After my little wobble in Beginning Again: An Update I feel like I’m getting back on track a little today. I read a wonderful article this morning from Stella’s Journal called How to Lead a Fulfilling Career and it really made me think about why I’m doing this. Thinking about my time in Africa and how much I love those children in Ghana. I’ve regained my focus and have a new wave of positivity.
I looked at the three tips in the article and thought about each one of them:
When I’m lying on my death bed, I want to be able to look back on my life and know I made a difference.Thinking about my values, clearly helping people is the big thing but also, for me, having a job that I actually look forward to each day is a dream. I want something in my life that makes me spring out of bed when my alarm goes off and not just hit snooze. As for the true purpose of life….well it has to be happiness and health right? And I don’t just mean mine.
I was reading the 2015 Gates Annual Letter this morning and it made me think about the health issues in the wider world. It seems to me that for many people, issues like Ebola and HIV are talked about so often on the news that they’re no longer considered issues by people, but have just become words. If we want people to help, we need to make the campaigns more personal and really target them at the right audiences, make these issues something that people actually care about once again. I don’t mean a TV programme once a year that shows images of ill children that guilt trips people into giving money, I mean real, passionate, positive campaigns that make people want to give.
And it’s not just the big issues that we need to work on. When I was fundraising last year, people used to say to me, “I don’t have much money this month, sorry” or apologise for “only” giving me £5. The thing that people who haven’t experienced Africa (and I don’t mean this as a criticism) is that they have no idea just how far that £1, £2 or £5 will go. In Hohoe, in the Volta Region of Ghana, you can buy a pack of school workbooks (the blue paper cover, lined kind that you made notes in at school) for anywhere between £1-£3. That gives a whole classroom of children something to write in. Similarly, before I went on my list trip to Ghana, I hunted round the “cheap” shops in the UK (Poundland, Wilkos, you know the kind of shops) and bought a whole heap of children’s reading books for less than £10. That little bit of money made so many children very happy. People need to understand that every penny helps. Whilst £2 in the UK wouldn’t buy you a decent cup of coffee, it would probably feed a child in Ghana for a whole day (I’m sure other countries are similar but, as I don’t have experience of them, I don’t want to get anything wrong!).
I realise I’ve rambled on a bit now about charity but it’s on my mind today. I’ve regained my focus not only in terms of the job hunt but also in terms of my charity work. This year is going to be big. This year is going to be amazing for everyone!