What started as a trip around the world to celebrate his graduation from university has, for KPMG’s James Woodward, turned into a powerful commitment to improving the lives of underprivileged children in Kenya.
An Audit professional in KPMG in Australia’s Sydney office, James has joined his business skills with his lifelong passion for service to co-found Kickstart Kids International, a nonprofit organization designed to help fund and support the Familia Moja Children’s Centre, a home for orphaned children in the Nairobian village of Mang’u, and the Mang’u Primary School, which serves about 600 of the village’s youth.
James first visited Kenya during his travels in 2007, volunteering at St. Otiep, a small orphanage in Kayole, a Nairobi slum. After spending six weeks at the orphanage and experiencing firsthand the poor conditions, Woodward returned to Australia, but later received word that St. Otiep’s director had closed the facility without warning, leaving 20 children homeless.
Anxious to help, James took a two-month sabbatical from KPMG and returned to Kenya to help establish a new home for the children in Mang’u. Today, 27 children live at Familia Moja and attend the school Kickstart Kids International now sponsors with the help of KPMG International.
James’ long-term goal is to help the center achieve self-sustainability by raising the funds to purchase a small plot of land for farming. “The land will provide the kids with an education in agriculture and the community with a valuable income stream,” he says.
In addition, Kickstart Kids is partnering with KPMG in Kenya to build a second home for orphaned children in Ulturoto.
James is grateful for the support Kickstart Kids International has received from the KPMG network and clients. “With their assistance, Kickstart has been given the opportunity to grow far beyond what I imagined when we started and to stimulate real change in the lives of the children we’re supporting.”
This is just a small example of how KPMG people are making a difference in the world.