And that’s a wrap!

The 12 day AIDN Insight Tour 2024 traversing Tanzania and Kenya, in partnership with The Life You Can Save, has finished and we couldn’t be more thankful to the local leaders who shared their time, expertise and energy with us, in addition to everyone else who joined us on this unique journey.

Day 1 started with a bang. The group gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for their first group dinner. At the dinner, the group was joined by Sarika Bansal, Editor of Tread Brightly. Sarika spoke about the need to travel whilst exercising humility and curiosity. Her advice that one should treat travel not as consumption but instead act as an active participant resonated as the group started the 12-day journey.

On Day 2, the group drove from Nairobi to Nakuru – chatting and getting to know each other along the way. Stopping at Sawela Lodge, Lake Naivasha for lunch provided one of the first glimpses into the beauty of the Kenyan landscape. That night, the group was thrilled to be joined by Dandelion Africa’s inspiring Founder & Executive Director, Wendo Aszed.

On Day 3, the group had a special opportunity to visit Dandelion Africa’s programs on-the-ground, putting the meeting with Wendo into context and understanding how Dandelion Africa is improving the health and livelihoods of women in rural Kenya. That night, the team further had the privilege of meeting with and learning from a range of pioneers and founders in the ecosystem including Ben Wachira (Emergency Medicine Foundation Kenya), Jackson Ndurya (Kwale PAVI Farmer’s Co-Operative Society), Carol Kimari (yGap), Tom Onyango and Hope Mwanyuma (Living Goods), Imelda Wanja (FREO2 Foundation), and Julius Mbeya and Sylvia Otieno (Lwala Community Alliance).

On Day 4, the funders set out from Nairobi, Kenya ready for an action packed day with three site visits to: The Action Foundation, SHOFCO and PaceMaker International.

Day 5 continued at a cracking pace. Departing from Nairobi, the group visited Sanku, Food for Education and Give Directly, and were also fortunate to participate in a brilliant showcase from PSI. That evening, the group further had the privilege of meeting with a number of influential international development leaders including: Jaya Tiwari and Roseirene Githige (Boma Project), Dorcas Owinoh (Lakehub Foundation), Chrispin Owaga (Evidence Action), Sean Granville-Ross (World Bicycle Relief), Anna Carson (One Acre Fund), and Wycliffe Waweru (PSI). Everyone left with new ideas, perspectives and energy.

Anne and John at the So They Can site visit in Babati, Tanzania

On Day 6, the group saw impact in action with a site visit to the Ruben Centre, before meeting with Sanergy Fresh Life – which closed out the time in Kenya before heading south to Tanzania.

On Day 7, the group departed from Arusha, Tanzania and travelled through rural Tanzania to Monduli to visit both Women’s Agro-Enviro Vision (WAEV) and Orkeeswa. What a fantastic day of cross-cultural exchange and learning.  That evening, the group were also excited to learn from a range of leaders in the Tanzanian NGO space including: Advocate Mgusuhi Maswi (Msichana Initiative), Saing’oire Sangau (Women’s Agri-Envro Vision), Peter Luis (Orkeeswa), Sarah Rejman (Kafika House, formerly Plaster House), Gemma Sisia (The School of St Jude), Emmanuel Samwel (Primetel), Pieter Remes (Development Media International) and Beatrice Lyimo (Nina Imani’s Inuka Tusonge project).

On Days 8 and 9, the group was pleased to have the chance to visit the Pastoral Women’s Council, in addition to enjoying a quintessential safari at Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. The group adventured to Tarangire National Park in custom-made Safari 4×4 Vehicles. As the vehicles bumped along, the view was dotted with soaring baobab trees and African wildlife.

On Day 10, the group travelled through Babati, Tanzania to visit Dareda Hospital and see the work of FRE02 Foundation in action. They also had the exciting opportunity to visit So They Can.

On Day 11, the group of funders travelled to Moshi to visit Kilimanjaro Community Centre for Ophthalmology (KCCO) – a partner of Seva. That afternoon, the group returned to Arusha and visited Maternity Africa. The group reflected on some of their key takeaways from the trip over dinner, particularly what defines “better” and “more” giving today, before prepping for the final site visit the next day.

On Day 12, the Insight Tour finished on a high note, as the group was fortunate to be welcomed by the School of St Jude. What a way to end: seeing the impact that motivated and pioneering Australians, such as Gemma Sisia, can have in our sector when they are dedicated to equality, localisation and change for all. 

To finish, we would also like to thank the tremendous group of funders who brought enthusiasm and energy each step of the journey including Darrel & Anna Wade (Intrepid Foundation and Dawn Wade Foundation), Anne Pike & John Roberts (Roberts Pike Foundation), Jeff Harris, Niv Novak, Leonie Bell, Jennifer Howard & Georgia Howard (Bowden Marstan Foundation), Jess La Mesa (The Life You Can Save) and Louise Pfeiffer (The Life You Can Save).

Finally, thank you also to our Insight Tour partner, The Life You Can Save and the outstanding team at Intrepid Travel for handling the on-ground logistics of the tour. On that note, a HUGE shout out to Emily Umbers, AIDN’s Marketing and Operating Manager, for whom this trip and her tireless organisation would not have been possible. We also thank many wider members of the AIDN team for their time, input, connections and expertise including: Julie Rosenberg, Mark Cubit, Eve Omala, Linda Fox and Anubha Rawat.


The AIDN Insight Tour East Africa 2024 group at WAEV in Tanzania

*Feature image: Group photo at PACEmaker International in Nairobi