August 2008. India. A book: “Ubuntu, estimada terra africana” written by Nicolas Valle.
September 2008. South Africa. Borja meets his brother Xabi. First impact: the hospitality of its people is not proportional to their wealth. Find that half of the wage of hotel employees does not even come to pay a night in it.
November 2008. Kenya. A four month trip to Africa comes to an end. As usual, Borja played a soccer game with their (new) friends. Contact game, equipment, and good atmosphere. In that moment Borja realized that these children have done a lot for him during four months. And him? What is in his hands to offer in return?
January 2009. Barcelona. “If you build the NGO, I want to be part of it” is what Xabi said to his older brother, Borja. Said and done. There are already two in the team.
March 2009. Barcelona. Something is changing. Borja continues working in the marketing department of a multinational company. But his ambitions ang goals are much further away.
August 2009. Cadaquès. Among coffees, Borja tells the project to Albert. He tells him his feelings. He tells him to act. Next to the Mediterranean Sea, around good friends and remembering experiences, Borja lights up.
September 2009. Barcelona. Talks between Borja and Albert resume again, more serious each time. But a question still remained: From where do we start?
October 2009. Barcelona. Borja’s room. A world map on the wall, indicating the countries he has already been. Deep in thought. North, South, distance, difference, zones, two faces, same coin. Brainstorming: The South Face. We got the name!
November 2009. Borja has the opinion of an inborn entrepreneur. Albert has a management student’s profile. But it lacks the technical side, more tech. And here arrives Xavi. Borja consultes him, He asks for his opinion. In a few minutes, Xavi gets spread by the project.
December the 10th, 2009. Barcelona. Day of Human Rights. Borja went to the Government offce in order to register the NGO. Inevitable bureaucracy.
January 2010. Barcelona. First meeting with the four members of The South Face.
March 2010. Barcelona. A letter gets in the mailbox. The Government recognizes TheSouthFace legally as a non-governmental organization for development.
February 2010. Barcelona. E-Learning Program starts its development.
April 2010. Barcelona. First paid externalization. The NGO needs an image, its hallmark. The logo arises from Africa’s silhouette and its unfinished colours.
May 2010. Andorra. Negotiations begin with-nothing-unless the United Nations. They are interested in the E-Learning Program. Talks continue, but the collaboration is stopped. The proposal is contrary to one of the key principles of The South Face. “We were told that the best student from the E-Learning program should come to Europe.” Not that way.
September 2010. Africa. Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. TheSouthFace went on a trip that, later, eventually spelt out the mission / vision of The South Face.
October 2010. Barcelona. Meetings with non-stop. The Scholarship Program starts to get its shape.
November 2010. Barcelona. Meeting in their natural habitat: ESADE’s bowl. The NGO need a website, going out on the internet is crucial. It is 12 pm and nothing is clear. The security guard gives a hint: it’s late and you have to leave. They ask his opinion. He gives the OK. The South Face is already on the internet.
January 2011. Barcelona. The South Face finds a very interesting project. Gemma, Albert’s ESADE classmate has developed the perfect thesis: an analysis of NGOs communication. A thesis that measures their image through different variables of the website. It is clear enough for Albert. “Could you please come and analyse our website”. Say it and done!
March 2011. Kenya. Offices of the University of Nairobi. Introducing the Scholarship Program.
April 2011. Barcelona-Japan. First donation comes from the other side of the world.
April 23, 2011. Barcelona. Saint George’s Day. The South Face goes out. Immeasurable success.
May 15, 2011. Barcelona. Xavi, Xabi Borja achieve an interview with the blog Jóvenes (sobre)salientes [outstanding young]. An entry, a video and some more contacts. They meet Andrea and Anna.
September 2011. Barcelona. The South Face family expands. Gemma is added to the marketing department. Andrea and Anna are decided. They want to take the part of the NGO communication.
October 2011. Africa. The South Face is back to Kenya.
Nowadays: Excitement, looking forward to new projects. The show goes on.