AMREF, to help fund their many initiatives. If you’re based in the Netherlands, you’ll be able to sponsor through this site with ease, however if you want to sponsor and you’re outside of the Netherlands, please use the following details, which can be found on the Kenyaclassic.com website:
If you are using a foreign bank account while donating, you can use the following IBAN or BIC code and transfer the money to EMO Foundation/KenyaClassic in the Netherlands:
Please clearly state the name of the team or participant you are sponsoring – in this case Niels Hovestad.
So, before you assume (making an ass out of u and me) or place someone you’ve just met into a little box, ask a few more questions. You may be amazed to realise that people are far more interesting than you’d dare to believe.