Beyond value chain investment for social impact

e web goal 04 copy Having committed to invest “Home” and “Away” for positive impact, we considered various topics.  As we chose regenerative agriculture as our home option, we decided to opt for education and economic development for the away.

Lacking expertise we found a perfect partner in The Red Rubber Ball Foundation.  Headquartered locally to us they are focused on providing education to enable Kenyan children to escape poverty and ultimately “pay it forward” through their economic and community contribution in later life.

At Sustainable X our primary impact focus is UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, and specifically target “4.7 – Education for sustainable development and global citizenship”. Looking at the goal more broadly, the ambition is to “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” Having met Neil Kirby of Red Rubber Ball and listened to the work the charity does in Kenya, we had no doubt our small contribution would have a positive impact.

scholarships Red Rubber Ball firmly believes that education is the key to overcoming poverty, and if children lose the opportunity to move onto secondary school, they miss the chance to better themselves and improve the lot of their families. Red Rubber Ball provides  scholarships because children often find that, whilst they attend primary school until they are 12 or 13, they are then needed in their families to work and help provide food. This is made worse as all schools’ charge fees. Whilst state school fees are modest by Western standards, they are often unaffordable for impoverished families.

However in Kenya an education and even a degree doesn’t guarantee a job afterwards. Many students will have to do an often unpaid internship and may still then find work impossible to find, so resort to freelancing, informal work or their own side hustle.  This is a key link  between SDG 4 and SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth.  The directly related target is “8.5 – By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value.”

e web goal 08 We were therefore delighted to specifically support a Red Rubber Ball project that focuses on this critical link.  This is a programme with the Memo Reverse Hub in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, to offer an internship to two RRBF sponsored students to gain work experience now that they have completed their schooling. Under the guidance of Moses Omondi, they will develop the RRBF alumni network of over 200 young people helping more and more of them to build their own venture or into paid employment. Their aim will be to connect with them, understand the challenges they face, build useful content, share through social media and arrange training sessions to build skills and make connections.

Thank you Neil and The Red Rubber Ball Foundation for sharing you knowledge with us and the opportunity to support.

For other examples of the challenges and their work check out some of the student stories:





Subscribe to our newsletter

Get sustainable business updates and latest thinking*

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
*No SPAM. Ever.
Scroll to Top