Monthly Archives: August 2012

Busy, busy, busy


Phew! The last couple of days have been a bit manic. I finally gave myself a kick up the bum and printed out a Ā sack-full of sponsorship letters, and went round to almost every shop in my local town. Despite practising what I wanted to say before going in it didn’t make it any less nerve-wracking, and nor did it get easier even after the 50th one.

I had plenty of positive responses though, and a fantastic offer from one local business to put on an evening at their shop, where 10% of all profits made on the night would go towards my cause. Fantastic! Where can I find more people like this?!

I’ve also been trawling the internet for grant opportunities. Unfortunately the Royal Geographical Society only funds independent research, and not work affiliated to NGOs, and most other trust funds don’t sponsor individuals. I shall keep trying however!

In addition to this, I’ve made my list of people to contact to spread the word in the community, so that when I return I can raise awareness of human rights issues and have some positive local impact (hopefully). Brownies, guides, scouts, youth clubs, schools, women’s institute, the local amnesty international group…any more and I think I shall explode. If it all works out though I should have a great base for some human rights advocacy work.

Lastly, I got the job I applied for, so will soon have zero time (hence the sudden rush to get my fundraising organised) but a happy increase in monies. šŸ™‚

Being Lazy…


So despite my best intentions, the days have been slipping by and my fundraising efforts are progressing at a snail’s pace. I managed to make a list of local businesses to send pleading letters to, then congratulated myself on doing a hard day’s work, before making another cup of tea.

This is not to say that I haven’t been busy. I’m sporadically going out doing little money earners to keep myself in pocket – busking in different places, doing some mystery shopping assignments, robbing banks (haha) – but nowhere near the level I need to start saving some serious cash. A job interview looms on the horizon however, so fingers crossed and that side of things should be looking up in the next fortnight or so.

I think the reason I haven’t been so proactive with my fundraising efforts is that I feel a bit awkward about going round to businesses and asking them for money. I can’t quite work up the courage yet. As an alternative, I’ve been clearing out all the old junk which cluttered up my room to sell at a car boot sale (bye bye Lego), and I’m also hoping to organise some sort of evening with a local society as another money-raiser. But this is all just on paper at the moment.

Time to step it up a gear!

Online Contributions


I’ve finally managed to set up an online page for contributions in my fundraising build-up, after struggling with justgiving and bmycharity, as SICHREM isn’t registered with most sites. I’m using chip-in, recommended to me by 2Way Development as a good donating site.Ā 

Here’s the link:Ā Please do check it out.

In other news, the Hindi learning is going well. I actually understand how to read words now (yesss!) which was nigh-impossible before, and know how to say elephant, tomato and inexpensive. Don’t ask me how those are linked.

Learning the Language


In preparation for being able to fit in as easily as possible with my volunteer work placement, I wanted to learn to speak Hindi. It’s something I’ve been trying to do ever since I came back from India in 2009 (most unsuccessfully – I can just about remember all of the alphabet). Although they speak Kannada in Bangalore, I still want to learn for the sake of travelling about the rest of the country, and as a long-term skill. Who knows where I’ll be in 5 years time (hopefully working in India).

It’s incredibly difficult though. I found this awesome online script tutor from SOAS ( which gives you tests and pronunciation lessons, and a complete website of about 20 lessons, all free, atĀ I also have a teach yourself book and CD – but I have a feeling it’s going to take a long time to reach the conversational stage.

Here’s to committing to one hour a day, and becoming fantastically fluent in time for my arrival! Google translate also helps šŸ˜€

First Post


I decided to start this blog to mark my oncoming trip to India. This will be the space for my thoughts, ideas and travel adventures whilst I am away. I will be volunteering with an organisation called SICHREM (South Indian Cell for Human Rights Education and Monitoring), who I was placed with through 2WayDevelopment (anĀ interimĀ organisation). I have yet to find out my specific job role, but I’ll be spending a year, starting from January-ish, in Bangalore. Can’t wait!! I’ve just been looking at their website ( and they look like they really know what they’re doing.

It’s really difficult to know what sort of role that you’d be more comfortable in, having never really properly worked in a charity before, but I think doing research on the issues they look at will be perfect. Even just scanning through their programmes page, I’m already wanting to learn more about the problems faced by the groups they mention – dalits, tribals, women, children.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a long post, just an introduction. Watch this space for updates before I go. I’ll be mostly working hard to fundraise towards the cost of getting out there.