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.
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
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
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.
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.