Kenya is a wonderful place characterized by a great variety of landscapes; from the hills and the mountains to the Savanna and the beautiful coast but Kenya is much more than this: Kenya is smiling, Kenya is Pole Pole and, of course, Kenya is Hakuna Matata.
Being in Kenya, for an average Italian student, probably means a whole different world far away from the usual daily routine; and this is true, but not in such a drastic way as one would think.
It was September 2022, and I was writing my Master’s Degree thesis; or as I should probably say, I was looking for the inspiration to write something. As I was surfing through the different internship proposals offered by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, I found something very interesting that mentioned a coffee project in Kenya: the ARABIKA Project launched by the E4Impact Entrepreneurship Center Kenya, which aims at empowering coffee farmers and enhancing the value of Kenyan coffee. As a good Italian, I have always been a great coffee drinker, therefore I immediately thought: “why not apply?”. Before that, I knew very little about Kenya, but the idea of doing something so unique and special in a new country caught my attention right away.
I got in touch with another Italian intern, Alberto, who was working at the Kenyan Center at the time and he shared with me all the details I needed to know about the ARABIKA Project and about what I should expect from Nairobi – Kenya. Well, what I found once I arrived was even greater than what Alberto told me in such a well-detailed way.
At the E4Impact Kenya Center, I joined a very friendly environment where I learnt all the strengths and the issues that characterize the Kenyan Coffee value chain. I realized that it needs to be enhanced and promoted, since it is not so well-known and appreciated in the Italian market; despite having one of the highest qualities in the whole world. Kenya is a wonderful place characterized by a great variety of landscapes; from the hills and the mountains to the Savanna and the beautiful coast but Kenya is much more than this: Kenya is smiling, Kenya is Pole Pole and, of course, Kenya is Hakuna Matata.
In Kenya I learnt a different way to approach life; not disenchanted but full of good vibes, energy and faith.
I’m very grateful for this life experience and I want to thank E4Impact for giving me this special opportunity. In particular, I’d like to thank the Director David Cheboryot, my Project Manager and Branding Manager Justin and Andrea (respectively) – who allowed me to access in depth the world of coffee and all of my colleagues.
When my time lapsed, I was very sad that I had to leave such a special place that welcomed and accepted me but I know one day I will be back. See you soon!
By Silvio Carlo Simonetti