Thursday, 20 November 2008

Chilli Children @ Chain Reaction 2008

Why haven't I blogged for a bit? In short, I've been busy.

What have I been doing? Number One: Taking life changing decisions, like, leaving my job. An unforeseen reshaping to the cunning plan. But plans should be flexible enough to adapt to any situation. This situation is actually a big boost to the cunning plan because it enables me to spend more time working for Chilli Children (catching up on the backlog) and on my preparations for 5 months in Uganda (realising now how silly first plan was to only have 2weeks of preparation time!). Most importantly I may, for a month at least, have my weekends back! So I can for example this weekend see my niece at her 13th birthday party! OMG!

What else have I been doing? Number Two: experiencing Chain Reaction! And that is ... a two day interactive event on London's South Bank for social leaders from across private, public and third sectors (CSR managers, charity leaders, civil servants (OTS, DCLG, DfID), young people, Chief Execs from socially-minded corporations, social media reporters, etc.) to get together and 'connect, collaborate, commit'. The PM even popped in after speaking to the House on his way back from G20. Other 'well knowns' include: Jane Tewson, founder of Comic Relief, Peter Jones, Dragon's Den, (he's Very Tall), Peter Gilley from Peace One Day (proof that one person with an idea and the will to try it out, can make a big difference - he convinced the Taliban to stop fighting for one day to allow through vital vaccines), Tim Smit, founder of the Eden project, etc. I was very fortunate to be there because of my current assignment. Pretty amazing from many of my perspectives, but especially from the tiny charity view.

I could go on - but the videos speak a thousand words, you'll be relieved to know! - see the links from . I also started twittering a bit while I was there - see
3 things that you can do now to feel a teeny bit like I do post-Chain Reaction:
1. put International Peace Day 21st September in your diary,
2. watch one video from Chain Reaction,
3. sit and think about what you would do if you could do something that you really wanted to do since you were little to help someone who's not as strong as you right now (even if you're feeling weak) and think about how you would feel after you'd done it.

How does this all link to my cunning plan? Well basically I'm inspired by lots of people who I heard talk who all started with what seemed to the outside world like 'a crazy idea that will never work'. It's also boosted my self-confidence to think that I might acutally be able to go largely self-propelled to Uganda to try to figure out what I can do to help the Ugandan team to help thousands of children. Before I was just trying not to think about it too much and just do it.

Last word is to say thank you to everyone who has supported me so far. The little emails and the unexpected 'good on you's that I've got from several family and friends since I started talking about going to Uganda have really helped. Particularly thanks to people for following this blog. Once I'm there I won't feel so separate from you. I'm very lucky. Thanks.