A Typical Day
You wake up as the sun filters through the windows of your room in a heritage hotel. A hundred years ago, this was a private family mansion. It has since been converted into an independent business that employs people from the local village and channels its profits to local community initiatives. At breakfast, you’ll taste their traditional rava idly while sipping sweet fresh juice on the terrace.
The other Journeys for Change participants all gather for the daily briefing. You’re part of a diverse group: amongst your peers are a Swiss investment banker, an American advertising executive, an Irish social entrepreneur, a Chinese professor and an Indian foundation director.
It’s a quick bus ride to the first site visit of the day, an international award winning hospital that provides eye surgery for anyone who needs it, even if they have no money to afford it. On site, the hospital director tells you his story and then shows you the facility, introducing you to patients and surgeons. Over lunch with the hospital team, they explain their social business model: by charging market prices to wealthier patients, every year they are able to provide free surgery to 300,000 people who would have gone blind otherwise. Your head buzzes with the possibilities of a way of doing business that combines profit with purpose. After lunch, you’re off to the next site visit. On the way, you reflect on what you’ve seen with another Journey participant, contemplating how the hospital system could be implemented in your own country.
The next site is a not-for-profit that helps slum residents set up and run their own community resource centres. The founder takes you on a walking tour of the area near one of these centres. The impact it has had on the community is evident. Residents smile and joke with the founder as she walks by. Children run up to you laughing and posing for the photos they insist you take. Inside the centre, the staff (who all live in the slum) explain how all of the integrated services that residents can access – from health and infrastructure development to employment training – are run by the residents themselves. The founder shares her story with you, explaining how she gave up a lucrative business career to follow her true passion. As a social entrepreneur, her path has not been an easy one: first she met resistance from her family, then from the government. But now she beams with pride for what the community residents have accomplished. You're struck by her drive, her passion and her humility.
Dinner is at a rooftop restaurant staffed entirely by volunteers. They welcome you like family. There are no fixed prices; you simply “pay from your heart.” The food is simple and delicious. As your group reflects on the day, laughter fills the room. A group of local musicians take the small stage and performs a short set of folk songs.
Smiling, you look out at the moonlit city below. Your thoughts drift to tomorrow, when you will taking part in a facilitated reflection session with your fellow participants in the morning, followed by a heritage walk and massage in the afternoon.
Please note: this is representative of what a day with Journeys for Change might look like. To find out more about a specific Journey itinerary, view our upcoming journeys or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nicola PollockDirector of Grant-makingEsmée Fairbairn Foundation"The group were a treat: an excellent and international mix with a wonderful diversity of experience"
"The trip gave me a wider perspective on my work... and a willingness to take more risks and challenges."