So I thought I would do a quick update, last years posts were a bit sparse so I’m trying to do better this year! I know my blogs probably aren’t the most exciting but it gives me space to tell you a little more about what I’m up to and I just think if you take the time to support something it’s nice to know what’s going on. If you have been reading my blogs or following me on Twitter you probably know what I’m doing with The Cariad Project and Sarah’s Coffee.. if you’re new to my blogs you can get a short recap of what I’m doing at sarahscoffee.com/the-cariad-project
Right now things are a little frustrating in terms of the charity, and I thought I’d share this because if you are planning on setting up a charity working abroad it’s something to consider. Although overtime I hope to support various centres or organisations across Africa the first centre I am supporting is in DRC. Because of this I have been turned down several times by banks for a charity account. Because of ongoing violence and human rights violations DRC is a sanctioned country. Sanctions are restrictive measures imposed to curtail activities and exert pressure. And as such anyone wanting to work in sanctioned countries are subject to tight measures and controls to adhere to the restrictions and guard against money laundering.
This is a frustrating stumbling block because the reasons why I’m being impeded are the exact reasons why this country needs support. The disability equipment I’m trying to send is much needed. I am on my third application and currently getting advice, it might be a case of having to work differently but nothing worth while was ever easy as they say.
A few times when I was out at events last year I had people making comments about how charity begins at home. It always frustrates me when people say that because I think it does.. it’s just I view home to be a bigger place than maybe some people do. But it also frustrates me because my plans are to support people here in the UK too but I never usually get chance to explain. So I thought I’d share my plans for the future with you and how I hope to maximise social impact both here and in Africa.
The aim for Sarah’s Coffee is to help generate some income for the charity but it is more than that. In keeping with the ethos of making a positive difference to people I only sell fairly traded coffee products but in the future the aim is that most will have been purchased directly from producers. This is a necessity to ensure that Sarah’s Coffee has the greatest positive impact as a social enterprise supporting people in Africa and not just as income generator for the charity. Why aren’t I doing that right now? Just economies of scale and logistics, the more coffee I sell the easier this will be.
But the plan is also for Sarah’s Coffee to benefit people in the UK. It will eventually establish a retail outlet or café which will offer training and employment to people who would otherwise find it hard to access these opportunities.
By employing staff who might normally struggle to get into work, and also offering opportunities to volunteer, develop confidence, learn skills and achieve qualifications I will get maximum social impact from my venture. It mirrors the work that the centre the charity is supporting in DRC is doing in providing education and training to people and it gives Sarah’s Coffee and The Cariad Project the perfect symmetry.
Obviously all this will take some time, it’s not going to happen over night and as you know I do all this while working a day job and this year I will need to focus a little on me and how I balance all this. Some of the how I achieve my goals might have to be tweaked and I might have to be fluid with my thinking but especially when things aren’t going quite to plan I like to just take stock and remind myself why I’m doing this and what I want to achieve.. it just gives me that little push to keep going. And as always, thank you to all the lovely people who support me in all the different ways, you are all amazing.