Making the documentary Track Wars for the BBC in 2003 inspired Rob to start an annual charity trip known as the Jambo Jambo Tour.
Working with the Prince’s Trust, Jambo Jambo selects six young people who have had difficult starts to their lives. The group are taken on a two-week camping trip around Kenya and Uganda, where they work in local schools and orphanages, and organise a fun run for 2000 African children. The idea is that teamwork and experiencing a different culture will help them look at their problems in a fresh way – as well as improving their self-confidence and communication skills.
Although Rob carries out motivational work during the trip, the young people benefit most from the positive spirit they encounter in the East African children they meet. For many, Africa has the effect of putting their own problems in context, and gives them time and space to think about solutions for their issues at home.
By the end of 2009, Jambo Jambo will have taken 29 young people on the trip, and it has already had a marked effect on many of their lives. A number have found part or full-time employment, some have re-enrolled in tertiary education, and others have come off anti-depressants. All have returned with a better understanding of themselves and a more positive outlook on life and their own possibilities.