What Makes Feed The Children Unique? A Look at Kenya
By Sarah Ford on February 25, 2014
You can’t get much more vulnerable than living with special needs in the developing world. But even with all of their challenges the Hardy Boys couldn’t help but sing. This is what my work at Feed The Children is all about—protecting the most vulnerable like them.
Feed The Children recently interviewed Ben Greene, Vice President of Sponsorship and Media, after his first trip to visit the communities we serve in Kenya.
FTC: Could you tell us when you joined the staff at Feed The Children and what your role is on our team?
BG: I joined Feed The Children in November of last year. I serve as the Vice President of Sponsorship & Media. This simply means that I work with our child sponsorship team to find ways to ensure even more children in developing countries are given the opportunity to thrive in life.
FTC: You recently traveled to Kenya to visit our staff and field programs there. Could you tell us when and why you made this long journey?
BG: Yes, from January 28- February 5th I traveled to Nairobi alongside one of our artist partners, Warren Barfield and his team. As a new member of the Feed The Children staff I was eager to get to the field and see the work myself. And because artists like Warren will be telling the Feed The Children story at events to potential child sponsors, they need to see and experience firsthand what we are doing on the ground. Together with Warren, it was wonderful to see the children we serve in the Dagoretti Children’s Center orphanage, those we serve in the slums in the city of Nairobi, and also those in Maparasha, a rural community.
FTC: You came to Feed The Children after having worked with two other similar large international non-profits. What stood out to you as you experienced Feed The Children’s programs first hand in Kenya that distinguishes Feed The Children from other organizations?
BG: In my work with organizations, I have been all around the world. And I know this: it seems that most organizations choose to either meet immediate needs and deal with the pressing issues of a community, or they decide to participate in development which helps the communities think long-term. I see a unique distinctive with Feed The Children in that we do both. We do feed children, especially in schools. Full tummies means effective learning for the day. But we also work with community leaders to develop better systems of healthcare, agriculture and education as well as livelihood development for the future. While in Kenya, it was wonderful to see communities engaged in all sorts of projects dealing with beekeeping, greenhouses, and water and sanitation. We truly are doing the work of holistic development— or as many folks in our industry like to say “giving a hand up and not just a hand out.”