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My Fundraising Journey

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Like many children I got involved in the usual school orientated fundraising activities as a child. Things like Red Nose Day and Children in Need but on occasion I initiated my own things such as organising a mini jumble sale in aid of victims of a recent flood in Bangladesh. These activities were born of an 'organising' streak in me which later manifested itself as a skill for professional Project Management.

Camphill School, Otse, Botswana

I have to admit my charitable works have mostly tied in with my yearning for adventure and new experiences. I took a gap year after finishing A-Levels and went to volunteer at a school for disabled children in Botswana. Helped by some family friends who were living nearby in Lobatse I arrived at the Camphill School, Otse in April 1999 to take up my role as one to one enrichment assistant. This basically involved spending one to one time with some of the children with extreme disabilities doing nice things, physical activities, reading, singing and talking together.

I could write a short novel about all the amazing times I had on this trip and what I learned about myself and other people but like other people's gap year stories that would probably bore you to tears.

The only take-away I wanted to share with you, though, was my journey into gratitude.

I am still very much on that path but I trace it back to that time. I arrived at Camphill a privileged white girl with all my mental and physical energy raring to go and I left, not completely, but a little bit humbler. I saw children and young people with huge challenges, who'd been abandoned by their families in infancy to be cared for and educated by this charity. This charity housed and fed me too while I was there, introduced me to some amazing people and provided me with some valuable work experience.

I was devastated to leave after just three short months (it seemed like a lifetime at that age!) and I vowed to myself I would go back immediately after I finished Uni! Of course that didn't happen and I know now that you can never really go back to any place and time because things are constantly changing.

Our future and Camphill

However I would like to start a new adventure with Camphill in Botswana which will enable me to repay some of the debt of gratitude I owe them for taking a pretty self-centred girl and setting her on the path to a more grateful and generous way of living.

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