You may write him off as a clueless ‘Mzungu’ but turns out that Australian born philanthropist and motivational speaker Mike Flynn can take you to the darkest spots in Nairobi.
He walks freely in places that ordinary Nairobians wouldn’t even think of venturing into and would be lucky to get out alive if they did. One such place is Karioa slum in Ngara, a small and little known ghetto which is a haven for Nairobi’s street boys and girls.
In Flynn’s account, it is the sort of place you can get stabbed in broad daylight and people will walk over your body like you are sack of potatoes. Yet, he roams the place like it’s his backyard.
“I started working there 10 years ago when there used be a huge pile of garbage that kids were playing in and getting sick. The first thing I did was make a deal with the community that if they would clean it up and load it into trucks I would hire the trucks and get it taken away. We did it and that’s was how I got to know the residents of the place,” narrates Flynn.
Flynn is the founder of Little Sports Organization, an NGO that has created employment for hundreds of Kenyans. The organization has impacted the lives of more than 12,000 children in 26 schools who do Sport & Life Skills development every week.
“When I brought Anto-Neosoul here he almost didn’t want to get of the car,” he explains. “However, I assured him of his safety as long as he was with me. My friends worry about my security when I am here, but I feel at home here. No one can touch me when I am here.”
This week Flynn is set to launch a 12-week mentorship program together with sport entrepreneur Cynthia Mumbo, Anto Neosoul and photojournalist-turned-human rights activist-turned-politician, Boniface Mwangi.
SEEDS OF GREATNESS
The youth entrepreneurship mentoring academy will start in January and will not only equip participants with knowledge but give them access to Sh1 million capital.
The program will be launched on Thursday October, 5 at an event to be held at the Kenyatta University at 10am and another one at the All Saints Cathedral at 5:30pm. Young people will have a chance to sign up for this program during the two events.
For Flynn this program is a dream come true, an opportunity to impact the most neglected segment of society, the youth.
“I grew up poor in a tough area of Sydney Australia and a school that was violent. I learned to run, be funny or fight when necessary. My successes have taken me into dialogue with big business people and leaders of countries. My passion now is to use my life as a gift to awaken the seeds of greatness inside everybody and to shine the light on your path to success.”