Hands Up for Supper & for Syria

FullSizeRenderDelicious food, even tastier because eating it supports a good cause! Last night 46 lucky Londoners enjoyed fine Syrian dining, cooked by Ruth Quinlan (Head Chef) and a team of hard working volunteers. Treated to the setting of the atmospheric and trendy E5 Bakehouse in Hackney, east London, those fortunate enough to get a ticket were treated to a feast of delicacies as part of a Syrian Supper Club.

Continue reading “Hands Up for Supper & for Syria”

Want to reduce stigma? Move a building!

IMG_8402 copyConstruction, urban planning and stigma reduction to ensure access to medicine for people living with HIV are not obviously linked. Yet in one part of South Sudan, space and the layout of buildings may in fact be key for enabling more people to test and receive the life saving treatment they need if diagnosed positive for HIV.

I listened today to a healthcare worker talk about the sites where a potential client at his facility – in one of the regions of South Sudan – may experience stigma or discrimination during a typical journey to test for HIV.  Continue reading “Want to reduce stigma? Move a building!”

Experiential learning: more than words

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We have just finished a brilliant fortnight working with Grassroot Soccer, an organisation that aims to harness the power of soccer to connect young people to the information, health services and mentors they need to thrive. The workshops took place in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe to support the expansion of the focus of Grassroots Soccer to include a comprehensive approach to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and adolescent health and well-being.

Sport can be a powerful tool for personal development, and also tackling some wider social and interpersonal concerns for young people.  Continue reading “Experiential learning: more than words”

Cambodia: Buy Social

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Did you know that eating a meal could also give someone the chance of an education? Or having a good night’s sleep in a hotel could support a vocational training programme?

Everyday we all make tiny decisions and transactions about spending money. Each time we make a purchase, do we take a minute and think about where we buy our goods and services from, and the positive or negative social impact of those decisions? Do we consider if the materials are recycled or recyclable? Or if they have been sourced ethically and/or are Fairtrade? Or if we are spending money with a business that is giving something back to the community?

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The thoughtful traveller

IMG_6603Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost, poem titled The Road Not Taken, 1916

It is a real privilege to travel. Many people never have that luxury – to have the time and the resources to journey somewhere unfamiliar, and to smell, taste, listen, experience a world that is different from every day life. Continue reading “The thoughtful traveller”

Watipa in Kenya: Discussing politics and Italian food

FullSizeRenderIn March 2017, Watipa hosted a meeting of the Kenyan scholars. In December 2016, 5 young Kenyans received inaugural Watipa scholarships. For the meeting in Nairobi, two of the scholars, Julia Omondi and Zingiri Amos Mwamlamba, were able to travel to Nairobi to meet Lucy Stackpool-Moore for dinner.

All three are outsiders to Nairobi, and at first glance, the trio did not appear to have much in common.  Continue reading “Watipa in Kenya: Discussing politics and Italian food”

Women’s business

 

Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies. It unquestionably improves the quality of life for women, men, families and communities in every society.

The private sector is a key partner in efforts to advance gender equality and empower women. This includes social enterprises, small and medium businesses, as well as large corporations. But how or what is the role of women as leaders within this space? Continue reading “Women’s business”

This girl can… row!

FullSizeRenderCombining individual motivation with team participation, rowing is a sport that can facilitate personal and social growth.

Today at the Lea Athletics Centre in North London, 2,304 young people took part in the National Junior Indoor Rowing Championships (NJIRC) organizing by London Youth Rowing. Fifty per cent of the young people participating were girls, from all over the country.

Continue reading “This girl can… row!”

#Be Bold For Change

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The 8th of March is International Women’s Day. It’s origins are in the early twentieth century. What will you be doing to celebrate and support women next Wednesday?

Will you be busy challenging bias and inequality in the workplace (for example speaking out against all-male panel discussions or leadership teams), or adding your support to a group that campaigns again violence, or celebrating the success of inspiring women leaders in your life? If you’re a woman, will you be taking some time out of your busy today to celebrate yourself, and appreciate the mothers, sisters, daughters around you?

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We want you! Connecting social value & international development

img_5304Today has been a most interesting day. But, as the non existent winter sun is about to set in London, I find myself with a bit of an identity crisis. Where do we find like minded social enterprises working to enhance social value outside our own communities? Where are the other international development actors working with an ethical and entrepreneurial business approach to development with communities in other countries?

Watipa surely is not alone. But where are the spaces that could connect us? If you are a social enterprise working in the field of international development, we want to hear from you. Continue reading “We want you! Connecting social value & international development”