Recently we were surprised to see images taken by One Horizon at one of its premises being used illegally to promote a travel agencies tours. The offending foreign owned small travel agency also sought to induce our staff to join them with the promise of greater remuneration.
We were more concerned that our communities, which are supported by a range of our programs in their recovery from trauma, were being seduced by people with purely commercial motivations. We also buttress our communities in earning income by setting them up in their own small businesses. These arrangements are registered and supported by the relevant Kenyan government agencies and labor unions. One Horizon takes it responsibilities and obligations very seriously.
Our advice to those being attracted by the offers was to urge caution. It wasn’t up to One Horizon to insist on anything other than our communities should consider all options. They choose their own path in life. Unfortunately our concerns have proven correct. The travel group has failed to live up to the expectations that a small group of people who followed them, say they had been given. They allegedly were promised many clients but to date apparently only 4 have turned up in the last 8 months. The upshot is that hunger is now a problem in their families, their income is non-existent and they cannot fund their children’s education. Not surprisingly the travel group are notably absent. The community are now imploring One Horizon to step back in and help these people put their lives back together again.
We can only describe the approach of this travel agency as Trumpian. An approach based on ignorance and with a total lack of awareness of the needs of vulnerable people. Their approach has wreaked havoc. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be laughable. One Horizon has fantastic relationships with travel agencies that work with us to improve the lives of people. And they have worked with us every step of the way. The travel agency in question is no way representative of a great industry. And of course at a time that our communities need support to get through the current epidemic this group hasn’t been seen. That’s what happens when motivations are purely commercial and exploitative of a vulnerable community. We think our image of goats on a hillside sum up this group appropriately, except for the fact 4 legged goats are smarter.