We are enormously grateful to the Vodafone Foundation for their amazing sponsorship during 2010 and 2011. The Vodafone Foundation World of Difference International programme has enabled PEPAIDS to take the first step towards becoming the organisation we have always dreamed we could be.
How it happened....
In 2009 Sasha Kasthuriarachchi came across a tiny charity on the internet that was working in Zambia, doing all the things she was passionate about! She gave us a call and started volunteering for us in the UK...
In 2010 she went to Zambia to see the work for herself...
…and found that her skills and experience would be really valuable in contributing to PEPAIDS’ outreach. The team loved her and she loved us... and the hot, sunny Zambian weather!
…so she decided to enter the Vodafone World of Difference Internationl Competition, to win a prize that would enable her to live and work for PEPAIDS in Zambia for a year...
…There was a lot of hard work involved, and over 2,500 competition entries, but a few months later Sasha won one of only eight prizes to realise her dream!
In September 2010 off she went to live in Zambia.... and get busier than she could have ever imagined!
In that time she has:
Developed a volunteering scheme called Engage, which enables others to use their skills to help PEPAIDS. Through Engage, PEPAIDS is now attracting volunteers from literally all over the world- from the UK to Australia!
Built an office! As part of our Building for Independence Programme.
Trained over 232 people in Theatre for Development.
Roped a few hundred UK school pupils into helping 248 Zambian community school pupils, through our Schools of Good Hope Project.
Enabled UK Health professionals and undergraduates deliver valuable training that isn’t available in Zambia.
Capacity-built our partner NGO, SAPEP, through our Office Systems Programme, to increase their ability to attract financial support from other organisations and become even more effective.
Made links with other organisations that can help deliver exciting new Sports projects in the future and increase the effectiveness of our AIDS Action Clubs in Zambia.
And conducted a needs assessment with 69 AIDS Action Clubs, involving over 1000 members of the community, so that we can understand exactly how to support those communities to start up Income Generation projects that will enable them to combat poverty and HIV/AIDS and become independent of the need for outside help.
She’s also, met with the stars:
Helped us design a new website.
Taken PEPAIDS into the world of Social media.
And been picked out by Vodafone as one of their most inspirational World of Difference winners!
Not bad for a years’ work! So thank you, Sasha, and thank you Vodafone for truly making a World of Difference to PEPAIDS and the thousands of people you’ve just read about!
More to Come.....
Two for the price of one!
Sasha’s partner, Vincent Heselwood, didn’t want to miss out on a life-changing opportunity, so he gave up his job as a teacher and went with her to Zambia for the year. Behind the scenes, Vincent has been working tirelessly to support Sasha and to develop our Schools of Good Hope Project. Schools of Good Hope has been a huge hit in Zambia and the UK and we are delighted to have secured over half the funding we need to deliver this amazing project during 2011-2012. Click on the link to read more about what’s next with Schools of Good Hope!