“I always wanted to have a positive impact on the world. With this route, you can shape it how you want.”
Name: Sarah Pellerin
Hometown: Suresnes, France
Education: Lycée Jeanne-Pierre Vernant in Sèvres, France
Passions and Interests: Learning foreign languages, to draw and to dance
Transformational Experience: GLA Ghana: Children of Africa™
Making an Impact: Joining Lumbrick, a social enterprise, as Co-Founder & CIO
For Sarah Pellerin, her first exposure to social enterprise in-action was during her program with Global Leadership Adventures several years back. While attending Ghana: Children of Africa™, she was making and laying bricks with other student volunteers and local volunteers, in order to build new classrooms and facilities for children in the area.
And despite having spent weeks on the ground helping out and working to make a difference, Sarah saw that the work really never ends. Even after she left, the work continued throughout the year on projects for the community. Because the need never ends either.
So upon preparing to return home, Sarah first confronted the reverse culture shock phenomenon, where it’s more difficult to adapt to your old lifestyle than the one you experienced in a developing country. It becomes home – the very place you’re from – that is strange and unfamiliar.
Something that was very, very important was the return process. We talked about the different phases we’d go through when we returned home. Something that seemed really big to me was… how to analyze all that [you saw and experienced] with your life back home.”
She may have left Ghana, but the desire to help remained.
This was the beginning of the road to wanting to make a bigger difference. A lasting difference.
Social entrepreneurship seemed the ideal route. It not only provided solutions to real-world problems, but it facilitated the financial stability necessary to ensure the long-term success of those solutions.
While studying entrepreneurship in college, a chance encounter with the CEO of Lumbrick made an impression, one that would turn into an opportunity to be a part of an exciting new social enterprise.
As Sarah explains it:
In Ghana, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and complexity of what I witnessed, and was sure upon leaving that I wanted to work in development somewhere in the region. The GLA program influenced me to engage in a Political Science and International Development degree, with a focus on Africa. During the program I also learned a lot about what it means to be an effective leader, something I have kept in mind ever since.
“I am currently studying at McGill University and was involved with the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, the hub for all entrepreneurial activity at McGill. Through this I met Lumbrick’s CEO, who pitched her social enterprise; I was hooked and joined the team. Lumbrick aims to empower women refugees in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs by making briquettes out of recycled maize leaves and cobs, and selling them as cooking fuel.”
Sarah says that she initially didn’t know what Lumbrick did, but after hearing Lumbrick’s CEO speak, she “knew this is what I wanted to do.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Lumbrick and its plans, you can check out additional details on its website.
So what does Sarah say of her time working with Lumbrick?
I find beauty in developing a company that would have a positive and sustainable contribution to the world.”
We couldn’t have said it better, Sarah, and we’re certain you will inspire others not only to contribute to change, but to make that change a lasting one.
Program Sarah attended:
GLA Ghana: Children of Africa™
Curious about exploring your own GLA adventure? Check these out:
- GLA Ghana: Children of Africa™
- GLA Ghana: Building Healthy Villages™
- GLA South Africa: Social Entrepreneurship Initiative™