Saturday, September 17

More progress at SIFE

The chaps at LSE SIFE are quite ambitious, I love that. This trading game project is really catching fire. They went and sold it to a Malaysian University SIFE unit and they are spreading the word there. More about that later as my hopes to help them in Malaysia needs a bit of digging first.

Second, am going to go speak to the new SIFE recruits and get them all excited motivated. Plus if things work out, I will run investment classes for the volunteers. Teach these undergraduate students how to invest. I wonder if I can replicate what I did with Kannu with them?

Third, there seems to be very good progress with the Transformation Trust and extending the trading game to other schools in London. Watch this space.

The lady who introduced me to the Transformation Trust, Annie Natarajan, has managed to rope me into another initiative. lol, as a member of their advisory board. That’s also quite exciting, to help schools across the world to share best practises. I just got involved briefly in the initial proposals and Annie tells me that we have already got the first donation. Well done. The pilot will be touching some schools in India, Kenya and Brazil. Cant wait to get motoring on that.

Fourth, SIFE Nottingham is working on a pilot project with IT4CH with Pat. They are also pretty aggressive, they are trying to work to getting more donations of computers into our storage offices which we can then sell to get funds to purchase equipment for hospital schools and poor sick children at home.

Fifth, SIFE Nottingham has decided to do a project in Sri Lanka. Here’s the blurb on the email that they sent:

A group of 13 SIFE Nottingham students returned from Sri Lanka 4 weeks ago. To summarise our project, Future for Jaffna is a charitable organisation established under a trust deed. We aim to empower widows of the civil war in North Sri Lanka to create their own businesses, ranging from food processing to sewing and tailoring businesses. The ultimate aim is to establish a community and entrepreneurial/business centre in Jaffna, where the widows can sell their products, and where people can receive help in setting up their own business. Finally, we are looking into an environmental sub-project, mobilising rural communities through the production of biofuels.
We are partnering with a local charity, CORD Sri Lanka who monitor livelihood projects with widows. Their widows receive funding via a rigid scheme from the Bank of Ceylon; we do have more specific details on this scheme.
We require funding for the business start-ups for Future for Jaffna to be successful. This may be via a local bank, offering an independent finance scheme, or through raising funds through sponsorship and donations, and setting up a microfinance scheme. A key objective for us is to raise £5,000, at which point we will meet the £5,000 income requirement for registration by the Charity Commission, opening the floodgates to funding opportunities.

So I have got them hooked up with some of my colleagues in Sri Lanka. I think this should be a good thing to help push forward. Still under discussion on how exactly the firm can help them but broadly, i think we could provide advisory services to these poor ladies. I didn't know we were the only international firm operating there. Good stuff, makes me proud to work for such a nice firm.

I love September, after the hiatus of the Summer, its good to get back in track.

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