YouHambo was inspired both by our love of travel, and by a wish to give back -- to help those less fortunate and to protect the world we share. We have three guiding principles 1) the world is a better place, and we are better citizens of that world, when have a deep understanding of all the different people living in it, 2) education is the key to giving people opportunities to improve their lives and 3) this planet belongs to all of us, and we all have a duty to protect it.
In pursuit of these principles, we are working hard to source our clothing, gear, accessories and crafts from merchants and craftspeople using organic materials and environmentally conscious manufacturing, and applying fair trade principles. We are members of the Green Business Network, the United States' first, largest and most diverse network of socially and environmentally conscious businesses; and we are pursuing our individual charitable goals as well: One example is the ACREF school in the Baba Ndogo slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Michael and I came back from participating as teachers in the Songs For Justice program, put on by the nonprofit organization PeaceTones (www.peacetones.org). We went to teach Kenyan musicians from both Baba Ndogo
and Kibera (the second largest shantytown in Africa) how to navigate the music business in Kenya and internationally, and advocate for social change through art instead of violence. We met committed musicians and writers struggling to create and promote their art under conditions that people in the developed world can barely imagine. Our classes in Baba Ndogo were held on the grounds of the ACREF school: A school with dirt floors, no running water, and corrugated iron roofs that leak when it rains. The students and the community there touched our hearts. Supporting the ACREF school is one of the first of many programs that we are looking to develop at YouHambo.
So, we hope that you enjoy the items that we have found and offer here. More importantly, we hope that these items and our site will inspire you to go see a little bit of the world. Go see a great cathedral. Go see some beautiful wildlife. Find an unspoiled corner of the world and turn off your cellphone, take off your watch, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Go on your journey--your uhambo--and maybe stay, or come back determined to make a difference, like we did.