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Q&A with Sarah Knight, Care International

Posted: by Jo Friday, 23 July 2021 @ 14:31

Inspired to be their best selves

Over the last 4 years, we have been running our #mybestself campaign, to learn from different women about what makes them step up to be their best self in any given situation.

In 2021, we decided to focus on a particular audience, to understand what drives them: the women and men who set up or work in the charities which we support through our ‘Mantra Changes Lives’ initiative. Does it take a particular kind of person to devote their working life to helping people? Is it a calling? Or did an event occur in their lives which drew them to this work?

I’m sure we will get 12 different answers from 12 different people, and I am fascinated to find out what those answers are. Stay with me through the year as I interview some remarkable people who work in the charitable or not-for-profit sector, who are changing lives every day. They are people who have truly stepped up to be their best selves.

One of our long-standing charity partners is Care International.

I was excited to find out more about what drew Sarah Knight to work for the charity; what drives her day-to-day through the inevitable difficulties and challenges; and what her greatest desire is for the charity in 2021 and beyond.

Sarah Knight Care International  Care International Logo

Jo: Tell me a little about the charity’s aims?

Sarah: CARE was originally set up in the USA in 1945 to respond to the devastation and scarcity World War 2 had brought. Originally, Americans paid $10 to send a ‘CARE package’, containing food and supplies, to someone in Europe.

These small acts of kindness were an early form of international aid. CARE was founded on the belief that humanity knows no borders. We still work around the world to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. CARE puts women and girls in the centre because we know we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.  

Jo: And tell me – what was it that prompted you to join Care International?

Sarah: I did my degree in Human Geography at university. I was fortune to be able to choose modules from other subjects to count towards my credits, so I took several focusing on international development and from there it captured my interest. In my final year I wrote my dissertation and decided to have a key theme being gender, so CARE’s work and values really jumped out at me when looking for work. I joined CARE straight out of university and have been here ever since!

Jo: What does the charity hope to achieve in 2021, and longer term?

Sarah: CARE has just launched its 2030 vision. Although it feels challenging to plan for 2030, given the uncertainty of the past 18 months, CARE’s work has become more important than ever. Extreme poverty is estimated to grow by 400 million to over 1 billion people, while the number of people facing acute food insecurity could nearly double to 265 million.   

The pandemic has drawn attention to the existing inequalities, and the gains made in the previous 30 years are at risk of being reversed. In 2021, the CARE global community will continue our work to reduce poverty and injustice all over the world including in some of the hardest to reach places like Yemen and Syria. Together, we will continue our vital work for change and a better world.  

Jo: There must be innumerable challenges – logistical, political, financial, emotional – to delivering on the charity’s aims, especially now with the impact of Covid. How do you stay motivated and focused, through all of that?

Sarah: This past 18 months has been challenging for all charities, and CARE is no different. Adding to the difficulties experienced due to COVID, the UK Government has recently reduced the overseas aid budget from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP. This will reduce the amount of funding available, how our programmes are able to run and ultimately impact on the most vulnerable people worldwide.  

It would be easy to feel deflated, however in my role I get to chat to all our amazing supporters and fundraisers (including Mantra Jewellery!). I love seeing the imaginative ways they come up with to raise money for CARE, and the enthusiasm they have. From head shaves to ultramarathons, there’s always an incredible range of activities going on. We couldn’t be more thankful for the loyal community of supporters we have, all working together to continue to defeat poverty and achieve social justice.

Jo: Did you plan, when you set out in your career, that this is what you would be doing?

Sarah: I knew I wanted to be in a job that made a positive difference in the world but was not sure how that would look in reality. I now love working in the charity sector and in fundraising. I am so glad to have stumbled across this career path, and hope to be fundraising for many years to come.

Jo: Do you have a mantra, or positive phrase, that you live your life by?  

Sarah: Try to not worry about things that might not happen - which I admit is easier said than done! I find it helps me get a good balance of planning for the future and recognising what different outcomes could look like while bringing me back to focus on what is happening in the present.

Our Mantra Collaboration

We are helping to support Care International's vital work, by donating 25% of the sales of our ‘Empower’ Necklace to them.

Mantra x Care International Necklace

August Competition

This month, there is a chance to win one of our ‘Empower’ necklaces. Visit our competition page, for details on how to enter. 

One lucky winner will win an 'Empower’ Necklace in the colour of their choice. Competition closes midnight on Tuesday 31st August. One winner will be chosen at random from across our social platforms, on Wednesday 1st September.



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