In this episode, I talk with Maria Kidney, the co-founder of Brighter Communities Worldwide (originally called Friends of Londiani) about her own journey.
Maria first travelled to Kenya in 2000 to climb mountains, and after a mugging incident in Nairobi she sought refuge in the Kenya Girl Guide Association. There she was inspired by the community development work done, and promised to return to Kenya again.
Maria has held multiple roles in Brighter Communities Worldwide since 2002 including Chairperson, Board Member, Project Leader for volunteer groups, Trainer of volunteer groups and Project Leaders.
We talk about early influences in school growing up in Cobh, the key takeaway from transition year in school that have stood to her later in life, studying Commerce in UCC and working in IT thereafter. She mentions learnings from Commerce and Management accounting that helped directly in setting up the Charity. Maria also reflects very fondly about her time on the J1 in the US.
In 2006 Maria was awarded the Junior Chamber of Commerce International Total Outstanding Young Person (TOYP) of the Year Award; and the Vodafone Passion of the World Around Us Award. In 2010 Maria was awarded the Cobh Person of the Year Award.
Enjoy the show 🙂