Segal Family Foundation Annual Meeting- Spot Frank
Last week 4th -6th October the fancy Radisson Blu Hotel in Upper Hill Nairobi was a buzz with family, donors and doers gathering for the annual Segal Family Foundation USA annual meeting.Ruben Centre is one of their partners and receives multi annual funding for some project work and so it was as a partner that I went along to join the nearly 350 participants from many parts of the world. Most Donors were from USA, with a few from Australia, while nearly all the doers were from different East Africa countries.
The vision of Segal is to build an equitable community of visionary organizations- both donors and doers –across sub Sahara Africa that the lives of millions can be improved.
The Family Foundation has been operating for over ten years and values five pillars that define its approach.
Be Bold! Raise your hand, your voice; share your vulnerabilities as well as triumphs.
Build Community: 1+1=3. Either terrible maths or a vision believing collaboration trumps all previously defined thinking.
Fight For Fairness: Protect one another. Everyone should feel safe and no one is left behind.
Learn & Innovate: Challenge each other and rejoice in the other good idea around you.
Trust: Trust Segal Family Foundation and other doers and donors to support each other and every partner’s work.
The format for the three nights, two days largely saw some early morning plenary sessions and then late morning, afternoon and evenings many breaks out groups covering many different topics and interest for both donors and doers.
However as important as these sessions might be, the focus for the two days is to create a creative environment where networking could go on to further stronger and more effective collaborative partnerships to be established.
- Sessions that I attended included-
- Leveraging small dollars for big Opportunities
- Small Teams, Big Dreams
- Local solutions solving local problems,
- Cutting through red tape to actually partner with government for bigger impact,
- Legal Health check for social enterprises
- Teachers teaching teachers.
The annual meeting also was an opportunity for celebrating achievements and annually there are four social enterprise winners, or leaders and founders of highly successful movements.
Awards under –
Rising Star Award,
System Innovation award,
Angel for Africa award
Grassroots champion award.
These were presented during the formal dinner and on receiving the award each successful awardee addressed the gathering. Each of these speeches was truly inspirational and clearly engaged and inspired all gathered.
Firstly inspiration to continue the journey. Segal Family Foundation puts enormous energy; encouragement and resources into nurturing start up programs by local people for the local community. So to be among such a predominantly youthful and optimistic group of people who are giving there all for little return was a real pleasure.
Associated with this start up focus, eighteen individuals from Malawi and Uganda were brought to Ruben Centre on the day before the meeting for the purpose of interacting with our staff and projects to glean ideas and helpful tips.
The second thing was the contacts to start or continue networking with doers out there who are doing similar pursuits.
And finally I went away with some insight into how to successfully engage a huge number of people and organizations. (See photo.)
And under the photo…. Caption.
Remember the books Where’s Wally? Well where’s Frank? Spot him if you can.
Written by: Br. Frank O'Shea
Director Ruben Centre