This morning i felt such a relief when i woke up and realized that i have only a relatively weak headache and i can again function as a normal human being. 30 hours with no food did not make me feel having loads of energy but probably just the fact i felt so much better again recharged my batteries quickly.
The aim of my travel to Nairobi is to support setting up the RedR UK office in Nairobi which would provide training to aid workers from the region of East Africa. At the moment our first and primary focus will be to deliver training in South Sudan, Juba, the newest country in the world, but eventually we will try to cover also other countries.
Setting up the office includes recruiting staff, registering with the relevant authorties, getting the postal address, opening bank account, finding the office space, purchasing major office supplies, starting initial marketing, networking and contact building, setting up admnistrative policies and procedures etc etc. This set up phase is all about getting things done in the right sequence, good planning and decision making.
Today was a quite productive day as we managed to get postal address in literaly 5 minutes (!) and we could move forward with our bank account. Also, it might make things easier because RedR UK was working in Kenya back in 2003 – 2006, so we might need only to re-activate things, however we still wont avoid all the paperwork and bureaucracy to get things done, but hopefully it will speed up things a bit.
What we have already concluded is that price levels are higher than you would normally expect, but comparatively, as we are doing a paralel process in Juba, South Sudan, Nairobi is quite ok, but Juba – there prices are astronomic! Office space for up to 10 people may cost at least 8 000USD per month or more, which is simply unthinkable. I think, in London we could get cheaper options. It might be cheaper to build a brand new office, however as the construction market is under control it’s better not to try to step on someone else’ s toes. But, what an irony – these prices are inflated by the very same NGOs and UN organizations which in large numbers come into a country and thus increase the demand. The very same NGOs then become victims of their own keeness to help by being forced to pay such prices.So, this means, we have a very challenging task to find the best possible option for our office. Desk research, contacts with other NGOs and field visit will hopefully bring us to a smart decision.
2 rules i learnt today when walking in the central Nairobi:
1. dont wait for the green light to cross the street. just cross it when it’ s less risky. traffic lights are only a guidance.
2. dont get confused when now and then when entering a bank or a busness centre you are checked by security guys. it’s normal. and they are generally very heplful if you cant find something.