Blue Mountains Graduate Making a Real Difference

Blue Mountains Graduate Making a Real Difference

12 December 2012

Adam Sargeant, a former Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) graduate is making a real difference through his NGO helping those at risk in Africa.

Adam completed his course in 2003 and from his hospitality education he is currently the General Manager at the Hospitality Guild, London, Chairman of the Board at Uplifting Men and Youth in Africa (UMaY Africa) and Director and Board Member of Quo Vadis Trust, London.

He moved to Kenya from Dubai in early 2009 after several years in international business development.  It was during this time he decided he wanted make a difference by volunteering with the NGO – Kenya Network of Women with AIDS (KENWA) while researching the sustainability of Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s).

After several months working in a range of urban slums and rural communities, he saw that the lack of support being offered to HIV+ men and youth had a direct effect on the lack of progress being made with the programs for HIV+ women and was a significant contributor in many of Kenya’s social problems.

This led him to establish a not-for-profit NGO called “Uplifting Men and Youth in Africa (UMaY Africa)” in December 2009. The organisation, pronounced You-May, has been operating for over two years and Adam serves as Chairman of the Board.

Working throughout Kenya’s slums, UMaY Africa primarily supports HIV+ men and youth (male and female) at high risk of being infected by HIV or getting involved with crime, including a specialised maternal health program.

They have a grass-root focus, but have developed a structure that brings together a mixture of professionals who share the governance and decision-making powers of UMaY with the people who face the challenges they are working to resolve. These people include economists, HIV/AIDS specialists, legal and governance specialists and community representatives from informal settlements such as elders, coordinators of grass-root community based organizations and youth ambassadors.

This diverse group of stakeholders protects the organization from many of the problems other NGO’s face including lack of accountability, corruption, nepotism and lack of grass-root information and understanding.

Adam eptiomises the hard work and leadership we wish to instill into all our graduates, on our hospitality management courses and he took this further by using his abilities to help those at risk by making a significant difference to their lives.

We wish Adam and the UMaY Team the best of luck in their continued mission, and look forward to hearing more about their success.

For more information contact Jerome Casteigt,  jerome.casteigt@bluemountains.edu.au.

Find out more about UMaY Africa, by visiting their website www.umayafrica.org

You can also find our more about how the worldwide network of Laureate students are making a difference at – www.laureatehereforgood.net