Posted on April 26, 2019
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…. What ACT means to me!
Dimitri was working for online marketing company, Conversant, when he and his colleague, Faith, came across ACT and decided they had to get involved…
How and when did you come across ACT?
ACT came into my life when Roger Williams, Head of Marketing for Epsilon (parent company of Conversant) introduced me to Kunle in January 2017. It took only one meeting with Kunle to understand his beliefs and vision. From that moment, the seed was planted in our relationship.
What drew you to the work ACT does?
Investing in people is the most powerful way to move towards a better future. The work that the ACT team is doing is incredible! Educating children, empowering widows and enriching communities through Africa are three powerful motives. A mission that can change the lives of others for the better and provide them with the opportunity to live the life they have always dreamed of. How can anyone not be drawn to this?
How does ACT fit in with your line of work?
There isn’t a direct alignment to my work in the Marketing Technology industry. However, the people that I work with are truly incredible. I say this because, collectively, we understand how helping others in need is a rewarding and purposeful experience. As a result, the alignment between ACT and Conversant blossomed.
You helped secure significant funds from Conversant for a project for ACT. How did that come about?
Firstly, I could not have secured the funds without the support of my colleague, Faith Whelan. Faith saw a notice about the company grant award for good courses on the company intranet and submitted an application on behalf of ACT. She was pleasantly surprised when she received an email from the parent company in New York letting her know that her application was successful and ACT has been granted £10,000.
Presenting ACT with a cheque of £10,000 for the Ulemu Project in November 2017
Front row l-r: Faith, Dimitri, ACT’s Kunle & Nathaneal with Conversant Team
What did the ACT project mean to you and the Conversant Team?
The grant was used for the ACT Ulemu Project to fight period poverty which excludes girls in Malawi from going to school during their monthly period which adversely affects their educational performance due to loss of school time. The Conversant Team helped to put together “Blessing Packs” containing panties, re-useable menstrual pads, roll-on deodorant, a pen and a handmade bookmark, which were distributed to girls in participating schools in Malawi. This project was incredibly meaningful to the staff at Conversant. We are extremely grateful that we had the opportunity to get involved.
Do you have a favourite ACT-moment or memory? If so, what is it?
Sharing the great news with the ACT team that we had secured a grant for the Ulemu Project was a magic moment. This provided joy to both ACT and the Conversant team which then grew to more than 25 staff collaborating with ACT to put together the ‘Blessing Packs’ for the girls in Malawi.
We gather you are on a journey to a new venture. Tell us about this venture and what you are hoping to do?
My journey begins in April 2019 to Africa. I will be based in Arusha, Tanzania for one month, living with a Maasai community and teaching English to the local children. Afternoons will include a variety of daily chores and working with the team building new classrooms for the local school. I then head to Kruger National Park in South Africa, where I will spend a few days with Dex Kotze, a conservationist, in the protection of wildlife – elephants, rhinos and lions. My curiosity urges me to learn as much as I can from him and help to support his projects. The last leg of my journey leads me to Botswana, where I will join Elephants for Africa, an NGO based in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. I will be working alongside Dr. Kate Evans, the founder, and her team for a month. We will conduct research and educate communities on the importance of some of the species in the ecosystem. This is the start of my journey in Africa. The next step is to develop my vision and life philosophy.
Can you share a little bit more about your life philosophy?
My vision is to inspire connections that bring together conservation and communities. The rise of technology and the adoption of smart phones in Africa provide a huge opportunity to create a new, open sourced digital channel that gives conservation groups a transparent view of the animals and ecosystems that they work and live with. Communities can be incentivised to protect their natural ecosystems and wildlife. The aim is to create value for both sides. I believe we all have the collective power to create a greater future for our world and all its inhabitants.
You can follow Dimitri’s travels on Instagram: @dimitree4.
You can find out more about how ACT is preventing Period Poverty in Africa by clicking here.
To find out more about ACT, visit our website.