had this idea that people and organisations should serve a higher purpose. I
personally always thought that we have a duty to find and serve some higher
purpose in life. It’s more than building careers, create families, create
wealth and go spending our old age on golf courses.
your purpose as an organisation or company is equally as important. A company
must create profits to create jobs, careers and a future for its stakeholders.
A company must also look after its environment but also the society at large.
You cannot just leave it to the local government, even though it’s good if they
do their part. Today the debate is much more about climate change than simply
taking care of our neighbour. You can’t argue about a dying person so as humans
we rather do what we always do… talk about the weather.
One of Travelstart’s
core values is sharing. We like to share within the company and keep a
transparent leadership. We also believe in sharing our success and wealth with
moving to Africa I had this ambition of helpi.jpgng out where help was needed. In
Sweden it was a bit hard because you don’t see poverty all over the streets
came to Africa we had high ambitions to be a help and change. But we soon found
that there are fifteen non-profit organisations on a dozen in Africa. And even
if they all sounded good, were do you place your money?
in going all in into projects. When giving become a considerable part of your
company’s profits you have to start addressing things differently than if you
just give crumbs from the table. You have to start forming a strategy. You have
to find people managing all the money and projects. And that’s where we are
today. Simply giving some hundred thousand away doesn’t do much difference. A
focused effort can make huge change.
scouting for some years we found a couple of organisations that we decided to support.
organisation is Star for life that helps school children finding their goal in
life and stay AIDS free. What we love about this organisation is that their
approach is completely different to anything else out there. They teach sexual abstinence,
which is highly unusual, and so contrary to how some organisations address, the
problem of HIV. Handing out condoms at schools, I think does the exact
opposite. It promotes sex, which is not what I, think, kids need. Most
marriages would probably need it however. Star for Life kids learn how to find
their higher purpose in life, weather its to become a teacher, soccer player or
mum. And if you want to reach the stars you have to be healthy. Star for Life
is a Swedish project initiated by some very good people I know from Malmö. It
reaches tens of thousands kids through their schools today.
about them here or rather give some money.
We are also
one of the major donors in a beautiful project called Thembalitscha. Yes it’s
beautiful. It’s love. Themba´s health care unit takes care of the people lowest
on Maslovs pyramid. These are the poor people living in shacks with no water.
These are people who have to find a new place every day to take a crap in the
bushes. These are the forgotten people, sometimes sick and dying.
lobbied for anti retroviral for years and was one of the earliest organisations
that managed to get support from the Mbeki administration with medicines. Anti
retroviral can help people with HIV live a normal life. Themba does not throw
out medicines in the townships and hope it works. Themba gets its hands dirty
making sure people take their medicine every day. A discipline that’s hard with
the stigma associated with AIDS and the gruelling township lifestyles.
really works. Hand on works in the townships really works and it’s crucial.
Themba has close to one thousand patients in their books and the crew running
it are doing angels works for the people that are suppose to be the future of
Thembalitscha with money here.
would like to assist in other ways with labour or if you have special skills
and you want to make a difference please contact me at Stephan@travelstart.com