Whereas we might not interactionally be violating human rights of people in developing countries on a day-to-day basis, we are part of a system that violates the human rights of the global poor. We could do more to help. For example by trying to change unfair practices, by becoming more aware of the things we are buying, by supporting movements for change (like unfair trade rules), and donate a percentage of our income to effective aid that compensates for some of the harms that we have already caused.

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We, as humans, are causing the problem of climate change. Whereas science cannot give us an exact indication of the predicted consequences, climate change has already started to amplify existing risks, and is creating new ones for us and for natural systems (like food production) upon which we rely. A clear conflict of interest is part of this super-wicked problem as economic development does not equal climate change mitigation. However, as changes will become irreversible and as climate change will disproportionately affect disadvantaged people and communities, addressing inequality (and poverty) is absolutely crucial.Poverty alleviation often disappears as an explicit priority in wider concepts like socioeconomic, low-carbon or sustainable development.

In this short case study, published by Innovest Advisory, I defend the idea that the context in which we must tackle the problems of development and climate is through fighting poverty and inequality simultaneously.

“How can we Collaborate to unlock invetment to deliver the sustainable development goals in chllenging places”

This paper was published by Business Fights Poverty on the topic of doing business in challenging places. It was launched at the 2017 United Nations General Assembly. As I co-writer I contributed to the provision of the case studies for Sierra Agra Inc. and KIMS Microfinance on page 24-27.

A couple of days ago the Guernsey Press covered some exciting developments on the promotion of impact investment in the island. Facilitated by the Chamber of Commerce, Impact Guernsey has been launched. Impact Guernsey involves key people from the island’s business, financial and professional services communities, alongside representatives from government and the Guernsey Financial Services Commission. The aim is to identify and build business opportunities in the emerging impact investment asset class, which seeks to intentionally create positive social or environmental impacts as well as generating financial returns for investors.

Last summer I volunteered as a team leader in a Challenges Worldwide programme in Kampala (Uganda).  I had the opportunity to work with local entrepreneurs and help them to scale their businesses and generate sustainable impact in their community. As a former entrepreneur, existing interest in social entrepreneurship and a degree in International Relations in my pocket,  I was excited to spend 3 months working in Uganda. Looking back it’s safe to say I had one of the most challenging times of my life during this programme, and I would love to share the key lessons I learnt.

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Today three volunteers of our Challenges Worldwide Community Action Day (CAD) Committee accompanied me to a meeting at the Busega Muslim Girls Primary School. The meeting took place with a number of chiefs of the Wakiso districts and with the Kampala Capital City Association (KCCA). This Saturday the KCCA will be organising a ‘Go Green’ Community Clean up day, on which the community is to clean the garbage of the street. Furthermore they will be offering free medical check ups on that day. An estimation of around 500 comunity members were encouraged to join the clean up of 9 different districts in Wakiso.kampala - 2 (1)

Apart from participating with the KCCA to clean the streets and offer medical check ups by Buganda Bulungi Bwansi, CWW is planning to add two more activities: tree planting and basic business training seminars for CBOs (community-based organisations)

Through participating in this Community Action Day, Challenges Worldwide aims to encourage sustainable business and to support CBOs in Wakiso and to promote long-term environmental consciousness in the community by helping in both tree planting and street cleaning.

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This weeks meeting was at Centenary Park in a lounge with a thatched roof surrounded by a gardened area. Today, not only did the volunteers of the CAD committee share their kampala - 1 (1) copyplans for our Community Action Day for next Saturday, but there was also a vote for our Mid Programme Review. The options were to go to Queen Elisabeth Park or to visit the Murchison Falls, which are both stunning national parks with a wide variety of wildlife. Exciting!

After sitting down with all of the committees we had the pleasure to welcome Camille Marie-Regnault. Camille took part in an ICS – VSO programme in Kenya a couple of years ago, worked for the UN in Cambodia and then ended up back on the African continent to work with Invisible Children (IC).

Invisible Children is active in breaking up a rebel group named Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) – responsible for Africa’s longest running armed conflict. After sharing the history of this long lasting conflict, I would like to show you how Invisible Children is contributing to ending it, and discuss what more could be done. To end this blog, as Camille has lived and worked in cross-cultural environments – including with the ICS programme – I would like to share a couple of her tips with (future) volunteers and travelers. Read More →

IMG_2071“Tax the rich, end the wars, and restore honest and effective government for all”, Jeffrey Sachs [Munk, 2013].

Every Monday Challenges Worldwide (CWW) arranges a team meeting for all the CWW volunteers in Uganda. This allows CWW to discuss common issues and difficulties, to highlight important aspects of the programme yet to come, to check whether the volunteers are on track with their deliverables, and to go through budgets and stipends. Furthermore, the meeting includes a session of Chartered Management Institute (CMI) training, and it gives opportunity to invite guest speakers.

This week Jane Nalunga from SEATINI-Uganda (the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute) joined the meeting to discuss with us the linkages between trade, investment agreements, policies, and local businesses.

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Screen Shot 2016-02-07 at 19.06.40Today I am moving out of my flat in Barcelona. Yes, it does feel good to move on to the next adventure. However, Barcelona felt like home, it still does. I guess it becomes a mental thing when you move into your first home, YOUR home, only you. The one place you are allowed to be yourself, and it is sort of  hard to leave that behind. The whole thing was made a lot easier by selling most of my personal belongings for a good cause – Challenges Worldwide.  Read More →

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This time I conquered the streets of St. Peter Port with little packages of home-made Indian Chai.

Thanks to all friends and strangers for supporting me during my street fundraising on Thursday, hope you enjoyed your cup of Chai!

I know it seems unlikely, but if you missed my fundraising activities you can still make a donation at my justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/schouwenburg. Every little bit counts. Thanks a million!

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Late night shopping in St. Peter Port,  Guernsey, an excellent night to get out there for some fundraising.

Apart from receiving 73 pounds in cash donations (thank you Guernsey!) I had the chance raise awareness and help encourage others to volunteer through ICS.

– FOR SALE –
Two brand new and unused dog crates.
The entire amount will go straight to charity.

This activity is part of my plan to raise 1500 pounds to support the development projects of Challenges Worldwide. I am selling a Small and Medium sized one, for a reasonable price. Please send your bid to (+44) 07781437400.

 

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In case you do not want a dog crate, but just want to help me to make a difference, you can donate to Challenges Worldwide via my online fundraising page. Thank you for your support. Your contribution will make a real difference to the lives of the less privileged.

https://www.justgiving.com/schouwenburg

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Only just after sharing my fundraising page on social media, generous friends and family have started to support Challenges Worldwide though donations on my Justgiving page. If we keep going this speed, we will reach the sustainable development goals by the end of this year!

Thank you all for helping me support this amazing organisation. Keep following my blog to keep up to date on the activities that will be done with your support, in Uganda.

Today, thousands of our fellow human beings have been forced to leave their homes to escape violence. They leave behind education, jobs and most importantly, their family. When will they ever see them again? The European Commission recently estimated a number of almost 60 million displaced people around the world. As of World Refugee Day, they made a joint statement in which they announced:

“… Europe will not turn a blind eye. Nor can we when many of these displaced persons are seeking out safe haven on European shores. …”

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