We are fortunate to be able to draw on the support of an external advisory board. The Board is an important part of our support network and experience bank. They have been there and done it - and their advice and guidance forms an invaluable part of the The Flipflopi Project's day to day activities.
Our advisors receive a regular report from The Flipflopi Project leadership team. It comprises of a progress report, as well as an update on income and expenditure. We recognize the importance of being wholly transparent in all financial matters, and to this end, our board of advisors are able to have direct access to our detailed banking information. This independent oversight is an important part of their role.
Dr. Ali Kaka
Dr Ali Kaka is a veteran conservation leader of the East African region. The highlights of an incredible career in conservation include a 23 year career with the Kenya Wildlife Service during which Ali served in almost all terrestrial and marine national parks in Kenya, and in almost all perceivable designations.
For nine years he acted as Executive Director of the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) the oldest local membership based non-government conservation organization in Eastern Africa.
During this time, Ali was appointed Vice Chair for Eastern Africa on the IUCN-World Commission on Protected Areas Vice Chair, and he subsequently became Regional Director of the IUCN Office for the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
Ali is the recipient of numerous awards including the Order of Grand Warrior (Kenya) and the National Geographic Society's Howard Buffet Award for “Leadership in African Conservation". He now serves on numerous Boards and Trusts in conservation in Kenya and abroad. He is also called upon frequently by Governments for advice and support on related expertise.
“Dr Kaka's ability to identify, clarify and communicate is unique in my experience of the conservation world. Rooted in fieldwork and international negotiations, Ali combines his fearsome knowledge with his natural humanity. This enables the difficult things to happen - and for it to be a pleasure for all involved." Alexander Rhodes CEO Stop Ivory
Colonel John Blashford Snell, OBE
‘The last of the great adventurers’ as described by the Daily Telegraph late last year – John is one of the world's most renowned and highly respected explorers.
He has led some of the most iconic expeditions in recent times (the first descent of the Blue Nile in 1968, the crossing of the Darien Gap in 1970, and a complete navigation of the Congo River in 1974), and is also well known for founding Operation Raleigh - an educational initiative for young people which to date has sent over 40,000 young people on community focused expeditions around the world. John has spent plenty of time on expeditions in Kenya. These include the first excavations of the ancient ruins at Shanga on Pate Island, expeditions around Lake Turkana, and exploring Mt Suswa in the Great Rift Valley.
John has published numerous expedition related books and guides, and his autobiography 'Something Lost Behind The Ranges' is an excellent read. He currently heads up the Scientific Exploration Society and leads one or two expeditions every year.
John went to Lamu in September 2016 to visit the Flipflopi team & project. As well as meeting our chief Dhow builder Ali Skanda, he also witnessed a beach clean up on Lamu that collected over 5 tonnes of plastic in the space of about 3 hours... shocking indeed. So he knows first hand the problems that plastics can cause.
John Sibi-Okumu, has been a notable broadcaster in Kenya. Amongst his interviewees on television have been such newsmakers as Daniel arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, Robert Mugabe, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Paul Kagame, Benjamin Mkapa, Joachim Chissano, Kofi Annan, Wangari Maathai and Jane Goodall. He was quiz master for The Zain Africa Challenge, an inter-university, general knowledge competition originally seen in eight African countries. He was chief anchor for JSO@7, a one hour TV news’ digest. He has taken on about 40 lead roles on stage and appeared in local and international films, including The Constant Gardener, Shake Hands with the Devil and The First Grader. He has written and devised nine plays to date, and directed amongst several other productions Mo Faya! by Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina, which played to great acclaim at the New York Festival of Musical Theatre in 2009. He has narrated and voiced award-winning documentaries and commercials in English, French and Kiswahili. He is a published author for young readers and, as a print journalist, he is a longstanding columnist for a number of publications. He continues to serve as moderator for high level conferences and is also an engaging public speaker. For his accomplishments, John is featured in the book Life Journeys, Scaling Heights – Conversations with High Achieving Men in Kenya
Julie Church, born and bred in Kenya, is a marine conservationist, passionate both about her country and the world's oceans.
In 2005 Julie set up a social enterprise business called The Flip-Flop Recycling Company (now called Ocean Sole) to recycle discarded flip-flops into colourful merchandise as a trade based African solution to the global pollution problem!
Julie's passion for marine conservation has been recognized with numerous international awards, plaudits and Ocean Sole's recycled flip-flop artworks have made their way all over the world... including into the hands of the Pope Francis on his 2015 visit to Kenya.