What it feels like to be the CEO of small International Charity

Being CEO of Hicap UK has not been easy. It has been 11 years of dedication and hard work. There have been so many issues to deal with over these years, but, giving up has never been an option. 

Fundraising is not easy, Nepal and its Himalayan poverty is an unknown quantity to many. I have got used to the frustration of telling people ” I work for the remote children and families of Nepal”  oh where is that? “Oh India”! “No Nepal”.  Then going on to explain where it is.

Quite often I am asked why there, why not the UK charity starts at home!! Yes frustration of trying to get people to understand what life is like is really like in a country with no NHS no benefits.  If you are disabled, you get on with it.  Your family make, normally out of wood wheel chairs, or walking frames.  You do not get any additional help they help themselves.  Mental illness is ignored. no help no care just family and relations that care.  So if you are poor as well, life can be hell! But you do your best and get on with it.

I have not answered fully the question why Nepal, there are other third world countries in need? When I first went there that it was an unknown quantity, and I know that if it had been better known and more accessible, life would have been easier for me .  But, I saw the need, and no one else helping because of the access difficulties to the remote areas.

My day to day work after 11 years consists of ensuring that money goes to the correct places and is spent on the right things. But life is not easy working in the country of Nepal, NGO restrictions, rules that I have to try to understand.  Frustrations with the Nepali beliefs and their religious ways.  It is so far away from how the Western World works.  Working through a system of corruption and paperwork, having to accept complete and utter disorganisation.  Sometimes screaming and shouting “how can this be”!!

 As the CEO of this small Charity I am seen as a bit crazy, perhaps I am, but I see real progress where Hicap Work.  We cannot make a massive difference but we can improve education in a small way, we can perhaps get children out of poverty, through education and pass that on through their learning.

My world can be full of disappointments, when applying for funding getting turned down, mostly because we don’t have the experts to deal will those applications for funding, I do them myself. We don’t have the funding or the resources to put in specialist applications, I just do my best.  I feel responsible and every day I think about what I can to next to improve funding.    Hicap have volunteers that help and they make a real difference.  With dedication and a massive feeling of responsibility Hicap keeps going.

I always hope that one day someone who is rich will believe in me and my work, until then I continue to make things happen in a small way. Our sponsorship programme has been a great success. Fundraising in small ways.  Giving talks, running stalls, sponsorship activities, spreading the word through social media. 

I can honestly say that over the years I could never have had the feedback that I get Nepal, the children and parents that are so happy to get some help.  The poorest of families that we support show change and hope in their faces.  Where else could I ever get such amazing thankfulness.

  So perhaps you can do some of that for me, believe me being the CEO is wonderful, but at times a real struggle and Hicap need others to believe in us.  Being covered in flowers to say thank you is just a feeling that nothing can replace, believe me and I am so very lucky to have experienced this in my lifetime. 

Freda has been nominated for Guardian Trailblazer of the Year

A Welcome at one of our supported Government  schools


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