Ben Stone here. It’s been just over a year since I first officially joined Matt, my old college buddy, on his daunting quest to launch and sustain an innovative social enterprise dedicated to attacking poverty with the power of the global markets. For those of you who don’t know me, I am Indego Africa’s Volunteer Chairman, which is basically just a random title. In reality, my role is to do whatever possible to help. The progress Indego Africa has made since its inception is astounding, and I’m proud to be part of the experience. I’ve been particularly inspired by the number of people who have offered their time, expertise, insight and support along the way. It is only because of people like you that something like this can truly work.
On Wednesday I leave on a two-week trip to Rwanda (where I have never been) that seems like a long time coming. I can’t wait to meet and spend time with the women at our partner cooperatives. I’m excited to get a feel for a country that is awakening to new sense of purpose and pride. And, most importantly, I’m pumped to hang with Matt, a great friend, whose drive, dedication and talent is a thing to behold.
One extra exciting piece of news: my law firm – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP – has really stepped up to the plate and donated six laptop computers (and every related accessory you can think of) to Indego Africa, and they deserve a tremendous amount of thanks. Our plan is set up a computer center at Covanya, one of Indego Africa’s partner cooperatives. Matt assures me that I can’t yet comprehend the magnitude of this potential accomplishment. We’ll surely keep you updated.
My main goal right now is to get the computers (and myself) to Rwanda safely. If you are curious about the logistics, I’m flying from New York City to Brussels (about 8 hours) and then from Brussels to Kigali, Rwanda (about 8 hours). Should be, well, probably not that comfortable.
I hope that you continue to come back to this Blog, check in on how things are going, and even leave a comment here or there. I plan to take as many pictures and shoot as much video as possible, and expect to post some highlights for your enjoyment. And, yes, I am bringing a wiffleball bat and ball, because there’s always time for batting practice.