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About TRADE


Mission Statement:
Trust for Rural African Development and Enterprise is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and proliferation of sustainable, ecological, entrepreneurial industries in rural Africa.

TRADE is a non-profit entity which was born of the experiences of Philip and Katy Leakey who live amongst the Maasai within the Enkutoto-Elangata-Enterit group ranch. A severe drought which ended in 2001 devastated pasture lands and Maasai livelihoods, killing hundreds of cattle, which are the mainstay of Maasai existence, and forcing the men to travel far from their homes in search of grazing land for their few remaining cattle. The women, left behind to fend for their families, desperately needed employment to be able to to provide shelter, food, medical care, clothes and education for their children.

Philip and Katy Leakey, recognizing this dire need to provide work opportunities for the women in a way that did not conflict with their cultural norms and practices, came up with an innovative idea which utilized the excellent beading skills of the Maasai to develop a jewelry line made from grass, a locally available and sustainable resource. Women seeking work were employed to harvest, dry, cut and dye the grass and, later, bead Zulugrass jewelry which has since become an international fashion sensation and one of the most well known products of Philip and Katy’s lifestyle company, The Leakey Collection™. Zulugrass provided many of the Maasai women with their first opportunity to earn money and, uniquely, to do so in a way that could be tailored to each woman’s lifestyle and needs, with women deciding themselves how many hours per day or days per month they wanted to work. Very quickly, over 1400 women were involved in the initiative and excited to be earning money that they could use to improve their lives.

Real impact was being felt across the community, with women being able to meaningfully contribute to family incomes by building up livestock herds again, as well as diversifying their income bases by investing earnings in additional enterprises such as agriculture, service businesses and micro-lending.

The Zulugrass experience helped to show that providing employment and income generation opportunities within communities, particularly for women, has positive impacts at all levels: increasing enrollment in schools, improving relationships and building respect between men and women, empowering women and improving nutrition and health for families. The phenomenal changes in the community to date are evidence that providing opportunity for income generation, and supporting this with targeted and appropriate capacity strengthening, is the catalyst for transformative change across communities.

Zulugrass Jewelry - The Leakey Collection™
Zulugrass Jewelry - The Leakey Collection™

TRADE aims to build on these lessons learnt and experiences, by expanding opportunities for income generation and building sustainability and resilience through providing a channel for the development of the infrastructure and support systems required for entrepreneurship to flourish and the impacts of economic empowerment to be fully realized, as well as to build on the gains so far with continued growth. Importantly, the activities to be supported by TRADE are those which the community has deemed high priority, and those which have been laid out in the community initiated and endorsed development road map. In this sense, TRADE is the structure through which support can be channeled to build the capacity of the Enkutoto-Elangata-Enterit group ranch members to implement the development plan they have established.

This development strategy is centred on eight guiding principles, each articulating integral themes and concepts which embody TRADE’s approach to supporting community development.

Income Generation and Empowerment:
This development plan aims to achieve income generation and empowerment on a number of different and reinforcing levels – for individual entrepreneurs, community institutions and for the group ranch as a whole. Income generation reinforces ownership, enables empowerment and promotes positive impact and transformation on a community wide scale.

Stakeholder Ownership:
Stakeholder ownership is concerned with, and drives, the demand side of development. It is defined by the stakeholders’ willingness to demand certain development outcomes and goals, as well as by their prioritisation of those development goals and desire to ensure their realisation. Change, by its very nature, can result in some losses or undesirable outcomes and, as such, community development may result in individual sacrifices or unexpected outcomes. However, in order for a development goal to be achieved, these sacrifices or losses must be locally owned and accepted, in the same manner that positive outcomes and benefits are. Ultimately, change needs to be locally driven if it is to be sustainable. This development roadmap is founded on stakeholder ownership, articulating as it does, stakeholder sentiments and plans.

Sustainability:
TRADE takes a broad definition of sustainability to encompass all aspects of project impact including environmental, cultural, developmental and community sustainability. TRADE aims to balance meaningful development and empowerment with maintaining livelihoods and heritage, and doing so in an ecologically sustainable manner. The ultimate goal of this development plan is to provide an enabling environment for self reliance within the community, whilst also engendering a genuine appreciation of the need, through the creation of economic incentives, to preserve and sustain natural and ecological resources.

Diversification:
TRADE recognises that diversification is vital for continued and meaningful development. This development plan outlines plans for initial income generation activities but also recognises the need to create an enabling environment in which entrepreneurship and innovation can flourish and diversify. Capacity strengthening and ongoing training initiatives, particularly focusing on the world of business, help to nurture creativity; whilst providing the infrastructure and foundations required to fulfil business potential and access markets helps to realize the actualisation of creative business ventures.

Community Systems Strengthening:
Key to the success of this development plan is the strengthening of community systems, in recognition that existing community systems are better suited to serve community members and needs than the introduction of external and unfamiliar systems. Existing leadership systems have proven effective in instigating the development of this plan and are, therefore, key to its successful implementation.

Gender Mainstreaming:
Experience has shown that investment in women translates to investment in the community. Empowering women, and providing appropriate income generation opportunities for women, leads to improved family nutrition and health and increased enrolment in schools for children. TRADE recognises these links and mainstreams gender in all activities and projects.

Targeted and Meaningful Investment:
Certain investments, particularly in infrastructure and communications, are required in order to boost income generation and entrepreneurship. The current lack of infrastructure in the group ranch is a major barrier to development and one that requires too much capital for any one individual community member to overcome. Targeted and meaningful community investments can result in high and widespread impact for a large number of people, but must be done so in a self-sustaining manner, whereby the community feels ownership of the investment and, therefore, assumes responsibility for upkeep, maintenance and security.

