MY APOLOGIES FOR INTERUPTING YOUR MORNING – KENYA AND VISITING SAFELY

Once in a while I do come across a mail – and believe me I do get hundreds of them in particular over my recent article series about
the British FCO anti travel advice and the subsequent evacuation
of British tourists for which, miraculously, now no one seems to
be responsible, going by statements received where one party
blames the other – which is worth a second and third look.

Here is one I checked with the sender as I thought I might as well re-
publish it so that his thoughts can be shared with all my readers,
and not just with me.

Feel free to respond to Terry and share your thoughts with him, best
via the comment column on my blog as Terry will be getting the feedback
and can engage in direct dialogue then.

Terry Downes

From: Terry Downes
Date: 23 May 2014 09:59
Subject: KENYA AND VISITING SAFELY

Professor.

My name is Terry Downes, Irish but proudly Kenyan in that I chose to invest here 7 years ago and fell in love with this beautiful country. My background is Military, 14 years in the Irish Army, the last 7 of which were on active duty with the Irish Army’s Anti Terrorist unit. Most recently I was the founder and former CEO of Senaca East Africa, a company I built to become the fastest growing security company in East Africa before tendering my resignation as CEO in February this year.

I too was upset and annoyed at the way Kenya was portrayed / treated recently but I also realised there WAS a genuine concern out there and it beholds all who care about Kenya to look within and see what steps we can take to reassure people that their concerns are taken seriously and measures put in place to provide them with the PEACE OF MIND any international travel seeks. I feel strongly that to issue Travel Advisories against Kenya is selective and grossly unfair. That said, I also felt that simply ATTACKING the messenger and trying to pretend there were ZERO issues would never carry the majority.

SECURITY SERVICES IN KENYA

I came to realise that for sure more and more VIP Guests or Senior Executives engaged close protection services but the TRUTH IS, that is a service required by very few, unaffordable by most and really who wants to present a view that to travel safe to Kenya you NEED BODYGUARDS. It is simply not true.

THAT SAID, I also realised that the VAST MAJORITY of people who travel to Kenya have a right to do so clear in their mind that they have taken all REASONABLE precautions. There are genuine risks and we should not ignore that reality as we seek to defend our reputation as a tourist destination across the world. I set out to create a SOLUTION in which visitors PLANNING to come to Kenya could explore a MENU of REASONABLE / REALISTIC / PRACTICAL / AFFORDABLE security support services. SECURITY SUPPORT SERVICES THAT WERE DELIVERED BY CUSTOMER SERVICE ORIENTATED COMPANY NOT A TRADITIONAL “ASKARI” COMPANY. NO SUCH OPTION CURRENTLY EXISTS AND SO I SET ABOUT DEVELOPING AND LAUNCHING A PROJECT CALLED “BE SAFE IN KENYA”. www.besafeinkenya.com .

I understand the security industry in this country INSIDE OUT, I also have a good understanding of how VISITORS might feel in the current circumstances and given my background, I understand perhaps better than others the REAL nature of the terrorist threat. I wanted to develop a solution that was a HOSPITALITY SERVICE not a SECURITY service, I wanted it to be seen as offering PEACE OF MIND solutions regardless of your perception / appetite for risk. I wanted to give people choices, affordable to all visitors, PRACTICAL support. I wanted it to be seen by the hospitality sector as a service that can really HELP SWING ORDINARY people into believing that ‘YUP THAT ALL SOUNDS VERY REASONABLE’.

Professor, I have NEVER WRITTEN to a BLOGGER before, I am NOT on Twitter, I have no idea if and how you will react to me writing to you. You may utterly disagree with my efforts to make a difference but then perhaps you do agree with me.

If on the other hand you can find time to take a look at the web site www.besafeinkenya.com and you can offer any positive support / guidance of any kind, I would forever be grateful. I am trying to understand how I can LINK with STAKEHOLDERS who might be willing to support IN ANY WAY, people who may be willing to say a kind word that I can use on the site. I want to REACH the international sites that are currently working to encourage visitors to Kenya and let them know there IS A PRACTICAL SECURITY SUPPORT SERVICE AVAILABLE, I want to try and find ANYONE who can help me to help people realise that you can travel to Kenya and (like me) FALL IN LOVE with this beautiful place and you can do that SAFELY but for sure some of us will appreciate a little bit of support to manage our perception of risk while we are here. I just LAUNCHED the site YESTERDAY. Please believe me, I am really trying to do the right thing here.

Any assistance will be very much appreciated.

 

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6 Responses

  1. You are most kind, I am passionate about the subject and my apologies come from the fact that I know I have no right to ask for help but I appreciate any support of any kind from any quarter to make this WOW .Thank you Harrison. My e mail is terry@harrietgroup.co.ke

  2. i wish, i could have a job in Kenya to assiste this People… !
    I am working 18 years in the security in Zrich, Switzerland !
    I know Kenya since 25 Years and I love this beautiful place… but not everything gos the right way like in many other countrys… no prejudices, no criticism for nobody… I am neutral !

    I like to work on Security and i like to leave in Kenya… ! this is a fact !! Especialy I love the wildlife ! I am also Tourguide in Kenya ! I know 80% of the Natonal Parks..
    that means I could assiste the tourists even on Safari…

    If someone could help me to get this job, I would be very happy about !

    my contact
    rocco@africansouls.net

    Best regards

    Rocco

  3. Obviously, there is a niche market for almost everything, but this product placement is quite out of context, and one would expect such a site rather in South Africa. Let’s see, besides the one African beauty, and the obligatory group of guys in red, there is exactly one black person to be found. There, it pops up again in my mind: I have a dream, Washington, 1963

  4. So sorry you feel that way. I am mindful that over 9 million tourist visited SA in 2012 so really don’t want to look negatively at any country ? Honestly i was not remotely conscious of the color issue but if it offended you then perhaps it might offend others so let me see if I can make some changes. The site offers visitors the option for Airport Transfer, Security Trained Driver and reliable Car Hire, an Orientation briefing- something the vast majority of Tourists experience on package holidays across the world and finally some support during the day/eve to ease ANY concerns of any kind about their security. I really don’t see that being out of context but respect your views and appreciate you going to the trouble to comment. Let me see if I can make any adjustments to reflect your views.

  5. Go for it Terry, you are the most innovative and passionate business person i have ever met whose driving force is never about money but creating a platform within which management and staff can aspire to achieve full potential.Once again congrats

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