Hi, I’m Sinja
A solo female traveler, travel consultant and personal tour leader dedicated to you to plan your trip to Kenya without any headaches
I was a little girl with big dreams:
“I wanted to change the world! I didn’t know how and that I could do it until I travelled to Africa.”
Growing up in Europe, I thought I am living the life of my dreams: Raised in a well-protected childhood with access to education and parental support and growing up with the belief that you can achieve anything in life and fulfil your dreams. My dream always was to become a teacher to help children and be a good role model until I travelled the first time in Africa, where my life took a turning point.
After two months of teaching in Kenya in a public school, I already knew I would extend my stay, and I eventually co-founded the organisation, Jiamini CBO, to safeguard rights of vulnerable children in Kenya. How I managed to build an organisation and daycare centre without any professional background in social work or community development was a task that challenged me every day. But with the firm belief to be able to make a difference and the help of a local team and our fundraising team in Germany, we managed.
“Today we successfully run a daycare centre in Thika, Kenya, for more than 20 orphans.”
After half a year of travelling in Kenya and volunteering in my project, Germany didn’t feel like home anymore. A country I have lived in for over 20 years, a country where I have grown up, a country where my entire family lives, I didn’t feel like a place I could live anymore. It was conflicting and confusing at the same time. In my mind, the only thing I could think about is how I can go back to Africa.
“Mother Africa was calling me, and I couldn’t explain it.”
I felt my life was caged. I couldn’t continue living in my familiar surroundings and getting employed in a secure nine to five job and being stuck in the system. I needed to break out, and nothing or no one could hold me back. Something inside me was telling me that I can make a much more significant positive impact in Kenya.
Living and travelling between two worlds forced me to follow my heart and to make a decision:
Quitting my job in Germany and moving to Kenya alone as a woman without any financial support.
While living in Thika to support the organisation Jiamini CBO, a volunteer of mine asked me to join her on a road trip to visit a village she has seen on TV back home. I thought: “Okay, why not, another adventure. Let’s do this.” Not knowing that this trip will influence my future life and be the reason for what I am doing today. Without even knowing where exactly, we are going and if this village exists, I arranged a driver for us, who took us from Thika to Samburu (5 hours one way)to a women’s only village, where men are banned.
“The women’s only village Umoja, co-founded in 1990 by Rebecca Lolosoli, and six other founders to be a familiar voice of Samburu women and fight against early forced marriages, FGM (female genital mutilation) and for gender equality.”
This day at the village, the conversation with the women and experiencing first hand which struggle the women are going through in their daily life, shook my worldview.
I couldn’t believe that today in the 21st century, there are women who do not have access to education. And girls from the age of ten are forced to be in a sexual relationship with an elder Moran (Samburu warrior) without her consent or the intention of getting married to this Moran. And that women have no voice to speak up for themselves neither the right to make a decision who they will marry.
When I realised that:
“Travellers could experience a real-life Africa, travel local and sustainable at the same time to support Kenyan communities.”
I founded Travel WithSinja so that you can experience the same I did, #bechangedbytravel and support while travelling with indigenous girls and women in Kenya.