Drawing on Expertise:
A key strategy for TRADE is the strategic incorporation of field experts to share knowledge and impart skills for continued and meaningful capacity development. The introduction of external ideas and thoughts is a key component in initiating entrepreneurship and innovation, and a major driver of the desire for continued improvement and development. As such, TRADE makes every effort to seek out top specialists in a wide variety of fields, inviting them to share information and expertise and, in so doing, contribute to the progression of this unique community.

Learning Through Seeing:
Being such a proud people, with a great wealth of traditional knowledge, but having been somewhat excluded from the major information and communication developments of this digital era, the Maasai of Enkutoto-Elangata-Enterit Group Ranch can be quite sceptical about new, and perhaps seemingly outlandish, ideas. A key strategy which has proven to be highly successful is to teach through seeing: demonstrating that a concept or idea actually works, by establishing a demonstration site, and showing that a profit can be made. This ignites intrigue and a desire for involvement, which, being demand-driven, is a more sustainable method of teaching than projecting ideas through supply-driven strategies.

Philip Leakey
The third and youngest son of paleo-anthropologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, Philip Leakey was a Member of Parliament in Kenya for 15 years, a Deputy Member of the Cabinet for 14 years and a Member of Cabinet for 1 year. Philip is known in Kenya for his dedication towards improving conditions for all Kenyan’s with particular attention to the areas of business opportunity and the environment.

Katy Leakey
Katy Leakey is an artist and a designer. Her interest as an artist has been to connect diverse cultures through understanding using art as a vehicle and lecturing in University systems in the United States. Katy Leakey spent time studying ancient cultures in the unexplored areas of the Amazon of Peru and Ecuador before moving to Africa in 2001. In 1964 Allen and Helen O’Brien along with Katy Leakey’s parents, Robert and Evelyn Moodey and three others, co-founded the L.S.B. Leakey foundation, lending a cultural anthropological bent towards Katy’s life long work in Art.

Philip Leakey
The third and youngest son of paleo-anthropologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, Philip Leakey was a Member of Parliament in Kenya for 15 years, a Deputy Member of the Cabinet for 14 years and a Member of Cabinet for 1 year. Philip is known in Kenya for his dedication towards improving conditions for all Kenyan’s with particular attention to the areas of business opportunity and the environment.

Katy Leakey
Katy Leakey is an artist and a designer. Her interest as an artist has been to connect diverse cultures through understanding using art as a vehicle and lecturing in University systems in the United States. Katy Leakey spent time studying ancient cultures in the unexplored areas of the Amazon of Peru and Ecuador before moving to Africa in 2001. In 1964 Allen and Helen O’Brien along with Katy Leakey’s parents, Robert and Evelyn Moodey and three others, co-founded the L.S.B. Leakey foundation, lending a cultural anthropological bent towards Katy’s life long work in Art.

Jerry Cenamo – Tax/Financial Planner
G.J. (Jerry) Cennamo is President of Market Timing Resources, LLC and The Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Certified Tax & Financial Planners, Inc.  He is a member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church Pastoral Council.

He is married and works with his wife and Corporate Partner Wendy Cennamo.  They have four sons and two daughters, James, Steven, Jerry II, Woody, Destiny and Spring, as well as several grandchildren, Christopher Jonathan, Joseph, Miranda, Alexsys, Rickey, Daisy and Chloé.

Mr. Cennamo earned his Certified Financial Planner designation (CFP) in 1977. He earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Financial Planning in 1984.  Jerry also assisted in the founding of the Orange County Chapter of the International Association of Financial Planners (IAFP) that has currently changed its name to the Financial Planners Association (FPA) and has received the very exclusive “Lifetime Member” status. He was named Honored Member of Stanford Who’s Who in 2009 and Executive of the Year in 2011 He was also named Continental Who’s Who for 2011-2012 and the Traditional Who’s Who in 2012.

Throughout his over forty years in the financial planning industry, Mr. Cennamo has been the recipient of many professional licenses, certifications and awards. But his most treasured awards are the ones he has received from his peers. Financial planners from IAFP chapters in Orange County California, Las Vegas, Nevada and Phoenix, Arizona, have each declared a “Jerry Cennamo Day,” as he was the sole lecturer for the entire days’ events.

Mr. Cennamo has participated extensively in the educational process of both financial planners and the general public. He has been a former adjunct faculty member of the College for Financial Planning and member of both management and faculty of Southern States University. He is renowned for his lecturing to the general public about the importance of coordinated financial planning and the tax benefits of starting a small business from your own home. At one point hosting a talk show called “the Tax Guys.”  Having authored several textbooks in his field (including Foundations of Financial Planning, an integrated workbook. and The Tax Preparers Exclusive Wealth Builder Handbook;. he also holds the copyrights on financial planning software that he developed called ‘Life Planning Analysis.’  He has established a reputation as one of the most outstanding and controversial authorities in the fields of taxation and financial planning. Mr. Cennamo has been one of America’s most successful financial planners – and is certainly one of the most innovative.

In his spare time, Mr. Cennamo and his wife enjoy spending time with their family and grandkids, volunteering to help out at their church, St. Cecilia’s M/M Santa Claus, and love riding around town on their Piaggio Scooter.

Doug Rastello – Retired Entrepreneur – Business

Teresa Grove – Co-founder of INK, Inc. 


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